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A Guide to Red Flags to Look for on a Tenant Criminal Background Check

A Guide to Red Flags to Look for on a Tenant Criminal Background Check

Over 80 million American adults, or one in every three, have a criminal record. The US also has the highest incarceration rate at 505 per 100,000 people.

A record shouldn't immediately become a red flag when looking for a new tenant. It's actually against the law to judge all applicants with a criminal record the same way.

That doesn't make criminal background checks any less important. They help you spot warning signs and protect you and your tenants.

Read on to learn about red flags to look for during a tenant criminal background check.

Identity Discrepancies

False identity information is always a red flag in any type of background check. It sets off your relationship with them on a lie, which is never healthy.

It's even more important in a tenant criminal background check. Falsifying their information may indicate that they' don't want to admit who they are because they're "on the lam." They're trying to make sure no one finds out about their crime, including you.

Serious Types of Crimes

Always look at the type of crimes committed when choosing tenants. Consider whether they affect the safety of your property and other tenants.

Was it a violent crime that could raise safety concerns for your other tenants? Was it a property crime that could put your investment at risk? Are they on the sex offender registry?

There's also the level of the crime itself to consider. A felony conviction is more of a risk than a misdemeanor sentence.

Recent and Frequent Crimes

Look at the date of each item on the tenant's criminal record. How recent was the conviction? The more recent it was, the more weight it should have on your decision.

A tenant who committed their crime years ago has had more time to come around to a more honest life. If it's recent, there's not enough time to prove they won't do it again.

The frequency of their crimes is also important. A record showing that they're a frequent offender is a red flag.

Trying to Skip the Tenant Criminal Background Screening Check

Tenant screening is all about protecting your investment. Most potential applicants will understand that and comply with the process.

If they refuse, treat them like you're a TSA employee at the airport and they won't go through the metal detector. The only reason for them to do that is that they have something to hide. Decline their request and insist on going through the normal screening process.

Finding Great Tenants Requires More Than Screening

A tenant criminal background check is about more than finding a record. It's about spotting red flags such as identity discrepancies, dangerous and recent crimes, or refusing to work with the process. Knowing about them protects your investment and your other tenants.

Wave Property Management was founded on the idea that effective management requires trust. We start by understanding your investment goals and using fair, consistent management to help you achieve them. Contact us today to begin your investment journey or expand your portfolio.