8 Best Background Check And Tenant Screening Services

The best tenant screening services allow you to gather the information you need to make an informed decision and select the best tenant fast.

Having an efficient tenant selection process is essential for landlords if you want to keep costly vacancies to a minimum. However, you can’t just select the first tenant that comes your way. You need to ensure that the tenant can pay the rent on time and in full every single month. And ideally, you’ll assess their likelihood to also look after your property during their tenancy period.

Employing quality tenant screening services as part of your tenant selection process will help you streamline your selection process and help you mitigate the risk of bad tenants. These tenant verification services will include a tenant background check and credit check and give you key information on the tenant’s financial stability, income, and rental history.

Having this data alongside clearly predefined tenant criteria will enable you to select the best tenant applicant fast. In this article, we explore 8 of the best tenant screening services and software on the market.

Best all-around tenant screening and property management

1. Landlord Studio

Landlord studio dashboard

If you want to keep track of all pieces of the property management puzzle, consider starting with Landlord Studio. The one-time fee, allows you to request a bundled tenant screening report.

The TransUnion SmartMove report includes an applicant’s credit score, open tradelines, overdue debts, hard inquiries, and any amounts in collections (if any). It also includes an eviction report with information on any previous evictions, from when it occurred to judgment information.

The real benefit of Landlord Studio though isn’t just the report. It’s the way we allow you to streamline and centralize the whole tenant application process. Easily create a free rental listings website, and use it to collect tenant applications. Our built-in prescreening questionnaire will allow you to quickly filter out unqualified tenants. Then with a tap of a button, you can get a comprehensive tenant screening report to make the final decision.

Reports take as little as 30 minutes to appear in the system (this depends on the tenant filling out the report request as soon as they get it) and cost $38. Depending on your preference, you or the applicant can cover the application fee.

Landlord Studio allows you to do more than just get a tenant screening report though. Collect rent online, track income and expenses, manage property maintenance and prepare for tax time.

More tenant screening services

2. RentPrep

RentPrep is a leading supplier of tenant screening reports. You can purchase a comprehensive one off report for $38. No subscription is required. Their reports are the same as those built into Landlord Studio and include a full SmartMove Credit Report package with a ResidentScore based on their previous renting behavior, and a rental background check.

3. National Tenant Network

The National Tenant network is a little more a la carte as a service and so if you know exactly what information you are looking for you can tailor the report you get this information.

They have a wide selection of reporting options, including some report elements not offered by other services, like Business Credit Analysis and Retail Credit Analysis.

You can get one-off reports for $35. They also off a membership subscription which gives you access to additional screening resources and tenant management tools.

4. E Renter

E Renter is a tenant screening service designed to help you get quality reports fast. They have several different report packages available with their basic report starting at $21.95 (plus a $2.49 fee to be paid by the tenant), and their ultimate report coming in at $36.95 (plus $2.49). Their ultimate report includes key information including, Identity Verification, Background Check, Credit Check, Name History, Address History and more.

5. Tenant Background Search

Reports from tenant Background Search range from $19.95 to $39.95. Their more expensive reports include most of the same details as other services. They have a simple online portal that you can order one-off reports from as you need them.

6. MyRental

With MyRental you can purchase the Basic package for $24.99/per applicant, the Premium package for $34.99/per applicant, or purchase reports individually for a one-time fee.

The Basic package does not include a credit report. The site also shows how that applicant’s score compares to other tenants in the area so you can easily compare your applicants and ensure you select the best.

Note: the landlords submit applicant info and pay for the basic package. The premium report asks applicants to submit details themselves, and the landlord can choose who pays.

7. SmartMove (via TransUnion)

You’ll have noticed the TransUnion SmartMove report makes up the central element of reports offered by Landlord Studio and RentPrep (though these reports also independently validate the report using unique data sets).

TransUnion SmartMove emphasizes getting an accurate understanding of your applicant’s financial picture — including analysis to determine whether their self-reported income is accurate or if you should collect more information. Their packages range from $24.99/per applicant to $41.00/per applicant, depending on the information you request from a prospective tenant.

8. Zillow Rental Manager

With Zillow Rental Manager, you can manage your rentals and easily screen prospective tenants. You can request an applicant’s renter information, a credit check, background check, eviction history, and income verification for $29/per applicant. The information is available for 30 days to give you sufficient time to review their application.

Final Words

The best tenant screening services allow you to gather all of the information and data you need to make an informed decision. Setting predetermined minimum criteria for your prospective renters will make it easier for you to judge applicants on allowable factors, like credit score and rental history. For example, your criteria might include the following:

  • Credit score requirement: 650+
  • No previous evictions on record.
  • Monthly income of 3x the rent.
  • No felonies.

Bear in mind that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the purchase, sale, rental, or financing of housing – private or public – based on race, skin color, sex, nationality, or religion. Be strict, and apply your criteria fairly to every single applicant.

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