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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I was hoping to start a thread about member's experiences with different tenant screening services and what they like/dislike about it.

Basically, are you faxing/calling/going online? What do you pay?

I've been looking at the standard few:
  • PVS
  • E-Renter
  • AmerUSA
On another thread, someone was lauding the benefits of resident screening services that integrate with already existing property management software, which I thought was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the few I've seen are pretty pricy...

I'm sort of starting new to property management so I thought I would ask...  thanks all.


Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #2 
There are tons of these companies.  Any internet search for tenant screening or background checks will turn up bunches.

Be careful which company you choose.  Make sure they check the courts in your area and in your county (and surrounding counties).  I took over an apartment complex here.  The former manager said they had done background checks on every tenant.  They had.  But unfortunately the company they chose to use didn't even screen courts in this area.  It screened only as far as 2 counties to the north.  (All those screenings were wasted money!!!)  So no criminal backgrounds (or evictions) from our county or the surrounding counties every showed up.  I changed companies, rescreened, and found people with 3 evictions in the units.  People with drug charges.  People who had no business being in that complex.  So ask which counties and courts they check, and what charges they report to you.  All companies do not check all areas!  Even those that claim nationwide checks.  Remember, not all courts are online yet.  None of these are checked unless they do it individually.  If they don't do it, you should.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 
We would love to hear what people have found as well. 

We are in Colorado and the companies I have seen online don't check Colorado Courts.

We need to find a company by Sunday, we have potential renters we are meeting with.

Extremely leery on selecting a company that I google search for, as well as recommendations from a user that actually works for that company.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
I would not recommend "A Tenant Screening" only because they are not available on the weekends for customer service issues.  

After jumping through hoops to become a member, the first screening went fine.

3 months later, when I go to screen 4 students and their cosigners, it arbitrarily locks me out on Sunday because I have reached the limit of how many I can screen in a 24 hr period!! So I can't screen for my 3 br place all at once? Ridiculous.  

Worse yet, I already PAID for all the screenings and I could not run them!  I had planned to sign the lease Sunday night when everyone was available. Now I don't know when I can get them all together. Thanks a lot, ATS!

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #5 
Look for companies that do national criminal record checks and do credit checks using one or more of the credit bureaus. Not only are they less likely to miss things but the hold up better in court.
__________________ Fast, Easy tenant screening. Or try our sister company

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #6 
All one want to a good tenants for their own rental property because it is most difficult time for anyone to give own property to other hand. So all property owners need to very careful when they are keeping a tenants because a a bad tenants could ruin property. If any one have some query about this then tell me, It's my pleasure to give you answer.

Whitechapel estate agents

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
 My suggestion would be to run an eviction report and a criminal background check in addition to a credit report. You DO NOT give a copy of the credit to your resident. Click here

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #8 
Another option for landlords and property managers is offered by the company I represent.  At My Screening Report there are no membership fees or contracts or other obligations needed and there is no cost to the landlord.  The applicant initiates the request and pays for it and then chooses to forward the report on to the landlord.  The side benefit for the prospective tenant is that they get to view the report before sending off to the landlord.  And, no, the reports cannot be modified by the applicant.  The landlord simply sends the applicant a referral link and the applicant takes it from there.  Clean and simple.

Here is a link to a blog article written by the president of My Screening Report that goes into more depth on the requirements of screening companies.  It was posted just today.

Skip Lahti

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #9 
Here guys  I am going to also introductiong


Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #10 
I've used Buildium and eRenter in the past. Both are good services. Can't complain.

But, I recently came across another tenant screening provider called VerticalRent. I was looking for something that offered more features like cash flow management, vacancy advertising, etc.

I did a Google search and came across VerticalRent. Looks to be a good company that is growing. Their software is easy to use and does exactly what I need it to.

Check it out:

It's free too... They charged me $4.95 for a verification fee (via Experian) to get started.... After that, I was processing tenant applications right away.... I would invite an interested tenant to join... They'd fill out an e-rental application, purchase their credit report, and then share it with me... then I could quickly turn that application into a lease agreement. Easy to do...


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #11 
I know someone mentioned them before, but E-Renter is my favorite for tenant screening.  They have all the right report packages for my needs (I usually just go Premium anyway because I like the Rent Check Advisor product they have that tells you if your tenant will likely bounce checks), but the absolute best part about them is their customer service.  They always, always answer when you call during business hours, after just a couple of rings, and they are super knowledgable.  Sometimes I call them up just to go over my report and make sure I understand what I'm seeing (sometimes criminal records can be a little confusing to me), and they are always incredibly patient and pleasant to talk to.

The problem with VerticalRent, at least my understanding of it, is that you are required to involve your applicant, and your applicant is required to pay for it.  I prefer to charge my applicants one simple screening fee that covers my admin time AND the screening, rather than charging them lots of little fees.  Somehow the psychology of that seems better to me.

Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #12 
Involving your applicant is now an FCRA requirement to my understanding, unless you go through an onsite inspection by TransUnion or Experian. I was able to pass all of the fees onto the tenant with VerticalRent. The process was simple... I received a comprehensive credit report, criminal, and eviction report at no cost... I was also able to create a lease agreement from the free rental application that was submitted. Overall, it was a good experience. I've told several other landlords about the product and they are also giving rave reviews.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #13 
As a landlord with only a few properties I had been looking for an easy to use tenant screening service. I did not want to deal with the hassle of having to get authorized to receive full credit reports with credit scores. In my opinion, a credit range is enough and for that you do not have to go through an official authorization process. I heard about this relatively new tenant screening service This is an affordable online screening service that does not require authorization as a landlord as it provides you with a credit range and not a credit score. Best of all there are no upfront costs, different packages to choose from (including national criminal and national eviction) and you can have the tenant pay for the screening directly if you choose so. The report was delivered quickly into my inbox, was easy to read and gave me all the information that I needed. I have used it several times and this service has saved me lots of time and money. I would recommend this service to anyone! Check it out

Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #14 
There are millions of tenant screening companies out there. The hardest part is finding a good one that fits your needs and that you feel comfortable with. For me that is I have been using them for quite a while now and have yet to encounter any issues. I also like the fact that they offer "stand alone" options for most of their reports. This way, if I only need say a criminal report, I won't have to purchase an entire package full of reports that I'm not interested in.

I also like to meet the potential tenants personally, if I can, before making my decision. This way I can get my own personal read and combine that with my reports that I run. There are just somethings that a report cannot tell me and also things that I won't be able to tell without my reports.

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #15 
I have used a few different tenant screening services and found that Houserie was the best. The report came back quickly and had everything I needed to know. I had a few questions before I ran the report so I called them and got a live person on the phone. Great customer service. I will be using them in the future.
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