Tenant Screening Services - Posted by Don N.Y.

Posted by Long Beach Ed on July 04, 2001 at 09:33:24:


My experience is that you must screen them yourselves. There is a service, TenantChek, that will pay for an eviction if a tenant they approve goes bad, but they approve virtually no one and simply sell membership and credit reports at inflated prices.

So just buy a credit report on the people and rent to nobody with anything bad on their credit. Remember, if they beat someone, anyone, out of money, they will beat you. Afterall, you’re the landlord.

Generally, never rent to anyone bigger or smarter than you. Needle then and see if they are easily annoyed. And stay away from know-it-alls: cops, contractors, law clerks, guys with pick-up trucks, teachers, political liberals, goofy unmarried couples trying out living together, etc. They often feel they are smarter than everyone else, above the rules or entitled to something because they are alive.

If they don’t pay by the fifth, serve them with court papers. Next month they’ll pay on time.

And remember, a vacancy is 100 times better than a bad tenant.

Good luck.

Long Beach Ed

Tenant Screening Services - Posted by Don N.Y.

Posted by Don N.Y. on July 03, 2001 at 21:04:29:

Can anyone out there recommend a good and reputable tenant screening service?

Also, is there a limit as to how much I can charge per occupant for a credit and/or background check in New York State?

Don NY

Re: Tenant Screening Services - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on July 04, 2001 at 11:08:36:

I like Ed’s advice, though I’m not sure how serious he was. Heck, if I avoided tenants with pickup trucks and goofy unmarried couples, I’d have no tenants at all! LOL!

But he’s correct that there’s no good alternative to screening them yourself. It’s not all that tough. There are plenty of sources where you can get a credit report, as a starting point. You should also verify employment, previous landlords, check at the court house for their name, maybe check for a police record. There are services like the one offered through Mr. Landlord which claim to maintain reports by previous landlords, but I would imagine in the whole scheme of things, very, very few tenants are actually reported to any given service, so there’s really no comparison to doing it yourself. Of course, you could always hire someone to do the leg work, if you don’t have time.

As far as a limit on what you can charge for a credit or background check, I don’t believe so, but personally I wouldn’t go too far above actual costs…at least in my market.

Brian (NY)