Miami Financial and Criminal Background Check

For every new renter, carrying out a tenant background check is a vital process for any landlord with a valuable property. As an appreciable asset, it is important that the new renter can maintain the property. The assessment of a background check needs to be done against the fair housing guidelines to avoid any problem.

A tenant background check encompasses the following which you need to understand:

·        A clear understanding of the basic aspects of a tenant background check.

·        Complete tenant screening inclusive of a financial screening and references

·        Any form of liability which is closely related to the tenant background check.

·        Include financial screening and references in your complete tenant screening.

·        When performing your screening, ensure that it is in line with the Fair Housing Act guidelines.  

It is easy to isolate a tenant that may cause problems through a comprehensive tenant screening.

The basics of Criminal background checks

Requesting for a criminal background check from your prospective tenant is your right as a landlord. This is if you have a written consent from the tenant. Include both federal and state inquiries when designing a consent form. In assessing the history of an applicant, information from the state and federal jurisdictions yields more positive results.

Financial background checks

Separating a problematic potential tenant is possible with a criminal background check but a financial background check will give the necessary insight into the credit history of a potential tenant. There is no point if your potential tenant is unable to pay the rent on the property. A consent form is also necessary in order to legally look into the financial history of the potential tenant. In certain jurisdictions, “source of income” is protected. This means during an assessment, you are unable to use the source of income.

Areas which you should look out for during assessment of the financial history include liens, late payments, excessive debts, judgment entries, and accounts which have been closed involuntarily. The most recent of these various aspects is the most significant.

Check for references

References can be very helpful in assessing an applicant. As soon as an applicant provides the contact information, it is a form of consent for you to reach out. You can request for references from past landlords. Ensure that every question you ask about the applicant is only about their capabilities as reliable renters.

Understand everything about the Fair Housing Act

When screening and selecting a new tenant, HUD has a set of guidelines which function along with the Fair Housing Act to ensure that there is no discrimination. This means that you should carry out the same checks on all applicants. Interacting with the applicants and the references should also follow a script to ensure that it is standardized.

Always keep in mind that:

·        The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, or color. Therefore, avoid requesting information of such nature.

·        A history of alcohol or drug abuse should not be used as a basis for discrimination if an applicant is undergoing rehab or in recovery.

A lot of states do not require a landlord to give a reason when denying an applicant. Nonetheless, it is still possible for unlawful discrimination to be uncovered and the necessary actions taken against such landlord.


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