Tenant screening provides landlords with the ability to learn more about who will be renting their property. Serious concerns like arrests or convictions for violence and drug problems can be concerning. Troublesome tenant behavior could lead to expensive and frustrating legal trouble in the future. Background checks are designed to be used as a safety check.
Safety and Responsibility to the Community
A criminal history background check allows landlords to take that extra step of responsibility to the community. Landlords have a responsibility to their other tenants to ensure they are not placing them into a situation of harm or risk. Background checks protect landlords as it allows you to ensure you are not bringing in people with a violent past. Tenant issues can occur at any time, and a simple argument could lead to a serious altercation with a person that does have a violent history.
Tenant background checks are designed to allow landlords to learn more about the person and if they do have a history of theft, untimely payments, and more. Having reasonable concern to suspect someone of theft or violence can give you the ability to reject the application, keeping you safe from liability from a serious issue that could occur. The problem with theft and violent pasts is related to how it impacts the other tenants. If a new person comes in and they steal from someone else in the complex, the person who was stolen from could end up suing the landlord for damages.
It is important to note that in order to reject an application with a criminal history background, you must prove that you are rejecting them based on a presumed, reasonable risk. In the event of a fair housing dispute, it is important to have the documentation as to why you rejected an applicant.
When you are meeting with applicants, it is a wise idea to perform a criminal background check and then talk to the applicant about what you uncovered. If you catch the person trying to deny things, or they are being vague, it’s a good indication you may want to reject your applicant. Make a clear message to them that you require honesty and for people to be upfront. If you tell people you are doing background checks, they may pull their application, helping you to weed out the people that may try and hide something.
Ask people to be upfront about any arrests that have occurred. If a person is clear on the application, and you verify this with the criminal background check, it helps you know you have a trustworthy individual planning to rent from you.
At Keyrenter in Provo, we find that using criminal background checks has reduced tenant turnover. Low-quality tenants are less likely to apply when they notice a background check is required. Call Keyrenter today to learn more about background checks and how they can help keep your complex safe and secure.