New Trend - Renters Running Background Checks on Landlords

Share Article reveals new tenant screening trend and recent malicious renters as tenant background screening continues to stay in the news. In the State of Washington a new trend is beginning to emerge where potential tenants are conducting background checks on their perspective landlords; in New York City they are going to stop selling certain data items to 3rd party providers in order to prevent potential "black listing;" and destructive tenants continue to cause significant issues for property managers in Edmonton, Canada.

Tenant Screening USA

“It was me who picked these renters,” ... “I’m the one who didn’t do proper background checks. I’m the one who should have got better background checks, but I trusted them as a family.”

Combine a highly transient society with a large inventory of recently foreclosed or abandoned properties with absentee owners, the opportunity for fraud becomes apparent.

From the Snohomish County Business Journal (April 3, 2012):

"People will pay the first and last month's rent along with a hefty security deposit. Add to this the cost of switching utilities, moving expenses and even simple home decor and tenants could easily invest over $5,000 up front with their move."

The moment a tenant pays first and last month's rent as well as that security deposit the opportunity for fraud begins. Without the proper background check by a potential tenant how sure are they that the property they plan on renting is even owned by the so-called landlord? It would be a simple task for an individual to present themselves as a property owner or landlord and lead the unsuspicious prospective tenants into turning over that first rental payment and find themselves without a property and without their money.

In New York City, the Village Voice (April 26, 2012) reports:
"New York courts are going to stop selling your names to companies that make it harder for you to secure your next apartment."

The issue at hand is a so-called "Blacklisting List." Tenants that are involved with various legal actions against a landlord or property manager have been purportedly placed on this list, whether or not the action was instigated by the tenant or the landlord. With the City readily selling information to third-parties, landlords could gather this data with relative ease and limited expense. However, going forward, Information involving tenant-landlord cases would still be available, however it would require greater time investment to retrieve specific case files.

"Information regarding individual cases will still be available through the Unified Civil Courts' eCourts website and in the Housing Court clerks' offices, but those avenues would require interested parties to actively seek out the information."

This action maintains access to public records, but eliminates a landlords "ability to simply cross-check a centralized list."

In Edmonton, Canada yet another landlord has learned the hard lesson of not conducting tenant screening on their renter's.

From the Global Edmonton:

"... when the family was late with the rent McMillan tried to contact the family. She noticed a window was smashed and the place smelled like urine."

"McMillan tried to evict the family and took them to court to get the back rent, but the tenants didn’t show up at court."

Unfortunately the story highlighted above is all too common. People make judgment calls without collecting information and data that is necessary to make a complete decision on potential renters.

With a repair cost of approximately $16,000 the landlord laments:

“It was me who picked these renters,” ... “I’m the one who didn’t do proper background checks. I’m the one who should have got better background checks, but I trusted them as a family.” provides peace of mind to both landlords and renters. They understand the laws, legalities, and ever-changing dynamics of the rental industry. For the renter protects personally identifiable information, such as Social Security Number and Date of Birth, and can provide a secure transaction between renter and property owner. For the property manager, can also provide specific information such as credit checks and national criminal background checks, as well as a wide variety of public information helpful in the decision process. More importantly, provides a simple, inexpensive tenant screening solution that could, potentially, prevent the kind of malicious activity that caused an Edmonton landlord $16,000 in repairs.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website