The RSI blog was created as a convenient way to share information and ideas that pertain to the multifamily housing industry and discuss employment screening best practices. As a full-service background screening company, Rental Services, Inc. knows the information we provide is key in your success, that’s why No One Checks Them Closer!
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SCREENING COMPANY….
As with most things, there are many options available when
it comes to screening possible tenants. Today landlords have even more options then
ever before and the results and effort required can range greatly from a good
ol’ gut check to having tenants supply their own credit reports or digging a
little deeper and having a screening company verify application information.
You may feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to get the best information for the least amount of money.
Having been in the industry for 29 years, RSI employees have
seen it all. We have heard countless horror stories about how massively other
screening measures have failed a given landlord. And while we always say “go
with your gut” the advice is constantly balanced with the addendum “be sure to check
Here is a step by step guide to accomplishing exactly that:
1.)Do not put
all the power in the tenant’s hands!
Many new screening companies offer
tenant driven background screening. The setup process is less ominous, however,
as a landlord you are completely dependant on the applicant submitting their
request for information. You do not want to miss out on other potential renters
while waiting for an applicant to move forward on a background check.
your reports are accurate.
Online screening companies that are
not able to provide manual interpretation are going to result in screening
reports with the most inaccuracies. To clarify this point, imagine this
scenario: Your applicant’s name is John Smith. There are thousands of John
Smiths with the same birthday as your applicant. When you submit a request for
a background check on John Smith the computer pulls information from a database
which includes reports for any John Smith with that birthday. The computer is
not able to weed out the information that does not apply to your John Smith. A screening company
with a trained investigative staff is
able to pull through those records and report only the applicable
information…and that is exactly what you want.
There are four
major musts every screening report should include:
Security verification insures that your applicant is actually who they
claim to be. Make sure that you are also checking valid photo identification
and that the information on your tenant’s application matches the
identification provided (name, birthday, and address if applicable). Criminal Record searches (including sex
offender records) can be either state specific or nation-wide. Make sure you
get information about limitations in the nation-wide database for your
particular state. Colorado
records, for example, are more accurate through the state specific database. A
nation-wide criminal search would not provide complete records for Colorado residents—don’t
waste your time or money with weak searches! Eviction Record searches are very important for one basic reason:
If a possible tenant has had one eviction, they are more likely to have
another. The eviction process is the worst case scenario for a landlord; taxing
to your finances, time and property. Always avoid renting to a previously
evicted tenant. Finally, be sure to include credit information in your
screening. A Credit Report will paint
a complete picture about an applicant’s ability to pay rent and their history for
paying on time. Additionally, we
recommend that you (or your screening company if they have the capacity and
training to do so) always make reference phone calls to verify employment and
rental history with previous landlords.
Should you have a question about
report results or an issue during the screening process, you will want to be
able to reach a resolution quickly and with positive results. Hire a screening
company with a good customer service record and well trained personnel who are
easily reachable at a moments notice.
By choosing the right screening company, and screening for
accurate and useful information, you can be confident that you are welcoming
the best possible resident into your rental property.
If you own rental property in the state of Colorado you need to make sure you’re aware of the new warrant of habitability statute that was past in 2008. As the end of 2009 approaches I still talk with property owners that are not aware of this rule. A complete copy of the House Bill is listed below for your review.
HOUSE BILL 08-1356
SECTION 1. 13-40-111 (1), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
13-40-111. Issuance and return of summons. (1) Upon filing the complaint as provided in section 13-40-110, the clerk of the court or the attorney for the plaintiff shall issue a summons. The summons shall command the defendant to appear before the court at a place named in such summons and at a time and on a day which shall be not less than five business days nor more than ten calendar days from the day of issuing the same to answer the complaint of plaintiff. The summons shall also contain a statement addressed to the defendant stating: "If you fail to file with the cour…
Back in March of 2015 Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
launched a website, http://NationalConsumerAssistancePlan.com.
This website was setup to inform consumers about the implementation of the National
Consumer Assistance Plan. This mission of the NCAP was to make credit reports
more accurate and easier for consumers to correct mistakes found on their
credit report. This sounds great, but it has had a negative impact on property owners
conducting background checks.
On July 1, 2017, Equifax,
Experian and TransUnion began to exclude most public tax
lien and all civil judgment information that didn’t meet the new NCAP
standards. The new standard requires each credit bureau to remove records that did
not include a person’s name, address and either a Social Security number or
date of birth. It also requires Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to verify
public record information by visiting court houses every 90 days. When you
remove tax lien and civil judgment information from a consumer c…
Rental Services, Inc. is proud to announce that we’ve
entered into a strategic partnership with a leading property management
software company. This partnership allows RSI to offer cloud-based
property management software to each of our clients.
RSI Property Management Software provides solutions to various
aspects of property management.
When using the RSI Property Management Software, all monthly
charges and late fees are automatically billed to the tenant. There is no need
for Manager involvement or potential for human error on recurring charges. RSI
Property Management Software ensures that your tenants are being billed
accurately. Tenants are automatically billed based on your customized rules
ensuring late fees are applied.
Post vacancies to popular website like Apartments.com,
Apartment Finders, Apartment Living, Rent Jungle and Oodle.
Track work orders and maintenance requests online from the web-based
Let Tenants pay rent online using their smart phones or