Landlords and property managers in Florida have many concerns throughout the day, but one that should be at the top of the priority list is screening potential tenants with a thorough background check.
Failing to perform a background check can lead to many issues down the road, so it's imperative to make sure your applicants are telling the truth about who they are and their past. Elements that should at the very least be included in a Florida tenant background check include:
- Rental history
- Employment and income verification
- Credit history
- Criminal background check
If you're in areas such as Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, and other nearby areas, here are three reasons to conduct a tenant background check.
Ensure Existing Tenants, Neighbors, & Others Nearby Are Safe
As a landlord or property manager, you do have a responsibility to ensure that the potential new tenant isn't a criminal or sex offender. If you own or manage a multifamily dwelling, such an apartment or townhome community, then you have to make sure your existing tenants are safe from anyone with a history of violence or burglary.
Also, convicted sex offenders are generally required to live a certain distance away from areas where children may be, such as schools, playgrounds, and more. If your property is close to a school or public playground, you may not legally be able to let them live there, depending on when their crime was committed and the restrictions placed upon them. Surrounding neighbors and others may also be mad if you do decide to let someone with a checkered past live near them, so keep that in mind as well.
A Bad Rental History Can Indicate that a Tenant Will Be a Potential Problem
If a tenant's background check reveals a bad rental history, such as spotty rent payments or damages done to a previous dwelling, then that could indicate a pattern of behavior. These issues may repeat themselves, making this tenant a potential problem for you. Other common tenant issues include:
- Previous evictions
- Bounced checks
- Violating rental agreements
All of these will lead to more issues for landlords and property managers down the road, as eviction processes are not quick and you could be investing a lot of time into this.
Tenants May Lie About Employment or Income Status
If you don't verify a tenant's employment or income status, you could be looking at rent late charges or their inability to pay, which could again result in a lengthy eviction process. A background check will quickly verify if what the tenant put on the application is correct or not. It's also desirable to rent to someone who does have good, stable employment and income, as it's more likely they could turn into a long-term tenant.
It's also advised to check the applicant's credit history to see whether or not they have a pattern of not paying bills.
If you're a landlord or property manager, contact us to conduct your tenant background checks.
At Bales Security, we provide screenings for potential tenants as well as employees, Contact our experienced professionals at (813) 314-9101 and learn about how we can help you screen your applicants and perform thorough background checks for rental properties in Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, and other surrounding Florida areas.