Tenant background checks are important because you want to find high quality tenants who will respect your investment property and keep it clean and in good condition. If you don’t take the time to conduct a thorough background check on your tenants during the screening process, you could end up losing a lot of money and having a very frustrating experience as a landlord.
Consider the risks involved in placing a tenant who hasn’t been screened.
Late Rent Payments and No Rent Payments
If you don’t examine a tenant’s credit history and look for previous evictions, you could be placing a tenant in your home who has a history of not paying rent on time. You may have to chase your tenant down every month in order to get the rent paid. Eventually, you will likely stop receiving rent altogether, and you’ll have to go through the eviction process. This can be costly and time consuming. The best way to avoid evictions is to rigorously screen your tenants and perform thorough background checks.
Property Damage and Deterioration
To achieve the most rental income and overall ROI, you need to preserve the condition of your investment and ensure its value grows for when you’re ready to sell. If you place a tenant in your property who has not been thoroughly screened, you may be surprised at what you find once they move out. You could be left with property damage that’s due to neglect and abuse. Or, you could face a lot of expensive deferred maintenance because your tenant just didn’t care enough to report things when they broke. This is a huge risk, so do your background check and talk to former landlords about how your prospective tenants have taken care of properties in the past.
Illegal Activity or Danger to Neighbors
Your lease should forbid any type of illegal activity at your rental property. But, if you don’t do a criminal background check before allowing a tenant to move in, you might not know about their prior convictions for selling drugs. You may not know they served time for assault. Something terrible could happen in your building before you realize that your tenant is on the sex offender list. Check the criminal backgrounds of all your applicants, and decide what you’re willing to live with when it comes to risk and your property.
Conducting a background check is absolutely essential. If you don’t have the resources to effectively dig into an applicant’s background, contact us at The Wright Choice Richmond Realty Group. We’d be happy to help you with your tenant screening process.