As a landlord, it’s important to vet your tenants thoroughly to ensure they will be able to pay the rent each month. In addition to running their financial reports and credit check, you may also want to check their rental history.
A rental history check is a report which lists all the properties a tenant has leased in the past. It may also list the contact information of the management company or landlord, so you can verify any information the tenant listed on their application. If you are interested in running a rental history check on prospective tenants, here are a few free options you can use.
Free Rental History Report Companies
Avail is a resource for landlords that is part of the Realtor.com network. The software not only allows users to check a tenant’s rental history, but it also has features that allow you to find tenants, collect rent, and process applications. When you run a rental history report with Avail, you will be able to see the applicant’s past residences, rental rates, dates of occupancy, payment history, and any past issues or inability to adhere to the requirements of the lease. They offer a variety of tenant screening packages which start at $55 per applicant, but it’s possible to have the tenant cover the costs as an application fee.
Burbz is another popular resource for landlords founded in 2010. The site features a free tenant screening feature that provides useful information on potential applicants. The rental history report includes a free credit and background check, which features data on the applicant’s employment history, criminal records, eviction records, collections, public records, and more. This is a very useful tool for landlords searching for an all-in-one resource for screening tenants.
Experian is one of the big three credit agencies, along with Equifax and Transunion. In addition to credit reports, they also have a tenant screening feature. The reports cost $14.95, but that fee is billed directly to the tenant. So the landlord simply has to request the rental check by inputting the applicant’s name and email address. The applicant will then have to pay the fee and grant the landlord access. This report will include the applicant’s credit score, past addresses, current and previous employers, credit accounts, public records, and more. Plus, it has the prestige of coming from one of the top credit agencies, so you know the information will likely be accurate.
Rentberry is a listing service that offers landlords free resources, including a comprehensive tenant screening tool. The landlord simply has to submit a request, which is sent to the tenant to confirm. The tenant will enter his or her personal information, which will be used to generate a report. This report includes a free credit rating from Experian and a background check. Information provided includes information on the tenant’s rental history, employment information, credit score, previous bankruptcies, collections, or other public records.
Rent Me is a property management software designed to simplify the tenant-landlord relationship. They offer free credit and background checks which provide tons of data points on a tenant’s background and credit history. Landlords have to sign up and create an account that includes details on their property. They then invite tenants to fill out an application and receive a simple report which pulls data from their credit report, state and national criminal record databases, and eviction reports. This report also includes a ResidentScore by Transunion, which features their past and current residences and employment information.
Spark Rental is a website that provides educational material on real estate investing and tools to help landlords manage their rental properties. It offers a variety of resources such as automated lease agreements, free rental investing courses, and online tenant screening. This tenants screening is entirely free and pulls data from credit agencies, criminal record databases, and national eviction reports to create a simple yet comprehensive rental history report.
TurboTenant is a property management software that simplifies the process of managing rental properties. The software allows landlords to market their properties, field applications, and effortlessly screen prospective tenants. The screening process pulls data from TransUnion to create an easy-to-read tenant report that includes their criminal history, credit scores, evictions, and other public records. The screening does cost $35 per report, but this can be billed to the tenant as an application fee.
Low-Cost Rental History Report Options
If you can spend a few extra dollars per report, other options can often be more comprehensive and offer additional features the free software may lack.
Here are a few low-cost options you may consider:
- AAOA: The American Apartment Owner’s Association offers a tenant screening service that starts at $19.95 per report.
- Cozy: Cozy is a rental management software partnered with Apartments.com that offers tenants screening at $24.99.
- E-Renter: One of the more in-depth tenant screening services on the market, E-Renter offers reports starting at $19.95.
- Lease Runner: Lease Runner offers various services tailored toward independent landlords and offers tenant screening starting at $10 per report.
- MyRental: MyRental is a landlord service powered by SafeRent Solutions, which features thorough tenant screening reports starting at just $7.99 per report.
- NTN: The National Tenant Network is a service designed to help landlords and property managers make smarter decisions. They offer a variety of tenant screening options catered to each landlord’s unique needs, and pricing starts at $10 per report.
- RentPrep: RentPrep is a service for landlords that uses live intelligence from real FCRA-certified screeners to run tenant background reports. They cater to smaller landlords, and their pricing starts at $18.95 per applicant.
- RentSpree: RentSpree is a comprehensive tenant application and screening service that includes additional resources such as landlord history and reference checking but costs $30 per applicant.
- SmartMove: SmartMove is a tenant screening service powered by TransUnion that features a tiered pricing structure that ranges from $25 -$40 per applicant.
Doing your due diligence as a landlord is important, so you don’t get burned by irresponsible tenants. Any of the tools listed can help you screen tenants with ease so you can identify potential issues before they become a problem.