Guide to Doing a Credit Check on a Prospective Tenant

An important aspect of screening potential tenants is conducting a credit check. You might not know what this process involves if you’re new to managing rental property. Learning how to conduct a thorough credit check will help you choose the highest-quality candidates as you seek to fill rental vacancies. 

Get the Tenant’s Permission

You will need to obtain written permission from each applicant to run the background check. You might also want to require that each applicant pays their own credit check fee. The fees can range from $25 up to $75 per credit check. 

The process of getting an applicant’s permission no longer requires printing out paper forms. Today, many lists of tips for first-time landlords include using online services for recording and storing applicant permission forms. This can save space and help you ensure the forms have legal standing.

Choose a Credit Reporting Bureau

The three main credit bureaus are Experion, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can choose one of these bureaus, or you can experiment to find out which bureau provides the most efficient service. Once you choose a credit bureau, you can begin the check.

Begin the Credit Check

When you initiate a credit check, the system will ask you to verify that you are a prospective landlord or another person authorized to conduct the check. This is also the time to submit the fee. It might make more sense to apply for a subscription rather than paying for each credit check individually.

Typically, the credit bureau’s system will take 2-10 business days to complete the approval process. Once you receive approval to run the check, the results will be available within an hour.

We’ll Handle the Screening for You

Reliable Property Management has the infrastructure to deliver a thorough tenant screening process. Learn more about our full range of property management services when you call us at (443) 869-3799 or contact us via our website.