9 Best Background Check And Tenant Screening Services

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

Using the best tenant screening services as part of your tenant selection process help you streamline your selection process and 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.

Pairing this data with predefined tenant criteria will mean you can make an informed decision, and select the best possible tenant, whilst remaining compliant with strict housing laws. 

In this article, we explore 9 of the best tenant screening services for getting a comprehensive renter background check and credit check, and how to use these reports efficiently.

What To Consider When Evaluating Tenant Screening Services

Choosing a tenant background check and screening service goes beyond merely opting for the one with the most features. It involves selecting a service that furnishes accurate and detailed information, so you can make well-informed decisions about potential tenants.

When exploring various tenant screening services, here are some key elements the reports should include:

Tenant Credit Reports

By reviewing an individual's credit history, landlords gain valuable insights into their income stability and payment track record. For instance, applicants boasting a credit score of 740 or higher typically demonstrate stronger financial security compared to those with scores below 600. Moreover, scrutinizing payment history allows landlords to gauge an applicant's likelihood of consistently paying rent on time each month.

Learn Tenant Credit Check: How To Read & Understand The Report

Renter Background Checks

Renter background checks as part of a tenant screening report are designed to unveil any criminal history, empowering landlords to make informed decisions regarding potential tenants. Through these reports, landlords can identify individuals with a track record of property damage, and mitigate financial risks.

It's crucial to note that there are circumstances where landlords may not automatically dismiss an applicant based on their criminal records. For instance, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits housing providers from implementing blanket bans on renting to individuals with criminal records, particularly in cases where certain types of criminal history may not be relevant to the tenancy.

Tenant Rental History

An applicant's rental history can be used as an indicator of future behaviour. Landlords can assess their reliability and address any legitimate concerns regarding their conduct as tenants. For example, if a tenant has a history of not paying rent, or several evictions in their history you would deem them higher risk.

It's important to ensure that any information provided in an eviction report complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to be considered valid when evaluating rental applicants.

Learn How To Understand A Tenant's Rental History Report

Other Factors To Consider When Running A Renter Background Check

A comprehensive tenant background check includes all of the details listed above and can help unveil crucial information about a tenant's past behavior, serving as an indicator of potential future conduct. 

However, selecting the right tenant screening service is only the first step. Alongside the report, landlords should double-check information and even request additional information like proof of income.

What To Consider When Selecting The Best Tenant Screening Service


  • While the cost of the service is significant, it's not the sole consideration. Ensure that the price aligns with your budget and the set of features offered, considering the potential costs of dealing with a bad tenant in the future.

Data Security

  • Given the sensitivity of the information involved, the chosen service should prioritize data security and have measures in place to avoid unnecessary exposure of sensitive information.

Report Delivery

  • Consider the speed and format in which the service delivers information. Swift delivery can expedite your response to prospects and help fill vacancies faster. Additionally, easy-to-read reports can simplify the decision-making process.

Additional Report Verification 

Income Verification

  • Getting proof of tenant income to ensure they can easily cover the rent costs is essential. Typically, the rule is that monthly rent should not exceed one-third of a tenant's income.

Rental and Eviction History

  • Information on a tenant's rental and eviction history can reveal their reliability in paying rent and respecting property. Instances of evictions or late rent payments can serve as red flags.

Employer Verification

  • Confirming a tenant's employment status adds an extra layer of security to your decision-making process and provides peace of mind when proceeding to a signed lease.

Best Tenant Background Check And Screening Services For Landlords

Although many of the tenant screening services listed here offer comparable basic screening reports, some distinguish themselves by providing greater flexibility in cost, powerful additional tools like rental listings, rent collection, rental accounting, and enhanced security compared to others. 

Below we break down 9 of the best tenant screening and background check services for landlords.

1. Landlord Studio

Landlord Studio offers a range of property management features including a comprehensive tenant screening report which contains everything you need to make an informed decision.

The tenant screening report includes an applicant’s credit score, rental history, background check, 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 they occurred to judgment information.

Reports take as little as 30 minutes to appear in the system (this depends on the tenant filling out the application as soon as they get it) and cost as little as $40. Depending on your preference, you or the applicant can cover the application fee.

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.

  1. Create a free rental listing on Landlord Studio. 
  2. Syndicate your listing across multiple listing sites, including Zillow, Trulia, and Zumper with a single click.
  3. Collect, pre-screen, and manage dozens of leads in a centralized platform.
  4. With the tap of a button get a comprehensive tenant screening report to make the final decision.
  5. Select the best tenant and email them the lease agreement for them to sign. You can store the signed agreement in Landlord Studio for easy access later.
  6. Enter the lease details into the app, and set up online rent collection. Tenants that pay rent online via Landlord Studio can set up automated online rent payments (no more late rent!), and even submit maintenance requests.
  7. Landlord Studio will automatically track your income for you, and make expense and task management as easy as possible.

All the property management and accounting features you need, for free. Create your free account today and find out how Landlord Studio can streamline your rental property management.

More tenant screening services

2. RentPrep

RentPrep is a leading supplier of tenant screening reports. You can purchase a comprehensive one-off report for $40. 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 offers a more a la carte service 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 offer 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 $37.99/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 (which is preferable), and the landlord can choose who pays.

7. RentRedi

RentRedi enables you to procure a TransUnion credit report, criminal report, and eviction report at a cost of $39.99 per applicant. Standard to most tenant screening services, the applicant must authorize a credit check to finalize the screening process.

Beyond screening reports, RentRedi offers the option to request a pre-screening questionnaire before property showings. This allows you to assess whether applicants meet your criteria before proceeding with property viewings.

8. 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 $25/per applicant to $44/per applicant, depending on the information you request from a prospective tenant.

9. 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 $35/per applicant. The information is available for 30 days to give you sufficient time to review their application.

Setting Your Minimum Tenant Screening Criteria

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, and remain compliant with fair housing laws. 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.

Final Words: Tenant Background Checks

Finding a great tenant can be a challenge. You have to create your listing, collect applicants, organize viewings, run tenant screening and background checks, and then deal with the tenant moving in. However, finding a new tenant is only the first step.

Once you've secured a tenant you are sure can and will pay the rent on time and in full every month you then need to ensure you have a legally binding lease agreement, organize a system for collecting rent, run routine inspections, track all of your income and expenses, and strategize ways to maximize your rental businesses income.

The easiest way to do this is to leverage a property management tool that can do it all for you, like Landlord Studio. With Landlord Studio you can do everything from creating listings and promoting them across top websites to screening applicants, collecting rent, and managing your property accounting for tax time.

Save as much as $500 more per property per year at tax time and weeks of admin time over the year. Plus, Landlord Studio is FREE. Create your free account today and streamline your rental business today for a more profitable tomorrow.

You Might Like