“Why Screening Reports Is Important” written by Mike Marko
Are you wondering how you can choose the best tenants for your property? Well, you can do it by screening reports!
Screening reports give you a good insight into your potential tenants’ characters and backgrounds. That can help you identify the most trustworthy ones.
It’s not hard to see why this matters to landlords or property managers. It’s obviously important to choose the right tenants because the success of your rental property business depends on them.
If you only have the best tenants, you can ensure that their tenancy will go smoothly. They can keep your rental property in good condition and they can pay their rent on time.
But if you have bad renters, there’s a high probability that they can cause problems can affect other tenants in your property.
Having bad tenants can hinder the success of your rental property business. Fortunately, you can easily prevent them from renting your property by conducting a tenant screening process.
The result of the tenant screening process will be compiled in a document called the screening report.
Wondering how screening reports can help you choose the best tenants for your property? Let’s find out.
Checking the Screening Reports of Tenants
It’s par for the course for landlords and property managers to demand screening reports when vetting potential tenants now. In fact, it’s much more unusual to find rental property owners who don’t ask for it.
Again, this has to do with landlords’ concerns over the stability of their business. Hence, every property manager is allowed to check the screening reports of tenant applicants.
We’ll get into how they do that later. But before we talk about that, let’s first discuss the nature of screening reports.
What Is a Screening Report?
A screening report is a document that contains valuable information about the tenant. Its purpose is to help property managers decide whether they’ll approve or reject a rental application.
The report can help in choosing tenants because it gives landlords and property managers an idea about the applicant’s personality and behavior. The data in them helps landlords predict how the applicant will behave as a tenant.
Generally, screening reports show them detailed information about each potential tenant’s background, rental history, and credit history. These are things that are relevant to landlords, after all.
Getting a Tenant Screening Report
Rental laws prohibit property managers from pulling the public records of tenants without the proper procedure. Therefore, the best way to obtain a screening report is by conducting a tenant screening process.
Property managers can conduct the tenant screening process by themselves. But since it’s important to immediately process the rental application, most of them do it with the help of screening companies.
Tenant screening companies are typically found on the Internet. Many of them can quickly produce screening reports.
However, the quantity and quality of information presented in screening reports depends on the tenant screening company.
If you want to get reliable screening reports, it’s best to hire the best tenant screening company. To help you do that, here’s how you choose the right screening company.
Choosing the Right Tenant Screening Company
Your chosen tenant screening company must be operating legally. They must follow the proper procedure for pulling information of an individual for use in screening reports.
You can always use the Internet to check if your chosen company is legit or not. However, doing this can take a lot of time and effort.
So instead of searching for screening companies on the Internet, go directly to the already established and widely-approved screening companies like Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
Conducting a tenant screening with them assures you that you’ll receive a reliable screening report. They’re also the sources most other landlords use for their screening reports.
Cost of Conducting a Tenant Screening
The usual cost of the process is around $35–$75 per person. The price depends on the quantity of information presented in the report.
Property managers are allowed to charge the cost of the tenant screening to the applying tenant. The applicant has to be made aware of it first, of course.
Information Included in the Screening Report
Not all screening reports have the same amount of information. The quantity of content they carry depends on the screening company.
Generally, tenant screening reports contain the following valuable information about the tenant applicant:
1) Identifying Information
This includes information such as the applicant’s name, age, current address, contact information, and SSS numbers.
The information presented in this part ensures you that you pulled the right information. You don’t want to accidentally pull screening reports for someone with the same name, after all.
2) Credit Information
Most screening reports also contain details about the credit information of the applying tenant. This part of the screening reports sometimes contain the financial activity of an individual for the last 5-7 years.
The information presented here gives landlords and property managers an idea if the applying tenant can afford the rent or pay rent on time.
3) Rental History Report
The screening reports will also give information about the applying tenant’s rental history. The information presented in this part gives property managers an idea of how the applying tenant would behave inside the rented property.
The rental history screening reports contain information about the applicant’s past rental arrangements. This includes their past addresses, evictions (if any), and so on.
Some rental history screening reports also include recommendations or feedback from the applying tenant’s previous landlords. This can give you further information on whether or not they’d be a good tenant in your property.
Signs of A Good Tenant
The screening reports of the applying tenants should not contain any alarming information such as bankruptcy or evictions.
If the report contains red flags, you should arrange a meeting with the applicant. Allow them to explain the delicate subject.
If the applicant fails to explain the situation, it’s a clear sign that you should move on and proceed to screening other potential tenants.
You should avoid having tenants that are not doing anything about their financial or behavioral problems. They can only cause problems or troubles in your rental property business if you approve their rental applications.
Final Thoughts on Screening Reports
In this blog post, we talked about screening reports. The screening report is a document that contains valuable information about the tenant. Its main purpose is to help property managers in choosing tenants for their rental property.
The best way to obtain screening reports is by conducting a tenant screening process. Property managers can conduct the tenant screening process with the help of tenant screening companies.
Legitimate screening companies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion can quickly provide reliable screening reports. They are generally the go-to options for those who need credit screening reports.
Once you have the screening report, make sure to check if it has red flags or unwanted information. Remember, a good tenant has no alarming information such as bankruptcy or evictions.
And that’s it for how to use screening reports and why you need them if you’re a landlord! If you have more questions about screening reports, leave them in the comments below.
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