Updated 18th of December 2019
Added a video on tenant screening services, as well as additional information on our top choice, and things to consider when choosing a tenant screening service.
Updated 13th of January 2020
Added more tenant screening service providers to rankings.
Tenant screening services are used by landlords and property managers to determine whether or not a person is a good choice to rent an apartment or house. A tenant screening service typically consists of a background check, previous rental history, income and employment verification, and a credit report.
Why We Chose MyRental, RentPrep, and SmartMove:
MyRental has an extensive database with over 4.5 billion records spanning 50+ years to help landlords and property managers uncover as much information as possible.
With MyRental, users can choose from three different packages ranging from $19.99 to $34.99 per applicant. Even the basic package includes eviction history and criminal records from multiple states. Furthermore, customers who don't need a full package can pay for individual reports (criminal, credit, eviction, etc.).
RentPrep provides address and social security number verification, along with nationwide eviction reports. The service also provides volume discounts for customers with 50 or more units.
SmartMove by TransUnion offers comprehensive tenant reports with access to over 370 million national and state criminal record databases. With SmartMove's convenient screening process, you can quickly get approval from applicants and run your background check before either accepting or decline their application.
Things to Consider When Evaluating Tenant Screening Services:
- Good tenant screening services allow users to view credit history and criminal records, both of which could present red flags during the rental application process.
- Opting for a platform that has multi-state records will give you a better picture of an applicant's past, particularly if they have moved from out-of-state in the recent past.
- Some tenant screening solutions are priced per-package, while others are priced per-report. Determine what information is most important for your screening process (credit history, criminal records, etc.) and choose an appropriately priced option.
Best Tenant Screening Services:
Very comprehensive reports covering many records over wide range of years.
Great price, uses live screeners and is FCRA compliant.
Can provide full credit reporting, criminal background check, and eviction records.
Provides credit checks, background checks, application forms, and other useful tools to landlords.
Can provide tenant performance data such as evictions and lease violation information, in addition to criminal and credit reports.
Provides nationwide tenant screening services, including credit checks, criminal background checks, driving records, and eviction searches.
Secure, intuitive, and feature-packed tenant screening solution. Includes free e-signing, document storage, and task management tools.
Comprehensive tenant screening options. Offers bilingual English/Spanish customer support.
All-in-one tenant screening and property management platform. Offers a range of useful features and free resources.
Free and easy-to-use tenant screening tools for landlords. Set up so applicants pay the fee. Option to add own fee.
Screens tenants, markets rentals and allows you to accept applications online.
Provides eviction, criminal, and credit check, along with social security number verification and other reports.
A landlord-run service provider that offers in-depth tenant screening, no membership fees, and free landlord and tenant forms.
Offers comprehensive screening reports, including offline eviction records and alias name search. Easy to use.
Provides secure, easy, and fast online rental applications and comprehensive tenant screening reports.
Credit report and background check with tenant pay option.
Offers comprehensive screening solutions for a range of industries. Integrates with leading applicant tracking systems.
Provides nation-wide credit reports. Set up so that tenants pay fee.
Free and user-friendly tenant screening software. Does not offer eviction checks.
A thorough screening solution. Includes instant reports, ATS platforms integration, and issues alert feature.
From $1.00 /unit /mo.
User-friendly, all-in-one property management software. Includes tenant screening tools.
Pros and Cons:
- Discover criminal history and poor credit scores.
- Identify applicants who have been evicted in the past.
- Accept new tenants with confidence.
- Fast and easy to use.
- Most solutions charge per-report, which can be costly for landlords with numerous tenants.
- Some services may not be able to provide extensive records on an applicant.
- Applicants may not give their approval for a background check.
Detailed guide with helpful information on fees, costs, requirements, licenses, formation, marketing, and hiring. Also includes tips, FAQs, and a checklist.
Mar 31, 2020
How do I run a background check on a tenant?
How much does a tenant background check cost?
Tenant screening services range between $6.00 and $50.00, depending on how detailed you need the report to be. All-inclusive packages typically cost more.
What is included in a tenant screening report?
Tenant screening reports consist of a criminal background check or tenant background check, a credit report, eviction history, employment verification, address history, and any bankruptcies or judgment and liens.
How much does it cost to screen a tenant?
Checking a tenant's background costs between $6.00 and $50.00. That's just one part of the screening process though. You'll also want to speak with the tenant, talk to past landlords, and check references, all of which will cost you time.
What are the best tenant screening services for landlords?
Do I need consent from a prospective tenant to run a tenant screening report?
Yes. In order to run a credit check on a tenant, the tenant will first have to consent to the release of their credit report. The tenant screening service will send each applicant an email containing a link to a credit bureau where they can authorize the release of their credit report.
Will a prospective tenant's credit score be affected if I run a rental credit check?
No, because the tenant has authorized the release of their own credit report, known as a "soft pull," their credit score will not be affected.
What are the best online tenant screening services?
What do I need to complete tenant screening?
In many cases, you will only need the prospective tenant's name, email, and address. Basic packages require you to provide the tenant's full name, address, date of birth, and social security number.
Can a prospective tenant pay for the screening?
This depends on state and local laws. Most states allow landlords to charge an application fee, but some don't, some have restrictions, and some cities have their own rules. Check your local laws first.