Landlords often misjudge and make mistakes by not having a background check done on potential tenants who apply for tenancy. With smart technology, it has become easier to access information like never. While some landlords are using smarter technology to make well-informed decisions today, many are still lagging.
As a landlord and as per the Federal Fair Housing Act, as a landlord, you are entitled to carry our detailed criminal check of the applicant. There are digital resources available that work using powerful algorithms to dig out information from tens and millions of data available online to find out if your new tenant or applicant has lied to you about his/her criminal background or not.
Many would-be tenants hide from their new landlords if they have ever been a criminal, arrested or have been tried for a criminal case. By concealing such relevant information, they feel that their landlords will never come to know of their criminal past. Even if they are not regular criminals, hiding such information can strain the relationship with the landlord. Landlords can get to unravel the criminal history of their tenants by using the right software program for tenant criminal background checks for landlords.
How to carry out tenant criminal background checks for landlords?
- Checks of this nature can be carried out using free software programs.
- You need to choose a reliable software program that is legally compliant. You also need to ensure that the tool used has a proper non-disclosure policy in place and is completely compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- There are many such tools available today, but you need to ensure that you need to use a software program that cross-checks and assesses the Social Security Number of the tenant and the applicant. The SSN details are used to drill down from hundreds and millions of data and records available to portray a true and honest picture of the tenant.
It is important to use a tool that is made with advanced and progressive technology. Some programs offer separate lists like the Sex offenders list of Americas, FBI’s most wanted list, a watch-list of terrorists, national sex offender list and tenants evicted because of past criminal history.
What are the things that landlords need to remember when carrying out tenant criminal background checks for landlords?
- Was the applicant arrested and was he proven guilty of the crime?
- Was he convicted for the crime?
- How serious was the offense?
- How many times did the offender commit the offense?
- If the report has some ambiguity, then it is advisable that the landlord speaks and consults a lawyer or the police.
- Was the crime committed recently or was it in the past when the person was much younger?
- Has he been a repeat offender, or has he amended his actions – gone through remedial courses, training, etc.?
- Does the past offense of the applicant have any relation to the person’s inability to pay his rent on time or does it indicate that he will harm the rental property in anyways?