There are many reasons to get a free public criminal record check. Maybe you’ve hired a new employee, and you want to run a background check before they start. Maybe you’ve found a new tenant, but you want to cover your bases before they move in. In any case, a free public criminal record check is an excellent tool to help you identify issues in someone’s history, and ensure you’re working with a reliable, trustworthy person.
Here’s what you need to know about conducting a free public criminal record check wherever you may be.
As a landlord, it’s important for you to know who you’re renting to before the rental contract begins. Looking into a potential tenant’s background serves many purposes. It can help reveal problems lurking in their history, for example. It also helps you identify problems that may mean you’ll have to evict or remove the tenant down the road. Additionally, a free public criminal record check can help you access a prospective tenant’s background information. This way, you can make better decisions about whether or not the person is a good rental fit, or if you should keep looking.
Want to run a background check on your tenant? Here’s your complete guide:
The first step is to get some standard information from your tenant or applicant. This information can come from a sample rental application, or from a local real estate association, which provides applications you can use.
No matter how you get the application, be sure you have your renters fill one out. The information they provide on the application will be critical for you to conduct a background check and assess whether the applicant would be a suitable tenant.
As a general rule, the application should ask the following questions:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires landlords to obtain express permission to perform credit checks. With this in mind, make sure you’re complying with the FCRA by obtaining a complete credit report authorization, which you can embed in your application. Tenants who will not grant permission for a credit check can legally be denied the opportunity to rent the property.
A good free public criminal record check covers a few bases. Most landlords recommend starting with a credit report, since these reports will help you identify financially stable renters. Online credit reports will show you information about financial issues like foreclosures, detainer lawsuits, evictions, and bankruptcies. Generally, credit scores required for renting apartments are over 620.
From there, you can move on to a verified tenant screening company, which will pull the tenant’s criminal background record. This search will also run the tenant’s name through the sex offender database, find out whether he or she has ever been charged with damaging property, and whether they pay their rent on time. Here are a few things to know:
The great thing about criminal records is that they’re public information. When you want to find out whether a would-be tenant is reliable and trustworthy, these records can help you find out. If you’ve never run a free public criminal record check, simply follow the tips above in this article. If you need additional help, Blueground offers expert property management that’s different than the traditional norm.
If you manage your own property but don’t want to deal with the hassle of performing background checks for your tenants anymore, consider bringing in a professional property management company like Blueground to help you. Not only do we source high-caliber tenants, but we also take care of furnishing, pricing and maintaining your property during and between leases.