7 Tools to Background and Credit Check Your Tenants

August 23, 2018

You wouldn’t feel comfortable having a criminal stay in your apartment? Right? Certain tenants put the value of your space at risk. It’s impossible to really know whether your prospective tenants are a safe choice unless you screen them. In order to lower your risk and protect your investment, you need to review their background and run a tenant credit check before renting our your property. 

four pairs of hands holding phones and tablets looking at charts

Dive deep and discover the truth about your tenant

What is the difference?

  • A background check seeks to establish whether the tenant has a criminal, eviction, or even a fraudulent history.
  • A tenant credit check is used to assess the tenant’s ability to pay their bills and obligations.

In 2014 the Central Bank of Dubai created the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. The bureau collects and pools individual and businesses credit information from multiple utility companies, financial institutions, and government sources.

Apparently, the UAE credit bureau generates 4 types of reports:

  • Short Reports
  • Long Reports
  • Long with Scores
  • Scores only

Once a prospective tenant consents to a background credit check, landlords get to see both the open and closed credit cards, payments, late payments, and even monetary judgments. All this information can be overwhelming so we would advise that you pinpoint the following areas:

1) Credit score

In Dubai, the credit score runs from 300-900. If a tenant falls below 600 they are probably a smoking gun. However, you can also set your minimum score to determine whether they are a good match.

Current and former addresses

Many tenants tend to conveniently omit past addresses. However, with the tenant credit check, you can see this information. Take it upon yourself to check whether the address they indicated on the application matches the one on the report.

Tenant applications for credit with lending institutions

If they have multiple applications, it indicates they have been facing a steep financial issue lately.

Payment history for contracts

This will help you establish whether they are disciplined individuals when it comes to paying contracts. If they occasionally default, chances are they will bring the same baggage to you.

The number of overdue contracts

If the prospective tenant is behind payment on a contract, it’s almost certain they will bring their financial woes with them to your apartment. You need to reject their application almost instantaneously.

2) Criminal records

The Dubai Police Department issues Certificates of Good Conduct. Before you allow a tenant to stay in your property, you should request that they produce it. You can also make it a mandatory document during your tenant screening process. A major part of any solid tenant credit check is checking for a criminal record.

3) Medical history

doctor going over medical forms with patient

Someone’s medical history can say a lot about them

If you don’t want your apartment being put under quarantine as a result of infectious diseases, request medical test results. This may come as an outrageous request but it may help avert disastrous tidings. Ensure they get the medical report from a government-approved medical center. Fortunately, most expats in Dubai already have a medical report completed as a requirement of their visas. So, most won’t have a problem providing it to a potential new landlord.

4) Credit and background checks in their home country

Given the international makeup of your prospective tenants in Dubai, seek out a background or credit check service in your tenant’s home country as a secondary source. Check that you’re able to order these details over the web while outside of their home country since some reports are sent by mail.

5) Social networks

Social media is another tool that could provide information for a background check. Today, almost everyone is on social media and displays a plethora of information on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Check out potential tenants’ public profiles and see if you find important information to underwrite an informed decision. Before renting out your luxury space, make sure you have as much information on the tenant as possible. Also, be sure that the information found online matches up with their profile and the details they provided on their tenant application.

6) Calling previous landlords

One of the best background check tools is simply calling the tenant’s previous landlord. Previous tenant behavior is usually carried forward to the next apartment.

Simply calling the landlord isn’t enough. The current one may stretch the truth and give a stellar review, just because they are looking to get rid of a bad tenant. It’s always important to talk to the current landlord but take their words with a grain of salt.

While talking to them, ask the following questions;

  • When did the tenant live there?
  • Did they pay on time?
  • Served a legal notice?
  • Have any pets?
  • Damage to the property?
  • Was the property cleaned by the tenant before leaving?
  • Did they give proper vacating notice?
  • Would you rent to them again?

7) Employment verification

Last but not least, verifying the tenants’ income is another effective tool. Call their employer and speak to the Human Resource manager when verifying such info.

When conversing with the employer, try and find out the following:

  • How long has the potential tenant been employed there?
  • How much does the tenant earn?
  • Are they working part-time or full-time?

In conclusion

A tenant credit check and background check is the forecast of troublesome tenant behavior. When renting a property through Airbnb, or a similar service, it is not certain that tenants are screened at all. Make sure you know who is staying in your space. At Blueground, we take care of the tenant screening for you. Acting as the landlords ourselves, we ensure that all tenants have been vetted. Through careful tenant screening, you can easily avoid many issues.

More than 60% of landlords in Dubai strongly believe that background checks are equally important as credit checks. Background checks act as a safety measure, while credit reports establish financial capability. Both are important and should never be skipped.

A Dubai tenant credit check and background check is worth the hassle to avoid any potential renter hazards. Be certain that you’re renting out your apartment to the best possible tenant.

United Arab Emirates