Residential and commercial tenant screening

By: Mark Ziemba

So you have found a new tenant for a residential unit that has been vacant for a number of months. Given the economic challenges we face, your goal is to get the lease signed and get the tenant moved into the space as soon as possible. All that remains is to proceed with the application process, validate the appliant's driver's license and bank accounts, sign the lease, get the security deposit – and you have added a tenant and eliminated a vacancy.

Then, after three monthly billing cycles, you realize that your residential tenant has yet to pay rent, or the ensuing late fees. You leave phone messages and send late notices to the resident with no response. Once you realize that there may be a problem, you then decide to thoroughly screen the tenant and find he still has a contractual obligation for a lease in another state where he was evicted. You determine that this is an ongoing pattern dating back a number of years and further review uncovers several outstanding felony warrants in another state. This tenant with a very serious background of years of illegal activities has now suddenly become your problem.

You thought that you were doing a thorough background check. But the reality is that the days of merely doing a review of a driver's license and bank account verification are over. There is simply too much at stake in not doing a detailed background check on every applicant.

So how could you have avoided this situation?

The situation could have been avoided using SKYLINE Internet Tenant Screening for Residential and Commercial Properties, which uses the latest technology and information to do a complete credit check, background verification and detailed criminal check for all applicants. SKYLINE tenant screening provides you with court and credit information, past landlord/tenant court records, tenancy information from a network of property managers, credit reports and detailed background information such as wanted fugitive scanning and criminal information. Proper screening of your problem tenant would have sent up very clear "red flags" to reject this applicant and possibly even inform the police.

For information on SKYLINE Property Management Software, please contact Mark Ziemba at 312-443-7531 or mziemba@sscinc.com, or download a brochure that highlights the features and benefits of SKYLINE.