As a landlord, you know that you want to always make the right choice when accepting an application for rent. You know that there are good tenants and bad tenants, which means that you need to figure out how to find the ones that will be great tenants for your rental. With expert tenant screening options from Rental Research Services, you can feel confident that our background checks will provide the information you need. Contact us today to learn more about Instant Inquiry, and get the detailed rental history reports you deserve.

1. Follow the Law

While it might seem obvious that you have to follow the law when selecting a tenant, there are some ways that you could easily veer into illegal territory. Make sure that you are very familiar with the Federal Fair Housing Act so that you know how you are expected to treat all tenants. Essentially, this act was created to prevent discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Families with children
  • Disability

With that being said, many states also have Fair Housing Rules, which means that you need to find out if your state has additional requirements for landlords.

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2. Check Your Tenant’s Credit Score

A tenant’s credit score is a good indicator of their financial responsibility. As a landlord, you want to make sure that they will be able to pay their rent in full and on time each month. When you order a rental history report from Rental Research Services, you will be able to see how responsible they are with paying their bills and managing other financial transactions. There are essentially two steps that provide the necessary information:

  • Verify income
  • Run a credit check


It’s important to verify a tenant’s income to ensure that they make at least three times the monthly rent. This allows you to see if they earn enough to pay their bills. You can also ask for copies of their pay stubs or call their employer directly. If you call their employer, then make sure that you also confirm the length of their employment and their attendance record.

Credit Check

A credit check will indicate whether the tenant pays their bills on time and their current income to debt ratio. While it’s important to make sure they earn three times the monthly rent, you also want to see how deeply in debt they may be. Even if their current income is sufficient to pay the rent, the amount of debt could seriously impact their ability to pay it in full each month.

3. Perform a Criminal Background Check

Since criminal information is public record, you are free to view this at your local courthouse. A criminal background check will show both minor and major offenses. Make sure that you have the tenant’s full name and date of birth as well as a valid ID. If someone with a criminal history is applying for rent, they may try to falsify their information, which is why you need to make sure to ask for identification.

At Rental Research Services, we know that you want to find the right tenant every time, which is why we offer the thorough rental history reports you need. Contact us today to learn more about our screening process, and be sure to check back for part two in this series.