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Old 05-13-2018, 07:58 PM
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Default Landlord advise

I used to think I was a good judge of character screening tenants, not so much anymore. Does anyone use and reccomend a credit/ background check service ? Thanks in advance for the help
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:04 PM
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I used an existing property management company to procure good tenants. I liked them so much I let them do the full management.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:08 PM
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I use https://www.mysmartmove.com. It is a TransUnion company and seems to work well. The cost has gone up over the past few years. This service coupled with reference checks, face-to-face and the current condition of their vehicle (cleanliness inside and out) tells me all I need to know when choosing tenants.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:01 PM
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I have evictede the same person more then once .
Do everything you can to protect yourself.
Don’t know rules where your at. Here if you let them move in
it can take you 3mnts to get them out.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:45 AM
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Ditto TransUnion smart move..

Once you consider a tenant and have received basic information and email address, TU will send them the credit check and bill them for the service.

For some tenants, just knowing they have to pay up front for their own credit check weeds out many of them.

I too am a face to face person, and the condition of their car means a lot to me as well..
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:34 AM
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Get a reputable real estate company that has a rental department, turn it over to them. Not worth the headaches. Best money I ever spent.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:00 AM
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If you are not doing at least a credit check you are a fool. Sorry to be harsh but from a looooonnnnngggg time landlord I can not stress it enough.


One of my best "tricks" to weed people out: i do not even show the rental without them bringing a copy of their credit report. If they say they don't have one or can't get one- non-starter flag
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:10 AM
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I'll try smartmove, thank you.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rocksandblues View Post
If you are not doing at least a credit check you are a fool. Sorry to be harsh but from a looooonnnnngggg time landlord I can not stress it enough.


One of my best "tricks" to weed people out: i do not even show the rental without them bringing a copy of their credit report. If they say they don't have one or can't get one- non-starter flag
X2 Face to face meeting first to show unit. Then Credit check next, learn how to read the reports. Next I check with Wisconsin Court access on line it is free in our state. It will show a history or lack of a history of any crimes and judgments against that person.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:32 AM
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Good Realtor. Credit check. Reference check. Background check. Blood sample. Stool sample.
I've been burned by tenants, so I don't feel bad about putting perspectives under a microscope. If they don't like it, that's a good indicator.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by triumphrick View Post
Ditto TransUnion smart move..

Once you consider a tenant and have received basic information and email address, TU will send them the credit check and bill them for the service.

For some tenants, just knowing they have to pay up front for their own credit check weeds out many of them.

I too am a face to face person, and the condition of their car means a lot to me as well..
I also use smart move and make the perspective tenant pay for it via an application fee.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:55 AM
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I check with their previous landlords, and verify their employment status. Also, look up to see if they have any mugshots online. Look inside their car - see if it's full of trash and cigarette butts, or not.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by triumphrick View Post
Ditto TransUnion smart move..

Once you consider a tenant and have received basic information and email address, TU will send them the credit check and bill them for the service.

For some tenants, just knowing they have to pay up front for their own credit check weeds out many of them.

I too am a face to face person, and the condition of their car means a lot to me as well..
....unless they are meeting you at any time of the day, which means they don't have a job, and if they bring several family members, which means they are all on government dole, and you can't garnish them...
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:01 AM
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I've used rentapplication.net and have required 2 years of W2s. Tenant pays application fee. So far so good!
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:40 AM
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I have never ran a credit check in almost 30 years of self managing double digit rentals.
but what I do do, is meet face to face, and after a few minutes of pleasant conversation regarding where they work, why are they moving, etc. I'll look them in the eye while pointing my finger at them, take a step closer to them, and tell them I'll be running a credit check and do they have a problem with that.
if they have bad credit, they'll sing like a canary and spill their guts to me.
if their credit is good, they say without hesitation "no problem".
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by westbootie View Post
I have never ran a credit check in almost 30 years of self managing double digit rentals.
but what I do do, is meet face to face, and after a few minutes of pleasant conversation regarding where they work, why are they moving, etc. I'll look them in the eye while pointing my finger at them, take a step closer to them, and tell them I'll be running a credit check and do they have a problem with that.
if they have bad credit, they'll sing like a canary and spill their guts to me.
if their credit is good, they say without hesitation "no problem".
So many tenants seem to know every right they have, Here I have to get permission from them to run a credit check, it is on my application form and they agree to it.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:36 AM
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really depends on the rental unit itself. if your like me and your units are in the hood, if you go the above mentioned routes you will never have a tenant. i accept hud so there is some garanteed money there, yes i have to chase it but usually a threat to start the eviction process or barter with them like "give me part now and part later".
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:50 AM
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We run credit on all our tenants ..... but its the face to face thats is the most important .... you can get a pretty good feel for someone with a quick conversation..

but obviously the credit check is the first to review.... Evictions and late payments are an immediate rejections .... Unless there is a compelling story behind it ...
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
We run credit on all our tenants ..... but its the face to face thats is the most important .... you can get a pretty good feel for someone with a quick conversation..

but obviously the credit check is the first to review.... Evictions and late payments are an immediate rejections .... Unless there is a compelling story behind it ...
Yep, on our credit checks we will overlook medical claims as we all know how bad they can be. But when I see late charges for credit cards and Victoria secrets , um no look somewhere else. I also have spent time and listened to folks that have gone through nasty divorces, their credit was really good up until that, the problem with that is you don't know what party was the responsible financial person that got them to that point.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:08 AM
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Good choice to do background check
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