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Evaluating Tenant Screening Reports
Thursday, Sep 3, 2020 @ 03:48 PM

Find out what types of screening reports are available -- and what you should be looking for -- as you look for your new tenant.


“Tenant screening” or “tenant screening reports” are phrases that tend to be used interchangeably to describe a wide variety of reports and processes, from the minimal to the in-depth. If you are looking for a reliable tenant screening service, you’ll need to understand what they consider important, who they are going to for their information, and how thorough their coverage is. After all, it doesn’t help you to know that your potential renter has no evictions in your state if he or she has multiple evictions in a neighboring state.


We looked at a variety of companies in order to give you a sense of how their services compare to the Rentspree tenant screening report process. That’s how confident we are that we offer the best screening reports for you, no matter where you are.


Cozy.co Tenant Screening Reports

Cozy.co offers Experian credit reports and background checks from Checkr. These cover national and county records for criminal, eviction, and sex offender histories. Cozy.co does not call references, however, they do provide a place for brief testimonials from references via email. Cozy.co requires a one-day turnaround in order to return your screening report, the longest in our survey.


Experian Connect Tenant Screening Reports

Experian Connect provides credit rating and credit score; names, addresses, and employer records; credit accounts; public records, including evictions, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and liens; and credit report inquiries for the previous 24 months. They offer very few services in addition to the reports themselves, however.


RentPrep Tenant Screening Reports

RentPrep offers a similar report at a price that is more than double Experian Connect. As an alternative, RentPrep offers a lower-priced product package that provides very little information. They do not gather supplemental documents and charge an additional fee for reference checks. Their online rental application is a pdf, making it difficult to complete and submit. RentPrep’s pricing model relies heavily on add-ons, making the applicant’s potential out-of-pocket expenses much higher than they first appear.


CoreLogic MyRental Tenant Screening Reports

CoreLogic offers a variety of pricing options, but for a thorough screening report the applicant would have to purchase the premium package. The base package offers minimal information at best, and includes almost no financial information. In addition, CoreLogic provides no reference checking capabilities.


American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) Tenant Screening Reports

AAOA is among the most expensive screening report providers in the market and does not provide additional services like reference checking and supplemental document gathering within their screening packages. In addition, their tenant-pay option is only available in their higher-priced tiers. Instead of a real estate-related ResidentScore, they use a general FICO score.


The RentSpree Difference

RentSpree is the only provider with a complete soup-to-nuts model that encompasses every aspect of the application and screening evaluation process. From initial application, through a thorough and multi-faceted screening report, all the way to document gathering and storage and reference checking, RentSpree offers a total screening solution for landlords and property managers.


Red Flags to Look for When Reviewing Screening Reports

A well-crafted tenant screening process provides a lot of information to help you evaluate the desirability of your hopeful applicant. However, with all of that information comes the problem of determining what to look for and what is truly important.


Here are some red flags to look for as you review your screening reports. Don’t forget: You are required by Fair Housing Law to apply the same screening criteria to all of your applicants. If something is important for one potential renter, it’s important for all of them -- and vice versa.


Missing information or blank spots in history

If you notice that the information provided was not complete or that there is a span of time missing, ask the applicant to correct and resubmit a completed application. If they are resistant or refuse to do so, this should disqualify them.


Leaving at or before the end of every lease

Ideally, it would be wonderful to have a renter who stays for several years, providing stability and saving you time and money on turnover. If your applicant seems to have moved frequently, ask why -- and ask the previous landlord if the tenant was asked to renew.


Job Hopping

Frequent moves from one job to another may indicate financial instability. Ask about these and check references for the applicant’s current job very carefully.


Criminal Convictions

All criminal convictions should not be weighed equally. Non-violent crimes and those that occurred in the distant past may not be relevant to the applicant’s current fitness. In addition, remember that only convictions count -- you cannot refuse an applicant for an arrest if it did not lead to a conviction.


Additional Residents

All residents of the home should provide an application and the information needed for a background check. Ensure that you have applications and screening reports for everyone who will be living in the rental property -- spouses, significant others, roommates, and adult children.


RentSpree offers a streamlined application process that helps you gather the information you need, submit it, and evaluate it faster than you ever thought possible. In addition, RentSpree can check references and gather and store supporting documents, ensuring that you are in compliance with laws and regulations regarding the use and storage of financial information.


Ready to get started? Find out why so many state and national real estate organizations trust RentSpree for the most thorough tenant screening reports and processing.




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