Nic

    As a landlord or property manager, tenant acceptance and screening can be burdensome and time-consuming. Reviewing countless applications, making calls to references, and identifying future reliable tenants can drain your resources and energy. Tenant screening services offer a solution to streamline this process, saving you both time and money.

    Automating tenant screening can be a game-changer. When I owned apartment complexes before investing in hotels, I relied heavily on these services to decide on potential tenants.

    This blog post will explore which tenant screening services will help you speed up the process and reduce paperwork to save time and focus on other essential tasks. Let’s dive in!

    TL;DR:

    • If you require tenant screening services, my recommendation is SmartMove. This solution is specifically designed to cater to tenant screening.

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    What are the best tenant screening services?

    Tenant screening services simplify the tenant selection and rental application process by automating various tasks. They offer features such as conducting background checks and credit reports directly from their platform, saving time and speeding up the application pre-screening process for potential tenants.

    Our evaluation specifically centers around software tools that automate tenant selection. While some of the solutions covered may offer additional features such as property management or rent collection, the main focus of this post is on the tools in this particular category.

    1. SmartMove

    SmartMove is an excellent choice if you have fewer rental properties. The platform’s ease of use and straightforward pricing plans make it an attractive option to screen tenants. Some of the benefits include:

    • Access to prospective tenants’ credit reports detailing past rent payments, credit scores, and any negative items on their records.
    • It also conducts nationwide criminal background checks, including searches in the sex offender registry. To help identify potential problem tenants, SmartMove also offers an exhaustive eviction history check.
    • The Income Insights feature is particularly useful as it estimates a tenant’s income, enabling you to assess their financial health.
    • Lastly, based on the gathered information, SmartMove provides customized leasing recommendations for each applicant, ensuring a tailored approach in your tenant selection process.

    Pros and Cons

    • Reputable Provider: SmartMove is backed by TransUnion, which lends credibility to the service and data.
    • Comprehensive Reports: SmartMove offers thorough reports that include credit history, criminal background checks, and income insights.
    • Customized Leasing Recommendations: SmartMove provides customized leasing recommendations based on the information gathered during the screening process. As a previous multi-family investor, I LOVE this feature.
    • No Membership or Subscription Fees: SmartMove does not require users to pay membership or subscription fees. You only pay for the necessary screenings, making it cost-effective if you have limited rental properties.
    • Limited Additional Features: Some competing services offer additional features, such as social media screening or employment verification, unavailable with SmartMove.
    • No Bulk Pricing Discounts: SmartMove does not offer discounts for purchasing multiple screenings at once, which could result in higher costs if you have numerous rental properties or frequent tenant turnover.
    • Tenant-Initiated Screenings: You may prefer a service where you initiate the screening process rather than rely on the applicant to complete it through SmartMove.
    • Credit Report Limitations: SmartMove only provides access to TransUnion credit reports, which may not reflect a tenant’s complete credit history if they have records with other credit bureaus.
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    2. TurboTenant

    TurboTenant is an excellent choice if you have a smaller rental property portfolio. The platform’s user-friendly interface and free basic features make it a great option. The ability to list properties, collect rental applications, and screen tenants within one platform streamlines the rental process. Key Benefits include:

    • Credit Reports: You can access a prospective tenant’s credit report, including their credit score, payment history, and any negative items on their record.
    • Criminal Background Checks: The platform conducts nationwide criminal background checks, providing you with valuable insights into a tenant’s criminal history.
    • Eviction History: TurboTenant offers a history check, allowing you to identify potential problem tenants before they sign documents and move in.

    Pros and Cons

    • Ease of use: TurboTenant has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for you and your renters to navigate the platform and complete tasks efficiently.
    • Cost-effective: The platform offers a free tier for landlords, which includes essential features like property listings, screening, and online rent collection.
    • Comprehensive screening: TurboTenant provides detailed background checks, credit reports, and income to ensure you find reliable tenants.
    • Customizable applications: You can create rental applications to gather relevant information about prospective tenants, streamlining the application process
    • Customer support: Other users have reported positive experiences with TurboTenant’s customer support team, who are responsive and helpful in resolving issues.
    • Limited customization options: You may find that TurboTenant doesn’t offer enough customization options for your specific needs, such as custom lease agreements or additional property management features.
    • Potential delays in reports: Some users have reported occasional delays in receiving screening reports, which can slow down the application process.
    • Limited functionality for larger property portfolios: While TurboTenant is excellent for small to medium-sized property portfolios, if you have a more extensive portfolio, you may find the platform lacks some features needed for effective management.

    3. Landlord Studio

    Landlord Studio is best suited if you have a small or mid-sized portfolio and want to enable pre-screening tenants as part of your property management process. Key benefits include:

    • Credit reports: Obtain credit scores, payment history, and outstanding debts.
    • Background checks: Access criminal records and identify any potential red flags.
    • Income: Confirm prospective tenants’ income to ensure they can afford the rent.

    While these features are also available with competing platforms, Landlord Studio integrates them seamlessly within its property management software, making managing all aspects of your rental business in one place convenient.

    Pros and Cons

    • Comprehensive screening: The platform offers thorough background checks, credit reports, income, and financial health, helping you find reliable tenants.
    • Integration with property management tools: Landlord Studio seamlessly integrates its screening services with its property management tools, creating a unified solution for managing your rental properties.
    • Landlord Studio offers a 14-day free trial of their Pro version. After the trial ends, you can switch to the free Go version or stay on Pro to leverage all the features offered.
    • Limited customization options: You may find that Landlord Studio lacks certain customization options tailored to your specific needs, such as custom lease agreements or advanced property management features.
    • Pricing model: While Landlord Studio offers competitive pricing for its screening services, you may prefer platforms that provide free or lower-priced options.
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    4. RentRedi

    RentRedi is an excellent option if you have a small to mid-sized portfolio. RentRedi has comprehensive features, including a user-friendly interface and seamless integration with tenant screening services. Key benefits include:

    • Credit reports: Access detailed credit information, including credit scores, payment history, outstanding debts, and financial health.
    • Background checks: Obtain criminal records and identify potential red flags in a renter’s history.
    • History: Review past evictions to assess a tenant’s reliability.
    • Income verification (optional): Confirm prospective tenants’ income to ensure they can afford the rent.

    Pros and Cons

    • Quality of reports: RentRedi partners with TransUnion, ensuring you receive accurate and reliable tenant screening information, including credit reports and background checks
    • Integration with property management tools: RentRedi seamlessly integrates its tenant screening services with its property management software, allowing you to manage all aspects of your rental business in one place.
    • Flexible pricing options: RentRedi offers two pricing options for tenant screening: passing the cost to the tenant or having the property owner pay for it.
    • Mobile app: With RentRedi’s mobile app for iOS and Android devices, you can easily access tenant screening reports on the go. You can also quickly be notified of a completed application.
    • Limited customization options: Some users may find that RentRedi lacks certain customization options tailored to their specific needs, such as customizing screening criteria or adding additional screening services.
    • Lack of integration with other platforms: RentRedi currently does not integrate with other property management software or accounting tools, which may be inconvenient for users who rely on these platforms.
    • Pricing model: While RentRedi offers competitive pricing for its tenant screening services, some users may prefer free or lower-priced platforms.
    • Scalability concerns: If you have larger property portfolios, RentRedi may lack some features needed to manage more extensive portfolios effectively

    What Is Tenant Pre-Screening?

    Pre-screening tenants means using software or online tools to streamline and automate tenant screening and simplify evaluating rental applicants. This verifies applicant information, conducts a credit report and background checks, and verifies applicants’ employment and rental history.

    How Can Tenant Background Checks Benefit You

    • Time Efficiency – saves significant time compared to manually collecting and reviewing application materials. With some of the tools, you can receive instant reports on the application.
    • Enhanced Screening Capabilities: provides more comprehensive data than manual methods pre-screening you, helping you make more informed decisions about potential tenants.
    • Reduced Risk of Human Error: automation can help reduce the risk of human error in the screening process, improving the accuracy and reliability of the results.
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    Buyers Guide: How We Conducted Our Research

    • Our sources included online reviews and ratings from landlord and property management websites,

    • We reviewed articles and blog posts about renter background checks and property management software.

    • My experience as a real estate investor with landlord screening tools dates back to our multi-family business before we shifted to hotels in 2017.

    Protect Your Investment with Tenant Screening services

    As a property owner, one primary objective is to make money in real estate investing. Tenant screening services help you achieve this goal through efficient and effective tenant selection. The more automated this process is, the more time you can save, thus allowing you to focus on other aspects of property management.

    Automating tenant selection involves using technology to sift through applications and approve the most suitable ones. This speeds up the process and minimizes the chances of human error or bias in the selection process.

    Fortunately, numerous tenant screening options can significantly streamline the renter background check process. These tools automate various aspects of the process, such as checking credit scores, previous rental history, and even criminal records.

    FAQ About Tenant Screening Services

    What background check do most landlords use?

    Landlords typically use a combination of background checks, including financial, criminal, eviction records, and employment history, to evaluate potential renters and ensure their reliability, financial health, and future ability to pay rent.

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    Is MySmart Move Legit?

    MySmartMove is a legitimate screening service offered by TransUnion and used by rental property owners.

    A tenant screening report aims to help landlords decide who they should rent to. By reviewing a tenant’s report, a landlord can assess the level of risk involved in renting to that person. For example, a low credit score or a history of evictions could indicate that the tenant may not be able to pay rent on time or may cause damage to the rental property.

    What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

    This law regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information, ensuring accuracy, fairness, and privacy for consumers’ data held by credit reporting agencies. In the tenant background check process, this means obtaining proper consent from prospective tenants to pull their credit reports, ensuring the accuracy and privacy of reported data, and providing mechanisms for dispute resolution in case of inaccurate information.