Marks Of A Good Rental History Report

“Marks Of A Good Rental History Report” written by Mike Marko

As a busy property manager, you are always reviewing and verifying applications for rentals.

To make the process run more smoothly wouldn’t it be great to have a better understanding of what makes up a good rental history report?

The most qualified applying tenants will have excellent credit reports and a good rental history report.  We have discussed what makes up an excellent credit report previously… so today we’ll look into what makes up a good rental history report.

The Tenant’s Rental History Report

One of the most important parts of the reviewing applications for rentals is to determine if the prospective tenant has a good rental history report. The rental history report will allow you as a property manager to have information about the way tenants paid rents, how the left the property they were renting, and behaviors they exhibited when they were renting in the past.

The most qualified tenants will exhibit excellent financial status, personality, and behavior in a rental history report.

Importance Of Checking Rental History Report

How do you sort and determine from a stack of applications who are the best or most qualified renters?

One of the keys to answering this question can be found in running a rental history report on every applying tenant.

A rental history report contains important information about a tenant’s previous rental arrangements. The report will normally list the tenant’s previous address, show any late rent payments, and evictions. Additionally, using the tenant’s history shown on their rental history report will help you to determine if the prospective tenants are capable of paying monthly rent or taking care of the rental property. The information included in tenant screening report can give property managers an insight on how the prospective tenant would behave and treat the property they are renting.

Throughout the tenant screening process the applying tenant you should review and verify everything submitted on applications and the authorized reports you run including reports like the applicant’s credit, criminal, eviction, and rental history report. These records are the necessary files in determining if the applicant’s rental application will be approved or denied.

When a prospective tenant submits an application for rental you should always have a separate authorization page to run any additional reports. Getting a signed authorization to run a rental history report lets you legally do the background check on the tenant for past rentals.

How To Find Rental History Of Tenants

The rental history report, and additional background screening are easily found online. There are numerous companies and agencies offering tenant screening services with rental history reports and most of them are can be found on the internet. Within a matter of hours or days, they can provide a complete background check and rental history check of the prospective tenant.

There are many reputable companies… just know what you are looking for exactly before you waste time and money. Knowing what you want to be reviewed in the rental history report allows you to determine if the report is incomplete or doesn’t deliver what you asked for from the service.

When using online service for ordering reports you or your property management company can easily check the necessary information about their property and prospective tenants using computers and smartphones.

Aside from using internet-based agencies and services, some property managers are using software from their trusted providers that could analyze the legal records of the applicant. This process could also produce fast results which heavily affects the approval of the rental application. Companies like Top1Score are great to help do inexpensive initial checks on applicants before you spend much time on them.  

Even if there are companies and websites that are offering services for checking the tenant’s rental history, there are still landlords and property managers who prefer the old-fashioned way of requiring the tenant to submit their own rental history report. When doing the process old school as we would call it, you would interview the client to verify the information, call references using phone books and other public sources. This way works when you have a smaller property management firm and have more time to focus on vetting the information personally

How To Determine A Good Rental History

Experienced landlords and property owners know what is best for their rental business and what types of renters they prefer renting their properties. Rental history is one of the most important criteria in evaluating a rental application. If you know exactly what you are looking for in rental history reports then find those types of applicants and tenants makes the rental process that much easier for your company.

Over years of experience and renting units, we have compiled what we would call the basis of a good rental history.

Basis Of A Good Rental History

  •         A good rental history doesn’t include any major blemishes, either financial or landlord related. When an applicant has bad history renting units or can’t pay their bills on time why would you take the chance of them changing their habits when they are renting from you?. The report should only include the right information that you are looking for and the screening report must pass or exceed your standards.
  •         The information on the National Security Threat List is blank on a tenant’s rental history report. This is important to protect the present tenants or neighborhood where the prospective tenant would be living. If someone has exhibited violent or criminal behavior or has been investigated as a terrorist that should be a red flag and should eliminate them from consideration for rental of your properties. However, you as a property management company must set your own standards.
  •         The tenant has never experienced eviction and paying the rent on time. Their rental history report indicates that the payments were made on time and if the tenant has no records of eviction. Excellent rental history and payments can mean that the prospective tenant values where they live and meet their obligations of a rental contract no matter what their past financial situation was. So this person would most likely continue this habit of paying on time and would be a highly qualified renter for your property
  •         A rental history report with no criminal report is also considered as a good sign that the applicant is a good tenant. A good tenant has no past convictions, arrests, court records and inmate records from multiple states.
  •         The information on the sex offender record is blank on a tenant’s rental history report.  You could have children renting close to someone that is listed as a sex offender so why take the chance and put your neighborhood at risk. However be sure if you do deny a sex offender rental that you follow all for rental laws and any other regulations to avoid any legal actions against your firm.

Verifying The Information

The best way to verify the information on the rental application form is by contacting the applicant’s previous landlords and employer. Every rental history report includes the telephone number and address of the applicant’s previous landlords.

Useful Questions To Ask Previous Landlords

While talking to their previous landlords, consider asking these questions. These could give you an insight into how responsible is your upcoming tenant.

  •         Was the rent paid on time and in full?
  •         Did the tenant take good care of the home or property?
  •         Did the tenant display disruptive behavior?
  •         Was the renter a good communicator?
  •         Would you rent to this person again?
  •         Did the tenant have bedbugs?

That last question may have to be used if your area is having trouble with bedbugs.

I need you to focus on the second last question. If the previous landlord answers with “yes”, just pause and don’t be excited because it can be a tricky answer, especially if the tenant is presently renting from them.  Weigh the answers against the results of the credit report and the references on the rental history report.  if combined they tell a good story, then it’s a good sign that your upcoming tenant was a good tenant.

Final Thoughts On Rental History Report

In this blog post, we talked about what makes up a good rental history report. We also talked about why you need to use a rental history report. Knowing what goes into a rental history report will help your tenant screening process run more smoothly.  Apply these tips to help ensure you have higher quality tenants renting from you.

If you have questions or suggestions, leave them in the comment box below.




Suggested Articles:
1. What Property Managers Should Know About A Tenant Background Report
2. Important Factors In A Tenant Screening Report
3. How To Order Credit Report For A Tenant?

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Article: Marks Of A Good Rental History Report

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