You want to rent out your property, but you also want to rent it to someone who will take care of it and pay the rent on time. Instead of just going on gut instinct about a prospective tenant, savvy landlords perform a thorough background check before renting to anyone.

Why? Because the person who wants to lease your property might dress nicely, have perfect manners and speak well, but a background check is the only way to find out if he is who he says he is, if he has anything nefarious in his background and if he possesses the financial means to afford your property.

So how do you do a background check?

First, gather information from the prospective tenant by having him complete a rental application. This document should collect the applicant's:

  • Complete name, social security number, date of birth and driver’s license information

  • Current address, former addresses, when he lived there and the name and phone number of previous landlords

  • Current employer with contact information, current income and previous employer with contact information

  • Bank name, bank phone number and account number

  • Credit references and their contact information

  • At least two personal references

Also have the applicant sign a credit report authorization form. This is what legally allows a landlord access to prospective tenant's credit information. FULL ARTICLE