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How To Perform A Tenant Background Check in Orange County

Performing a thorough tenant background check is one of the most important tasks you will face as a landlord. Learn more about the process in our latest post!

For many landlords, finding and screening tenants is one of the things they look forward to the least. However, you don’t want to rush the process just to fill a vacancy. Allowing a bad tenant to rent your property will only end up costing you more in the long run. Make sure you adhere to the process and take all of the precautions needed in order to protect yourself from tenant turmoil down the road.

Gather Information

Any tenant you are considering should first begin the process by filling out a rental application. This application will tell you many things about the applicant and should include the following fields. Their name, social security number, previous addresses, phone number, previous landlord information, job history and references, monthly income. You should also ask for their bank information if you plan on running a credit check. You will need a signed consent of your intent to run a background check, criminal history report and credit check. A credit check will require a special authorization form in order to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Look For Red Flags

Before investing in professional background checks, look for things on your own that might lead to tenant drama. For example, they list many jobs within a small period of time. Or their references seem a bit shady… like maybe they are using their friends instead of actual work references. It is fine to change jobs, but if they aren’t able to hold one down, they may have trouble coming up with rent each month.

Meet With Applicant

This is a person you will have many interactions with so you will want to make sure you get along. They will be living in your home and you need to feel comfortable with them being there. It is important to make sure this is someone of strong character, who is honest and who will treat your property as if it were there own. Of course, you won’t be able to tell all of this from one meeting, but you will be able to get a pretty good idea of what kind of person they are. Just like a job interview, ask a lot of questions. Ask them why they are moving, are they a smoker, do they have pets? Will they want pets in the future? Do they often have friends or family staying with them? While you don’t want to be too intrusive, these kinds of things are important when choosing tenants for your Orange County home.

Run The Reports

Take the time to run a credit check using the scores from the three major reporting bureaus. The background check must be done by an approved Consumer reporting agency according to the fair credit reporting act. This background check will show things like past criminal activity and if they are a registered sex offender. Some of these reports require a fee, so be prepared. You can offset this cost by including an application fee with the completed application. This will also ensure the prospective tenants you are working with are serious about renting your place.

Check References

You will want to reach out to past and present employers as applicable. Also, speak to previous landlords and roommates if possible This will give you a better idea of how they are day to day. You can ask for personal references as well, but these will likely simply friends of the applicant who won’t typically have any disparaging remarks.

Make Your Decision

This shouldn’t be taken into lightly. Think about all of the factors and what you have learned about the prospective tenant. Listen to your gut and don’t rent to anyone you are unsure about. Having the wrong tenant living in your Orange County renatl property can cost you a fortune.

Are you ready to buy a Orange County rental property? We can help! Send us a message or give us a call today! 949-625-4533


Broker/Realtor/Investor/Mentor (41 years experience) Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Foreclosure, Short-Sale, Property Management, Landlord I'm a Full Time Real Estate Professional, house flipper and mentor to many of my clients. I am here to help you get top dollar for your home or get you the best price for a home that you are going to live in. I have over 40 years of real estate experience for you to draw on and actively list and sell over 20 homes a year. I have sold over 600+ homes in the last ten years alone. I am a very skillful negotiator and will work diligently to help you realize the best possible price when buying or selling your home. With my Exclusive Home Acquisition & Sales System, I can find the Right Home for You! I have access to homes no other Realtor will show you. I can show you how to save an average of $10,000.00 on the purchase price. We will find a home that fits your needs, in a neighborhood that suits your style. If you are selling your home then I can bring all the professionals to you. I always include professional photos in ALL my listings. I have contractors standing by to assist with those upgrades if needed. I can also quickly get you ALL CASH offers for your home if you desire. My marketing surpasses all other agents. It begins with extensive internet advertising to hundreds of websites throughout the world. I do direct mail marketing for you home and also knock on doors in your neighborhood when I am holding an open house. I hold you home open to expose it to as many buyers as possible. My Exclusive program is designed to sell your home for Top Dollar in Any market. I am an experienced flipper here in Orange County and therefore can offer you my over 40 years of real estate experience. The information is available to you at no charge! If you like what you see, please call me and setup Your Free Consultation.

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