background-300x300‘Do not judge a book by its cover’, this is a saying that holds true if you are planning to get new tenants for your rental home. Not much can be judged going merely by the looks of a person. There have been cases where a group of people, well dressed and with pleasant manners, have eventually turned out to be criminally inclined. A lot of weed farms and meth labs have been discovered in suburban localities, run by very normal, average looking people. While on the other hand, gruff, not very well presented people have turned out to be very regular and law abiding tenants. Going by looks alone, there is no real way to know if a tenant will be a good one or one that causes more trouble than you want.

Background checks and how they work

Step 1: Get your prospective tenants to fill out a form that will give you all the information you need to perform the required background checks. Have them fill in a list of all the details that will allow you to check for three things – financial standing, criminal records and testimonials from previous landlords.

Step 2: Make sure you inform them that you will be carrying out background checks on them. It is a legal requirement for them to know.

Step 3: Get the services of a tenant screening company and run all the checks including a credit report. Getting a report is not very expensive; a thorough report may cost less than $50.

The article does not imply in any way that you should not trust people. Rather, it intends to warn you about not going by your gut feeling alone. So before you give out your home to strangers, get to know them through background checks and resolve any doubts that you may have about them.

Image courtesy of [debspoons] at