By Dan Faller Tenant Screening 4 Less President/Founder
You can discover how to avoid costly mistakes when screening your prospective tenants. Read on to discover the secret I recently uncovered while doing a special study to find the best source of tenant screening information.
The Tenant Screening 4 Less Study
It started when we decided to make certain that we were still using the best source for the tenant screening information we provide landlords. No one had ever done the size and scope of this study before. We know this for a fact as some of the source companies told us that they had never provided the scope of information for which we were asking.
As a result of this study, Tenant Screening 4 Less provides a service, that we believe no other tenant screening service has ever considered. Others will follow our lead however; it will take some time and a lot of effort on their part.
Here’s what we did…a study was made of the six major sources for information on evictions. Then we ran at least 1,000 different prospective tenant names, so that the research would be statistically accurate.
The goal was to find the percentage of “hits” each source could produce. A “hit” is when you discover that a prospective tenant has been evicted. To our surprise, in addition to identifying the best source, we made a major unexpected discovery!
The Big Money-Saving Discovery!
You would assume that all sources are the same. WRONG! They all tell us that they send messengers to the courts and gather information for their files. So, the logic went: “how could there be any difference?” But, one prominent eviction attorney estimated that when you run eviction searches, your source will only uncover about 60% of the actual cases. Our study proves that he was close to being right and that there can be a difference of over 100% between companies that are considered the biggest and/or best in the industry. In other words, you could have been missing over a half of all eviction cases! Every file we tested missed some of the “hits” or evictions that other reporting companies had recorded! Evicted tenants were slipping through the cracks. You were being tricked when these prospective tenants stated on their application that they had never been evicted. Can you blame them – they could have had a better than 50% chance of not being found out!!
In examining the various reports, it was discovered that the tenants missed by one company would many times show up on a report from another company and vice versa. The data gatherers were not all equal! I’ll explain in a minute how to use this discovery to improve the accuracy of the information for which you pay good money. We were flabbergasted with the huge gaps that existed in the number of “hits”!
Credit Headers Work for You
Something else you might find interesting and imperative is a credit header, which is a computer program the eviction companies and Tenant Screening 4 Less use to extract the most accurate information from the data. They start with raw data and then “search” for the exact match for the tenant that you are screening. They can also show the names of “possible” matches as there are many people with the same name. There is usually no social security number on eviction reports like you have with your credit report. However, one of the companies that Tenant Screening 4 Less is now using attempts to match as many social security numbers as possible by using a huge database of additional information.
If you do see a social security number on your Tenant Screening 4 Less Eviction Report, great, just know it isn’t normal and most other tenant screening companies do not provide this information.
Some of these credit headers will use the information on the credit reports to increase the accuracy and number of address matches. Now you can understand why it’s better to order the credit and eviction reports together. It produces a distinct improvement in helping you screen your potential tenant.
Evictions on Credit Reports?
You can also increase your number of hits from the tenants’ credit report as a small number of “evictions”, or judgments awarded are recorded on some credit reports.
Are You Using a False Report?
We found a law firm that was selling credit and “eviction reports” to unsuspecting apartment owners. They claimed that the credit report was also an eviction report. No additional eviction file was even being used! Don’t be fooled by this type of sales information. In a situation like this, you are probably missing over 90% of the actual cases that have been filed. I obtained the information from the person who said he was in charge of the reports and he did not even know what he was doing wrong. They were not requiring inspections or obtaining the compliance papers that the credit companies require. The owner of the firm did not return my calls!
WARNING: Do not do business with associations or companies who do not require inspections or other compliance information when you obtain an actual credit report that comes directly to you. They cannot be trusted! Also, do not allow the tenant to show you a copy of his or her credit report that may be altered unless you double-check them by also obtaining a report from the same provider. There is a legitimate way for the tenant to order his credit report and have it sent to you directly without the usual inspection and compliance requirements.
One eviction recording company owner even stated that “if a file is incomplete or not even pulled, apartment owners will never know”. It seems that he was absolutely right, but now you and I are some of the few who are in the know.
Be sure to obtain your tenant screening reports from Tenant Screening 4 Less by calling (888) 802-7020 or you can access the service here, online 24/7.
You Can Use The Unique Tenant Screening 4 Less Solution
In doing the study, we combined two eviction reporting companies and presto, the result is a much higher “hit ratio” and we are not missing as many of the cases that were slipping through the cracks. It seems so simple that you probably wonder why no one ever thought of doing this before. Many owners will obtain two credit reports to ensure that they get as much information as possible, but they have never considered that it is even more important to obtain two eviction reports. Sooooo ... when you order your “Tenant Screening 4 Less eviction report”, the information will be coming from two different and distinct files. It costs you no more than what you normally pay for one report! You will be receiving an eviction report that is taken and put together from two different companies. An industry first! I can guarantee you, that as I write this, the Tenant Screening 4 Less National Eviction Report is the best and most thoroughly tested report currently available to you. Don’t settle for less, demand the best.
One more item that is often overlooked: are you obtaining a “National”, “Regional” or just a “State-Wide” eviction report? Your tenant may not report that they once lived out of state and as a result, they slide by again and you could pay the price of another eviction! Some reporting companies may only be doing a “State-Wide” or “Regional” search since they can save themselves a lot of money. You get two National Eviction reports for the price of one at Tenant Screening 4 Less! Your credit reports are “National”. Why shouldn’t the same standard apply to your Eviction Reports? Call your management company or the source that you use and demand that they obtain the most thorough tenant screening information. Get the National credit and eviction reports from here on out! Don’t be misled with a cheap “Regional” report.
Does all this “guarantee” that you will never rent to a bad tenant again? No, but you will sure come a whole lot closer to that goal as a result of using this new Tenant Screening 4 Less National Eviction Report! Please know that even with all the work and research, some evictions will still be missing, and you’ll also need to confirm that the name matches.
Are You Getting Complete Credit Information?
Are you obtaining only one credit report? We’re going to make it easy for you to do the best tenant screening job by using two reports, but first let me tell you a true story:
Just recently a landlord obtained two credit reports. TransUnion showed two recent lines of credit and no FICO score – as a result he got an “F” rating. Experian reported six lines of credit with a FICO score of 730, which gave the applicant an “A” rating. This owner accepted an “A” rated tenant that you or I may have turned down if we had obtained only one report!
What made a difference is that the companies the applicant was doing business with were reporting to Experian – it could have just as easily been the other way around. Both Experian and Trans Union are excellent reporting companies. Combine the two along with two evictions reports and you’ll have one of the best screening tools on the market! Giving you a much better chance of finding the right tenant.
You are already receiving two eviction reports for the price of one and to really be safe you also need to obtain two credit reports. They will each usually have all the necessary information BUT sometimes you’ll discover a difference that will make a big difference on your time and profits. You’ll need a yearly inspection, folks, but it could very easily be worth it to get the right tenant!
Why Pull a Criminal Report?
Let’s suppose that you rent Apt. #3 to a Mr. Brown. Six months later Mr. Brown breaks into Apt. #6 and steals a valuable coin collection, or worse yet, he rapes the tenant who happened to be sleeping at the time of the break-in.
The police arrest Mr. Brown, but the tenant comes to you and wants to know why you rented to Mr. Brown. Did you run a criminal report on him? If you answer, “no”, the tenant may sue you for not using “due diligence” in protecting the tenants in your building. “This guy has spent half of his life in prison. He was dangerous and you should have known it!”
If you screened him for past criminal activity, your tenant will have a hard time blaming you.
Let’s face it – no state has enough money to keep all the criminals locked up. I predict that there will be a big increase in applications from criminals. I don’t believe that most renters or owners want these criminals living next door!
Your solution: order a Tenant Screening 4 Less “4-Star Tenant Screening” for only $24.95. It includes a Nationwide Criminal Search and you’ll be able to say that you did indeed properly screen your tenants – no matter what they might do in the future. (You can add a second credit report for an additional $5.)
An even safer solution is to obtain a “courthouse search”, where a reporter goes to the court where the tenant has lived and obtains a current report that may not have yet been entered into the national database.
All I Can Say Is “WOW”!
Isn’t it great that you can run your credit and eviction reports with a company that has over 30 years-experience and does so much to help you make and keep more of your money than ever before? A company that is dedicated to making your business of providing housing more profitable, easier and more enjoyable?
It can be very unpleasant and costly to have the wrong tenant move into your building, especially when it is so easy to avoid. Tenant Screening 4 Less is definitely here to assist you in becoming as successful as possible in all that you do. This unique Tenant Screening 4 Less tenant screening method is just one small way that we serve you better. You can get all this up-to-date screening information at the same low cost! Just check out our prices by clicking here.
You Can Get Two For The Price Of One
The Tenant Screening 4 Less national eviction research really is a “WOW” and the first for the rental industry. And just think, it costs only $14.95 now for two legitimate eviction reports, the Tenant Qualifier Score and a credit report from either Experian or Trans Union. Also included is a search of: 1) the most wanted criminals, 2) National Sex Offender, 3) the terrorist list and 4) the OFAC/Patriot Act, which also lists narcotic traffickers and money launderers. You can add the second credit report for only $5 additional. This report will really help you find the right tenant.
You will probably agree that any owner who is aware of this information is “almost crazy” or just asking for trouble as they risk wasting a lot of time and money by not using this “unique and enhanced Tenant Screening 4 Less Eviction Report”!! Order the "4-Star Report" and you will also get the National Criminal Report. You can request your reports online 24/7. Click here to get started.
In order to properly screen your tenants, it is recommended that you always pull at least a Tenant Screening 4 Less "4-Star Tenant Screening Report" on every serious applicant. If you want to be even more certain that you find the right tenant, consider a second credit report or the totally thorough "5-Star Screening Report!"
Thank you for giving all of the Tenant Screening 4 Less staff another opportunity to serve you with “the best of the best” in tenant screening services since 1982. If there is any other way that we can help you make your job of providing housing more profitable, easier and more enjoyable, please call us right away.