Our tenant background investigations are here to make your life simpler. We understand that finding the perfect tenant is a difficult task, and as a landlord you have very little room for error. Ultimately, the person you rent to will affect the success of your investment. Our customized tenant background checks will help you avoid future headaches, loss of profit, and will ultimately, verify that the individual you are renting to has the funds needed to pay.
In addition to running a full background check, NAI also determines an individual’s social security numbers, telephone numbers, address history, judgments/liens, bankruptcies, criminal history record, and much more. We go above and beyond to conduct interviews with the tenant’s former landlords, determine employment status, and determine why they left their previous residence. Before allowing a tenant to live in your home/property, speak to a private investigator.
Picking the Right Tenant
Some property owners judge their tenants based on appearances. However, you can’t be sure that the clean-shaven, well-dressed person in front of you isn’t really a pig in real life, while the tattoo-covered candidate is a man with a good appreciation of personal hygiene.
Instead of secondary factors such as appearance, focus on the issues that do matter. Will the tenant be able to pay the rent regularly? And will he or she treat your property with respect? From a business perspective, those are the two key issues that should concern you, and both are issues that a tenant background investigation could help answer.
Conducting a Background Check
Unfortunately, far too many property owners fail to conduct background checks on their tenants. Taking the time to conduct a background check can save you a lot of future grief. If you know more about a tenant, you’ll be better equipped to make a smarter and more informed decision. The following are some of the key areas that any good background check should cover.
Find Out Why the Tenant Left
Everyone has a story, and it is your duty to know the back-stories of each of your tenants. Find out why the tenant left his or her former address and status. If the tenant left because of eviction, ask why and try to learn more during your background check.
If the tenant was evicted because the rent was too high and became unaffordable, make sure that his or her circumstances have changed, or you could find yourself in a similar position to the last landlord. However, if the tenant left because the property was put up for sale, that’s a different story.
Contact Former Landlords
You can learn a lot about prospective tenants’ habits and temperament from their past landlords’ experiences. Do the landlords have good things to say? Do they regret losing the tenant, or are they delighted that he or she has left?
Were there any incidents worth nothing while the tenant was living there? Did he or she get along well with neighbors? Did the tenant take good care of the house or leave it in dire need of repair?
Those are important questions to consider. Ideally, you want to make sure that the tenant will not be costing you more than he or she is providing.
Determine Employment Status
Where does the tenant work? Make sure to ask. It’s also important that you confirm the candidate’s employment status. During an interview, find out if the person is employed, and if so, where? Be wary of prospects “in between jobs,” “waiting for a call,” or going through a “transitional phase.” Without a steady job, your tenants are going to find it a lot more difficult to meet their payments.
But even if the prospect ensures you that he or she is working, don’t simply take the person’s word for it. As part of your background check, you should contact the prospect’s employer to confirm the job. Contacting the employer will also give you insight into the tenant’s character.
Another key point: It helps if you have an idea of the potential tenant’s salary. Real estate experts recommend that a tenant’s monthly income be at least three times his or her rent. Anything lower, and they might struggle to make regular payments.
Check for a Criminal Record
No one says that criminals cannot reform. Nevertheless, if your tenant has ever been convicted for a sexual offense or burglary, you would want to know, right? This way, if you do decide to allow the tenant to rent your property, you’ll be on your guard.
During a background check, be sure to review the candidate’s criminal history. A good tip is to inform the tenant beforehand that you plan to do a criminal check. In most cases, if someone has been arrested in the past, he or she will let you know.
Working with North American Investigations
Understandably, many landlords do not have the time to conduct a thorough check on all of their prospective tenants. An effective way to resolve this is to work with a licensed private investigation agency like North American Investigations
Our private investigators have access to a wider range of resources than you do. Or close relationships with law enforcement officers allow us to gain information you might have missed.
In addition, we are also skilled with groundwork. Instead of merely calling a former landlord, we can also schedule physical interview with past landlords and other tenants.
The Bottom Line
The most important element for any landlord isn’t the location of the property but the boarders he or she chooses. It has been said, “It is better to have a good tenant in a bad location than a bad tenant in a good location.”
Before you agree to take in a tenant, take the time to learn more about the person’s history. Ask any landlord; it’s a lot easier to turn down an applying tenant than to evict a residing one. A private investigator offers a convenient alternative for people who are too busy with work to conduct a deep background check. Just be sure to choose the right PI.