What Can a Landlord Do to Avoid a Potentially Problematic Tenant
The tenant market is becoming more and more difficult today, especially from landlords’ point of view. You can never know who you are renting your asset to.
The greatest fear every landlord has is to find himself putting his property in the hand of criminals. The rented apartment may become a base of operation of illicit activity which may entangle the landlord with law enforcement agencies against his will and intentions.
Some tenants may just be hooligans and cause serious (sometimes irreparable) to the apartment rented.
Another problem renters deal with is connected to subletting scam in which the tenant rent the apartment (usually, the rooms) to other tenants without the consent of the landlord. Some tenants go as far as renting rooms on a nightly basis for sex services.
So what can be done? The best solution, if you are a landlord, is to know your tenant. For that purpose it is highly recommended carrying out a thorough background check before signing a rental agreement.
There are various sources (most of which are online) any renter can use to carry out a criminal history search. Many states give access to their criminal databases for a small fee and even for free. For example, those who live in Florida can use the Criminal History Information maintained by the FDLE (It can be accessed here). It shows all arrest records issued by FL law enforcement agencies.
There are also highly efficient web pages that specialize in background checks. This website allows users to check on a person’s criminal history in the State of Texas just by typing his name. For a very small fee, searchers gain access to warrants, jail and prison records and criminal court dockets that carry the name of the person searched. Results are very accurate as they contain updated data taken from governmental and private sources simultaneously.
True, a background check can never give a 100 guarantee that the person checked is OK, but it is a screening method that gives a landlord an important tool to rule out a potentially problematic tenant. With crime rates constantly on the rise, house owners have no other choice but to check and double check the one who is going to live in his property.
- How to ewquest FBI criminal records: https://www.fbi.gov/services/information-management/foipa/requesting-fbi-records
- Avoiding sublet rental scam – https://offcampus.osu.edu/articles/common-roommate-and-sublet-rental-scams-across-the-country