What Landlords Need to Know About Tenant Background Checks

What Landlords Need to Know About Tenant Background Checks

If you're a landlord, you probably want to avoid risking your real estate property by renting to a criminal. But one in three Americans has a criminal record of some kind. Your new tenant is likely to be a criminal.

To keep criminals and other irresponsible individuals out of your property, you must perform a tenant background check. Read on to learn how these work.

What Is a Tenant Background Check (TBC)?

You'll probably want someone to move into your property quickly. But you also don't want to have a tenant who can't pay rent and/or will cause destruction to your property. Such a situation will cost you more money in the long term.

A tenant background check helps a property owner evaluate how trustworthy and responsible new tenants can be. As long as you follow the state and federal laws, these background checks can be useful tools.

How Much Does a TBC Cost?

The price of a TBC will vary between companies and the type of information you want. But the final cost is almost always under a hundred dollars.

You may also be able to request that potential tenants pay for background checks. Keep in mind, though, that doing this might dissuade ideal applicants from applying. But it also can dissuade potential renters who are less serious about renting your property.

Choose a Qualified Background Check Service

To get the best tenant background check, you need to hire the best background service. Here are some qualities that you should look for when finding a great background check service.

Full Background Check

Find a company that offers the fullest background check possible. It should at least include a criminal background check and the tenant's rental history.

Compare Prices and Services

Prices and quality levels for background check services vary widely. Make sure to compare several different services. Choose the one with the best price and quality level.


Check the reputation of each background check service. You can check customer reviews and any accreditation. Also, make sure that the company follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

What a TBC Can Include

Once you've figured everything out, it'll be time for you to receive the TBC. Here's the information you can receive:

  • Overall Resident Score
  • Address History
  • Employment History
  • Credit Inquiries
  • Forced Bill Collections
  • Bank Accounts (aka Tradelines)
  • Criminal Records
  • Consumer Statements
  • Bankruptcies
  • Civil Judgements
  • Tax liens
  • Eviction Records
  • Aliases (aka AKAs)

Real Estate Property Management Help

Once you've found the perfect tenants through a tenant background check, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. You should receive your rent on time. You should also find little to no damage to your property when the tenant moves out.

But you may still struggle with property management overall. If so, consider getting help from us. At Blue Ribbon Property Management, we maximize your rental's potential.

Our service area includes the Bryan, College Station, and Brazos Valley areas. Get a free rental analysis by filling out the form on this page.