How to find the best tenant screening service
The global tenant screening service market is set to hit about $5 billion by 2028.
There is a high demand for rental properties, and more and more landlords are looking for ways to mitigate risks when taking in tenants. Property owners want to ensure they save themselves the trouble of having to deal with problematic tenants.
There’s a ton of tenant horror stories out there that finding the best tenant screening service is recommended for all landlords out here. The problem is, tenant screening services have been mushrooming everywhere for the past few years.
Finding the best one can be a daunting task. However, worry not because, in this post, we’ll guide you on the best way to find the most professional tenant screening firm.
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find an excellent tenant screening service is by asking for referrals from friends, family, or colleagues who may have had prior experience with one. This can help shorten your list and give you a better idea of who you should give your business to. You can even post a query on social media sites like Facebook asking for referrals.
Landlords are a tight-knit community. There is a high chance that someone may have had an experience with a tenant screening company or knows someone who has.
Another great way to identify a good tenant screening service is by checking online reviews. This will give you an idea of what people are saying about different services out there and help you weed out the bad ones.
Go Through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Website
The BBB is a reliable source when it comes to identifying reputable businesses. The website has the records of every business, and you can go through them before settling on a tenant screening service. You will also get an idea about which businesses people have had good experiences with and which ones were not so good.
Look for Certifications and Professional Affiliations
The best tenant screening service is one that has invested in training and certification programs. Like the Certified Professional Tenant Screeners program. A service that has invested in such a program is more likely to be trustworthy than one without any such training or education.
Furthermore, it’s essential to find out whether the business holds membership with any industry associations. There are several but check with the National Apartment Association. Additionally, look for whether the tenant screening service has any licensed investigators experienced in property management.
Check for Licenses and Insurance Coverage
A good tenant screening company is one that holds all the necessary business licenses in your state. It’s also essential to find out if they carry adequate insurance coverage.
It’s vital to protect both their customers and themselves from losses due to lawsuits or other reasons. Also, it would be helpful if you were able to access some sort of professional liability insurance documents on their website.
This would indicate whether they can cover damages arising from negligent or faulty tenant screening results. Lastly, find out if they provide client confidentiality agreements. Ask what data is being used and how strictly that data is being adhered to.
Ask Them Questions
Once you have a shortlist of companies, it’s time to ask them questions. Call each company and explain your situation. Ask what kinds of documents they require from tenants and how soon they can provide the reports after the application is completed.
It may even be worth asking if there are any additional fees you need to prepare for and what those fees cover. You should also inquire about their tenant background check process and how long it takes. This way, you know whether they meet industry standards or not.
Verify Business Operating History
It’s essential to find out the tenant screening company history before you hire them for your needs. Check whether they have been in business for a long time and if there were any legal issues during this time.
Being in business for a long time means that they have experience in screening tenants and are well aware of what to look for and where to look for it. They are likely to have handled numerous apartments for rent and have a long track record of positive results. This will translate to faster and better results for you and hence great tenants.
Look for a Reasonable Price Range
Any good tenant screening service would have affordable pricing structures. It’s also a better idea to find a reasonably priced business instead of going with the cheapest service you can find. They might be offering lower-quality services.
Ask for quotes and estimates from at least three tenant screening experts. Compare their prices and what those charges cover, then choose the most reasonable one depending on your needs.
Review Their Policies and Procedures
Another helpful tip that will allow you to identify a good tenant screening agency is by reviewing their policies and procedures. A good tenant screening company should disclose its fee structure prior to signing any contracts. They should make it clear what additional costs may come up during leasing processes.
They should be clear about how long the process will take and what exactly they screen for. You may want a thorough check that looks at tenant background, credit checks, employment checks, and criminal records.
Ensure the company will look at that. It’s also essential to find out what the business does with your information after they perform background checks.
Choosing the Best Tenant Screening Service
The best tenant screening service will save time and money for both landlords and prospective tenants. They’ll provide you with accurate credit histories, eviction records, and work reference reports. At the same time, such a service should also ensure that all clients’ data is kept confidential and only used for authorized purposes.
By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can ensure that you are selecting a reputable and reliable tenant screening firm to meet your needs.
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