The Do's and Don'ts of Conducting a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Denver, CO

The Do's and Don'ts of Conducting a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Denver, CO

In the U.S., there are 70 million people who have some form of criminal record. That means one in five people have been in trouble with the law.

Landlords, who process hundreds of rental applications every year, have no idea who a person is beyond the smiles and the handshakes. A tenant criminal background check tells all about a person no matter how nice they may seem. Of course, it's easier said than done since there are a lot of pitfalls attached to performing tenant checks.

Not sure how to do tenant screening in an ethical and effective manner? In this article on landlord advice, we discuss the do's and don'ts of tenant checks for your rental property.

Do: Screen Everyone

One mistake landlords always make is that they screen only certain individuals. They single out certain applicants who have the physical appearance or behavior of, in their mind, a criminal. Sadly, this almost always leads them to target minorities.

It's critical you screen all of your tenants, not just the ones that look like they need it. It's not just an ethical matter. You could get in big trouble thanks to the Fair Housing Act.

Don't: Forget to Ask for Permission

A background check requires someone's consent before you proceed. It's frowned upon and illegal to conduct one without their knowledge. All you need to do is have them sign a waiver before you start the process.

It could lead to legal issues if they find out you did one without their permission. This in turn hurts your long-term rental income.

Do: Pay for the Best Results

Not all tenant screening services are equal. Many landlords go for the cheapest ones possible, without realizing they're losing out on accuracy and depth. Cheaper background checks may not do a complete, effective sweep of a person's complicated past.

You would probably pay extra for community association management. So, pay extra for comprehensive, high-quality checks. Knowing everything you can about a prospective tenant is worth the few extra dollars it costs.

Don't: Disqualify Someone Arbitrarily

There are many, many good people out there who have a rocky past. People who were juvenile delinquents, drug addicts, or gang members. At some point, though, they turned themselves around and became wonderful members of society for it.

Thus, it's important not to disqualify someone just because they have a criminal record. Instead, you should come up with criteria that determine whether someone qualifies or not.

Carefully evaluate each person on a case-by-case basis. Consider honestly whether their history detracts from their worthiness as a tenant.

Do a Tenant Criminal Background Check With PMI

A tenant criminal background check is a key step in determining whether you should bring on a prospective tenant. Make sure to screen all tenants to avoid discrimination charges, and get their permission beforehand. Pay the extra amount for more in-depth tests and avoid disqualifying people without good reason.

PMI Denver Metro carries 20 years of industry experience and uses it to your benefit. Get started by scheduling our expert-backed PMI Purify cleaning services.