Maximize your rental's potential.
Charlotte Property Management You Can Trust.

Property Management Blog

The Dos and Don'ts of Conducting a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Charlotte

System - Thursday, April 25, 2024

As a landlord, performing a criminal background check is a key part of the tenant screening process. According to Rental Research Services, landlords found that over 25 percent of their applicants had some criminal record.

If you use a tenant criminal background check as part of your process, there are some important things you need to know.

Read on to discover the dos and don'ts of conducting these checks to ensure you and your prospective tenants have a smooth screening process.

Do: Verify More than Just Criminal Records

While a tenant criminal background check is important, there are other key parts of a tenant screening you shouldn't overlook. Remember to make sure you perform a thorough credit check, rental history check, and employment verification. Getting the entire picture of your potential tenants is a key part of owning a rental property, so make sure all bases are covered.

Don't: Offer a Lease Without Verification

When you're renting property, the idea of offering a lease to a new tenant is exciting. However, you should never offer a lease until the entire tenant screening process is complete. Avoid getting too "trigger happy" when you get new tenant applications, and wait for your property management company to do their jobs first.

Do: Follow Laws When Performing a Tenant Criminal Background Check

Every landlord and property management company must abide by the most current fair housing laws. These laws prohibit you from discriminating against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Always keep to these laws to prevent a potential problem later.

Don't: Forget to Check Tenant References

While screenings and background checks are great, it's also important to follow up by checking tenants' references. Get as many as possible and call each one so that you have a better idea of the person's prior history. This step is time-consuming, but it's also well worth it, especially if you want more insight into your next tenant's background and prior relationships with landlords and employers.

Do: Weigh Credit Scores Carefully

Although a person's credit score isn't the end-all-be-all of their ability to pay rent, it definitely plays a vital role. Look at a person's credit score analytically and use it to help you determine whether you think they'll pay on time. Most landlords want to see a credit score of at least 650 to 750 in an ideal scenario.

Don't: Assume the Worst

Unless there are glaring results on a tenant criminal background check, it's important not to assume the worst about an applicant. Use your best judgment and follow your instincts when someone applies. A property management company can also help you make the final decision.

Find Your New Tenant Today

Remember these dos and don'ts of a tenant criminal background check to help you find great tenants. The right tenant should have a clean criminal record and a good past payment history.

The local experts at Wilkinson Property Management can help with your tenant screening needs, so contact us today!