I previously wrote down a small List Of Tenant Credit Check Services and briefly mentioned why I think they’re worth performing on prospective tenants. The two main reasons are because they’re cheeeeeeep and they can reduce your risks of accepting problematic tenants by alerting you to potential problems before an applicant signs a Tenancy Agreement contract. Once the signatures are on the dotted line everything becomes a lot more difficult to undo, so it’s best to get it right before.
Performing credit checks on prospective tenants are pretty common, but in order to perform one, you will need their permission. It is against the law to carry out a Credit Check without first obtaining permission from the tenant. Your applicant will need to sign a release authorizing the landlord/agent to perform the credit check. Most credit check companies will provide landlords with a form online which can be downloaded for free, but I often use a homemade generic one.
The form I use is very basic- you can get far more comprehensive versions, but I personally think they’re unnecessary. The form basically asks for previous rental history (if that’s applicable) and the authorization for the landlord to perform a credit check.
Tenant Reference Form Details
The form is broken down into 3 simple sections:
- Prospective tenant’s current details
- Prospective tenant’s previous addresses
- Authorization to perform a credit check
What if my prospective tenant has no rental history?
Certain sections of the form requests details related to the tenant’s rental history. In the event the tenant doesn’t have any, I just allow the fields to remain empty, but ensure that they fill in the other sections.
Personally, I find tenants with rental history a lot more desirable because it enables me to get references from their previous landlords – nothing gives a truer picture than legitimate references. It’s just like when someone goes for an interview – experience is key.
Does anyone else bother to make prospective tenants’ fill in a similar form?