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The Advantages of Carrying Out a Tenant Criminal Background Check?

HomeRiver Group Memphis - Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Property Management Blog

More than 44 million American households are renters. There are many reasons why Americans choose to rent, including fewer maintenance costs, no real estate taxes, and flexibility. 

But, regardless of the reason why someone rents, landlords should always perform a tenant criminal background check before signing a lease. A tenant background check provides several benefits for landlords and property management companies. 

So let's dive into some of these tenant criminal background check advantages.  

Safety Measure

Choosing tenants is similar to choosing people to be in a community. It's the landlords' responsibility to select tenants who won't put others in the building at risk.

But, landlords must never forget the rules of the Fair Housing Act. They cannot deny an applicant based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Familial status
  • National origin

Running background checks on all applicants can actually reduce discrimination problems. 

Additionally, having a criminal history alone is not a legally valid reason to deny a tenant. However, if a landlord can prove their decision to deny someone with a criminal record is to preserve the safety of the property and community, they can refuse them.

Landlords must show reasonable risk from their screening process. If they don't apply the same screening process to all applicants, they won't be able to deny the applicant just based on their criminal history.

Thus, tenant criminal background checks help bolster the routine screening process. Additionally, they can help landlords assess each applicant on a case-by-case basis. 

Liability Protection

Running a criminal background check on prospective tenants can protect landlords against the future actions of those tenants. Landlords and property management companies are responsible for what takes place on their premises.

This includes criminal activities. Not running a background check could mean being liable and sued for negligence if something happens.

If landlords know someone has a criminal history, they can take out additional insurance or add extra stipulations to the lease for the tenant to follow. Being proactive can help reduce risk while allowing those with a criminal history to sign a lease. 

Reduce Turnover

A reduced tenant turnover rate is of the best tenant criminal background check benefits. When background checks are part of the screening process, applicants know the landlord or property management company is legit and serious.

This will attract tenants who meet the criteria. In addition, if tenants feel safe, they are more likely to resign their lease and stay long-term. This saves landlords and tenants time and money. 

Make a Tenant Criminal Background Check Part of the Screening Process

Running a tenant criminal background check on each applicant offers several advantages for landlords, property management companies, and tenants. In many places, it's a standard part of the tenant screening process.

If you're looking to rent or lease out a property in Memphis, give us a call at Home River Group. We are the leading property management company in the area, offering exceptional service to our clients.