A standard part of any rental application is fields to enter information such as the person’s name, address and social security number (or a taxpayer number if they don’t have a social security number.) These are the pieces of information you will need in order to verify the person’s credit. You will also want to include an authorization to check the person’s credit, which they will need to sign off on before you can legally do so.
If you will be charging the potential tenant a fee for checking their credit it is important that you inform them of this. The standard fee that is charged to check a possible tenant’s credit is between $30 and $50 depending on the state you live in. Some states have a maximum that you can legally charge for checking a potential tenant’s credit. You should always ensure that a possible tenant is qualified to rent your property before charging them for a credit check.
It is not always necessary to order a copy of a credit report if the potential tenant has their own copy that they can give you. Though you are not legally obligated to accept it, you can choose to do so if you wish. The only state that is an exception is Wisconsin, as state law dictates that you cannot charge a potential tenant to obtain their credit report if they offer it to you beforehand.
When you do obtain a copy of a potential tenant’s credit report, whether they give it to you or you get it on your own, there are certain things you will need to look for. One of them is how financially active the person is. Another is whether or not the person has ever been evicted from a rental property before. You can also find out if they have ever been arrested and if they have ever been involved in a lawsuit.
Checking on a potential tenant’s credit history is always an important part of tenant verification.