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5 Essential Steps to a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Lake Villa, IL

5 Essential Steps to a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Lake Villa, IL

The worst-case scenario for a landlord is when they end up with a difficult tenant because they didn't do their proper due diligence. The tenant screening process needs to be quite strenuous.

Conducting a thorough tenant criminal background check is a crucial part of the tenant screening process for landlords in Lake Villa, IL. It helps ensure the safety of your property and the well-being of your other tenants.

Here are five essential property management tips to follow when performing a tenant criminal background check.

1. Obtain Consent from the Tenant

Before you begin any tenant background check verification, it's essential to get written consent from the prospective tenant. This step is not only a legal requirement but also an ethical one.

Include a clause in your lease agreement guidelines that informs the applicant of your intent to perform a background check and have them sign a consent form. This form should outline the types of checks you will conduct, including criminal, credit, and rental history checks.

Informing your tenant upfront builds trust and ensures transparency in the screening process.

2. Gather Necessary Information

Once you have the tenant's consent, collect all the necessary information required for the background check. This typically includes:

  • The applicant's full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Any previous addresses over the past few years

Ensure that the information provided is accurate and complete, as any discrepancies can lead to errors in the background check results. Additionally, you may request a copy of a government-issued ID to verify the tenant's identity.

3. Choose a Reputable Screening Service

Selecting a reliable and reputable background screening service is critical to obtaining accurate and comprehensive results. There are many online services available that specialize in tenant background checks, such as TransUnion SmartMove, RentPrep, and MyRental.

Look for a service that offers detailed reports, including nationwide criminal records, sex offender registries, and eviction history. Verify that the service complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to ensure that the process is legal and ethical.

4. Review the Criminal Background Report

After receiving the background check report, carefully review the findings. Pay close attention to any criminal convictions, arrests, or charges. It's essential to distinguish between minor infractions and more serious offenses.

It's also important to follow the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to avoid any discriminatory practices.

5. Make an Informed Decision

Once you have thoroughly reviewed the criminal background report, use the information to make an informed decision about the prospective tenant. If the background check reveals concerning behavior, you may decide to reject the application.

Ensure that you provide the applicant with a written explanation, including a copy of the report and their rights under the FCRA.

A Tenant Criminal Background Check Is Crucial When Picking Tenants

Unless you know the individual extremely well or they are part of your extended family, you will want to do a proper tenant criminal background check on anyone entering a lease agreement with you.

Do you find being a landlord to be quite exhausting on your own? Consider hiring a full-service property management company like Grand Realty Group, Inc.

We have an average eviction rate of less than 1% and we have been in business for 20 years. Contact us to learn more about our services.