Skip to main content

Property Management Blog

How to Conduct a Tenant Background Check in Saratoga Springs

How to Conduct a Tenant Background Check in Saratoga Springs

As housing demand has risen, so has the number of people renting. Leasing properties can be a lucrative business but also a lot of work. This includes conducting a tenant background check for every applicant.

The good news is that, once you understand what screening tenants entails and the information required for doing so, you can begin the process. This article breaks down these steps.

It includes details about the different types of checks you can conduct and what information you need from tenants. Keep reading to find out how to find the best tenants for your Saratoga Springs property.

Information Needed for a Tenant Background Check

Conducting a background check requires certain information from the prospective tenant. First, you will want to confirm their identity through their driver’s license or another type of government-issued photo ID.

Next, you will need the applicant to list the different places they have lived for the lookback period during which you plan to search. You also will need their social security number to ensure you are identifying the right person.

Next, have the applicant sign a consent form authorizing the background check. You must specify in writing the types of inspections you plan to conduct.

Types of Background Checks for Tenants

There are different places you can look for potential red flags. These include sex offender registries, which are important to check, especially if you rent to families with children.

You can also run a broader criminal history check. These generally correspond to different jurisdictions. Examples are municipal, county, state, or federal levels.

Finally, you can do reference checks on the client. These include previous landlords, who may be able to speak to the tenant’s rental history. It is an easy way to see if they failed to pay their rent on time, damaged property, or been evicted.

Conducting Background Checks

National background checks would go through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. States and counties keep public records of past criminal history. You can request these directly based on where the tenant has lived in the past.

Also, most states run independent sex offender registries. These are usually free to access, although an official report may entail a fee.

For a comprehensive and hassle-free process, you can hire a service to conduct background searches. These include tenant credit checks and criminal histories.

These can vary in costs, which often depend on the range of searches you are conducting. For instance, a local criminal background check will be less expensive than a multi-state screening for comprehensive criminal and financial histories.

You should decide from the outset what events or information would be disqualifying for a resident. Also, it is important to fully understand discrimination laws and standards laid out by the Fair Housing Act.

For instance, you can reject an applicant based on criminal history. You cannot however use a tenant background check as a cover for denying housing based on someone’s gender, race, or sexual orientation.

Learn More About Criminal Background Checks for Tenants

Now that you understand how to conduct a tenant background check in Saratoga Springs, you can get the ball rolling. If the entire process feels overwhelming to you, consider hiring a property management company to take over. They can give you the peace of mind that your tenants are fully vetted.

Veno Properties offers the total package of property management services. Besides background checks, we can assist in finding tenants, leasing, maintenance, resident relations, compliance, and more. Reach out to us today for more information.