As a landlord and a business owner, your income comes from the way you conduct business; smart business practices mean a greater chance for positive cash flow. The property you rent is considered an investment. You protect your investment by buying insurance, performing routine maintenance and repairs and upgrading the interiors and exteriors whenever possible; all of these require money to attract premium clients (renters) and to maintain full-occupancy. What you may not know is that the single-most important way to protect your investment, a credit check, is absolutely free!

Conducting a tenant screening, including a credit check, before renting to an individual, couple or family is of utmost importance; even if you personally know the interested party. Similar to an employment application and interview, the tenant screening provides you with additional information to base your rental decision on. A complete tenant screening should include meeting the potential business partner or partners (your future residents) and obtaining a credit check. Providing an application to be filled-out by all parties is the best way to obtain the necessary information to run a credit check on your future new residents. The application should include, at minimum, the following:

  • Personal Information - Basic information such as complete name and contact information are essential, but don't forget to ask for a social security and driver's license number to verify the person's identity and to investigate any legal notifications on record. These government issued documents may also serve as a way to perform a credit check, as many agencies require these numbers to identify each individual within the United States.
  • Employment History and Details - To help establish consistent employment and the ability to pay on time. Gaps in employment or frequent job changes may mean that an individual might not have income to pay rent.
  • Credit History and Details - To ensure the individual is responsible when it comes to paying bills, repaying debts, and managing timelines and payment dates. A good credit rating often means payments will be consistent and made when expected.
All three distinct areas of information listed above are important components of a tenant screening, but many landlords skip obtaining a credit check on a renter. Despite revenue loss due to nonpayment, defaced or destroyed property and eviction costs, the reason most landlords do not perform a credit check is due to the cost and the time of obtaining the information.

As a landlord, you are protecting your investment by performing a tenant screening, which includes a landlord credit check. Get your free credit report on your new renter before you lose potential income. Get your free credit report now!


We have made updates to our Privacy PolicyPrivacy Policy to reflect the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.