Times Have Changed – Applicants Face Stricter Guidelines

tenant-screeningMost of us have rented a house or apartment at some point in our life and know that a background check will be the deciding factor. Throughout the years it has become common practice for landlords to research credit, criminal, evictions, and many other reports that will help them make an informed decision. Rental applicants now days face stricter guidelines than ever. Landlords have learned that by spending the extra money for a background check they are more likely to find qualified tenants that are safe, have steady employment, and good rental history.

Landlords of the past had a much tougher job when trying to qualify a tenant. There were many phone calls, faxes, letters, and a lot of waiting. When searching criminal history they often relied on local police department searches and rarely did a landlord have access to your credit profile. Just like the world around us technology has paved the way for new possibilities in background screening.

Not only is there more information available, it is becoming easier to read. Credit reports of yesterday were much harder to decipher and often times required someone to interpret. Now companies are able to format everything to be user friendly so even a novice can read it. This allows landlords to consider much more than just the credit score. By accessing credit trade lines you can see an applicant’s payment patterns.

  • What is their debt to income?
  • Do they have recent inquiries of applying for loans, cars, credit cards, etc.?
  • Do they pay the debtors they currently owe?
  • Do they pay on time?

With stricter guidelines in place it is getting harder and harder for bad applicants to go undetected. Landlords know the eviction process is lengthy and expensive. By using new technology it is much quicker, and more efficient to screen applicants. Communities deserve to be protected from unsafe tenants, and now it is much easier for rental property to remain safe and prosperous.

For information about the NAPBS Tenant Screening Committee, please contact [email protected].

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