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Sam

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Posts: 563
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm having trouble finding a good site for background & criminal checks.  Everyone I have come across has their hand out for $$.  Is there a central free database I'm missing?

Thanks!!
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,753
Reply with quote  #2 

I run criminal checks myself by checking zabasearch to find all of the applicant's addresses.  Then I search the city and county court's websites for common pleas, municipal, and housing courts to find cases against them.  I search by name and DOB (in case they were arrested under another name).  You can also check  criminalsearches dot com and the state sexual offender sites.

zkivanova

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 
Few years ago I ran a free criminal background check on a tenant and it was all clear. I gave out my apartment and in less than 3 months it was raided by the police. Later on I found out that the guy was a drug dealer and he did 15 years in prison for robbery and drug dealing (and NOTHING on the free background check). I had to deal with neighbors, police, court and etc. just because I wanted to safe some money.
I learned my lesson the hard way and from that day I started using background-intel.com for criminal background checks as I believe they are the best in the field. Don't get cheap when it comes to people`s safety.
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,753
Reply with quote  #4 
I looked at that background-intel's site.  There is nothing on the site to say WHAT they check.  No lists of court sites, states, nothing that I could find.  And a single check is $75!!!How do you know if they check your courts, your area, and what if your area isn't online or costs to get it from the court?  Hmmm...

I prefer to do my own background check.  But they are only as good as they person doing the checking.  (The same as "professional" background sites are only as good as the court sites they check.)  You need to dig to find all the places that the person lived so you can get a good background check.  Start with your local courts (and look at the details of each citation to see where they reported living).  Check with landlords at those addresses to see where they came from or when to before and after they lived at that address.  Check sites like zabasearch and others that will give you previous addresses.

Check the courts for each of those areas.  Yes, it takes some work to do it on your own.  But if you want to use a website to do it for you, call and ask what areas they check BEFORE you sign up and pay.  I've found more than one "nationwide" site that doesn't even check my area.
LLinVA

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Posts: 287
Reply with quote  #5 
We have had great success with TenantBackgroundSearch.com, it's only $30 for national checks, plus credit and some other things.
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