A property manager and landlord’s responsibility is threefold: protect the tenant, protect the employee, and protect the property. Effective and comprehensive background screening of both tenants and employees is one of the most impactful steps you can take.
Tenant Background Screening Products & Services
We are proud to provide a full suite of background screening services to choose from. But here are a few common services used by landlords when screening prospective tenants:
SSN Verification and Address History – confirm identity and address history
Credit Report – confirm your tenant’s ability to satisfy lease agreement.
County Criminal – protect other tenants and your property.
Rental History – Verify lease term, payment history, and unit price. Gain first-hand insight of your prospective tenant. Mitigate risk of late payment, property damage, and contract violation.
Employment Verifications – confirm your applicant’s employment.
Employee/Contractor Background Screening
As a property manager, a great deal of focus surrounds tenancy – finding the right tenant who will take good care of your property, stay the full term of the lease (and possibly renew) and will not disrupt other tenants and neighbors. However, just as important as tenant background screening is the employee background screen. Don’t forget to background check your office personnel, maintenance crew, and any contractors you may employ.
A quick note on background check for position: different positions may require different background check services. For instance, a credit report will be required for your tenants, but would not be necessary for maintenance personnel. Picking services based on what pertains to the job is allowed as long as you run the same services for all individuals applying for the same job.
All of our products can be customized by job position. Create customizable packages with one of our expert advisors. Click here for a full list of background screening services.
Property Management Compliance
There are many state laws and local ordinances surrounding tenant background screening, be sure you are aware of and complying with them.
In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released guidance on the use of criminal records for tenant background screening, similar to the EEOC’s Individualized Assessment for employment background screening. Read the guidance here.
In 2011, the Dodd-Frank Act amended Section 615(a) of the FCRA to require additional disclosures when a credit score is used in a background check. Read more about the Dodd-Frank, the FACT Act, FCRA requirements here.
The FCRA not only governs us as a background screening provider, but you as well. Be sure to be up-to-date on your requirements. Always obtain consent prior to running the background check. Follow the adverse action process (if applicable). Provide a copy of the report to the applicant (if requested). Allow the applicant to dispute the information (if applicable). Ensure the safety and security of your applicant’s information by following strict security measures.
As a property manager in the highly competitive housing market, you need someone you can trust for reliable information that is fast, keeps you compliant, all while maintaining your budget. Choice Screening provides reliable, comprehensive, and compliant services to landlords and property managers, helping you make informed decisions in a timely manner.
As part of any good hiring strategy, partner with a background screening provider you can trust, stay informed, and do not forget to consult legal counsel. Please note: this blog is not all-encompassing and not meant to provide legal advice.