As a property owner and investor and property manager who has renters, please know that the best time to avoid a bad tenant experience is to avoid renting to them at all...which many times has nothing to do with the credit score.
http://www.MrLandlord.com Jeffrey Taylor is a great source for rental property owners including a multitude of reports such as: background check, credit report, terrorist report, sex offender report, judgement report, and more.
Good Luck fellow landlord.
PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
Go to Google or some other search engine and type in "tenant screening" and you'll get plenty of hits. Check them out to see what they offer and charge.
Many counties allow for free criminal background checks online. Go to your county office and explain what you're trying to do. I know several Landlords that do a criminal background in a matter of minutes for free. Then you should verify employment and income, talk to previous Landlords, etc. Most importantly, meet with them in person and go with your gut. If something seems wrong, it probably is.
I suggest you use a credit check service. I have used Metro western Cook Credit Services in the past. You'll want a full Credit History, Eviction Search and Criminal Background Search. You can make your determinations from there. I would also recommend getting an employment verification.
You should contact them ahead of time so you can get all the required authorization paperwork to give to prospective tenants and set up an account. If you want the prospective tenant to pay for the service, let them know there is a non-refundable application fee when they submit their application to you. When you decide you are sure you want to rent to the tenant, make sure you use an enforceable lease.
Best of Luck.
Keller Williams CCG
FREE REAL TIME MLS SEARCHES AT http://www.waynebeals.com
2. Consider charging rental application fees to cover the costs of running credit checks on prospective tenants.
3. Verify the applicant's employment status and bank information by contacting employers and financial institutions.
4. Contact former landlords to check on the applicant's payment record as a tenant.
5. Order credit reports on applicants from a major credit reporting company such as Equifax or Trans Union to verify their credit history and possible evictions or convictions.
6. Contact an agency that specializes in screening tenants, such as National Tenant Network, to receive reports on the applicant's payment history as a tenant.
7. There are several online sites that can assist you with this. Here are a few.
Hope this helps..
You can also ask a potential applicant to present this information to you with any offer or charge them a portion or all of the fee. You may eliminate some applicants, but decent rentals are flying off the market in most areas, so it is competitive. If they are using an agent, they will often check their credit anyway and have that all to submit. Good luck!