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Rental Background Checks
When you intend to rent out a property to tenants you have to be aware of the various risks and burdens that arise. You are in effect, renting out your property to a total stranger, and should the relationship go sour, your tenant may choose to show their appreciation for you by causing a significant amount of damage to the property. Tenants whilst providing you with steady source of income, may also end up providing you with a steady supply of problems and headaches as well, with repairs, complaints and the like. For the sake of your sanity, make sure you properly conduct rental background checks! You may think that simply conducting an informal interview will be sufficient to weed out any potential troublemakers, but most people have a tendency to be on their best behaviour in such circumstances, and only act up as a result of some catalyst.
Hedge your bets, and carry out rental background checks.
Rental background checks are very powerful tools indeed, allowing you to determine the suitability of each prospective tenant, in terms of the potential risk they pose, as well as the likelihood that they will be able to pay their rent on time, if indeed, if at all. The last thing you want is a tenant who has been convicted for drug dealing to then start paying your rent with dirty money!
It may be a good idea to hold an initial interview with each of your prospective tenants so that you can get a general first impression and tactfully raise any questions you may have. Once you have broken the ice a little, you can then ask them to provide you with relevant details such as name, current address, social security number etc. Pay close attention to how they react to this simple request, if they begin to get flustered and uncooperative as to providing such information, then this should be a warning sign that something is amiss. This is a simple request, and little more than a goodwill gesture, so if a prospective tenant wonít comply then you can safely write them off.
Once you have their basic details, you can run your own online background check from any number of websites. They can provide you with an instant report so you can head off potential troublemakers before they have a chance to cause problems. Credit checks are often an ideal first point of reference, but donít take the tenants rental deposit without checking out their references first of all. Make sure you choose solid references, i.e. not friends and family of the tenant who will most likely provide a falsely positive report, but rather, former landlords who will be the most objective people to ask. Former landlords will have no hidden agenda or ulterior motive, and so will gladly provide you with a clear statement of affairs.
All too often, it is the most charming and glib tenants that turn out to be the biggest problems and liabilities.
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