If you own a rental establishment, it is extremely important to protect yourself from lackluster tenants who can cause problems rather than pay rent. Not only will you need to trust them to take of the property, they will need to be able to pay rent, as well as their utilities, in a timely fashion. In addition to income verification, landlords should always check for criminal records. This is to ascertain that the potential tenants are individuals that are conducive to your rental property and will not cause any legal issues down the line. As a rule of thumb, performing criminal records checks on all applicants over the age of 18, male or female is an excellent way to circumvent future problems. After all, you want to avoid unnecessary legalities as lawyer fees and other undue costs can accumulate.
Many criminals that have several aliases are most likely identity thieves. A number of forgery convictions, credit card fraud, robbery, and many other convictions can be readily available through criminal records checking. It is important as a landlord to double-check court records, using social security numbers, date of birth, and full, legal name to ensure a prospective tenant is being honest in their claims. Although an individual may look good on paper, you may find a pool of information that dictates otherwise. If this is the case, you will want to deny their application.
Convicts with histories of drug trafficking and substance related crimes are highly undesirable candidates for obvious reasons. However, this type of information is not available at face value, and a perfect normal looking individual could have a very tumultuous criminal record. By checking court records, county, and state databases, you will be able to prevent these individuals from renting your property and putting you in a dire situation down the road. If they are still involved in their criminal activity, they could drive down the value of your property by eliciting illegal behavior to your complex or house. Thus, it is highly recommended to implement criminal records checking before accepting an applicant.
Many tenant applications include the necessary felony or criminal offense conviction information. Clearly this is a pre-screening process that will help you pick and choose which applicants qualify for the rental property. You cannot trust an individual, especially with a criminal history, to always tell the truth – especially when they are in desperate need of housing. Even if you have the appropriate questions on an application, it does not guarantee truthful or useful answers. Sex offenders are legally bound to register their names, residences, and workplace for a national database. By unknowingly admitting a sex offender into your apartment building or other rental property, you are jeopardizing many other tenants’ safety and security. This is especially important if you have children that reside at your property as parents and fellow tenants will be extremely upset and may leave. Thus, it is extremely important to perform criminal record checks to protect not only your interests, but your other tenants.