Determining if your tenant screening provider has quality criminal and eviction data is essential if you want to maintain a standard of accepting quality applicants. With faulty or subpar data, you leave your property open to potential threats, which can include loss revenue, extensive damages, lawsuits, and fines. To discern if you need to shop for a new tenant screening provider, check if your current provider is showing these 3 warning signs.
The Scope of the Eviction & Criminal Scan is Small or Limited
When screening an applicant you want their eviction and criminal history to derive from a large and reputable database. You want to see if your applicant has any eviction or criminal records nationwide, not just from a few states. By choosing a tenant screening provider that takes their eviction history straight from landlord-tenant court records, utilizing databases that cover records nationwide, you ensure that your application process draws from quality data.
Don’t forget about the quality of your criminal data! In addition to having a criminal database that scans nationwide, you want your provider to scan local databases from multiple reputable sources as well. Be wary of screening providers that obtain their criminal records from only a few sources or non-governmental. By scanning multiple databases, you’ll be able to see important information, like if your applicant has any jail or prison records, wants and warrants, on the sex offender registry or wanted on the terrorist watch list (also known as OFAC).
Poor Security Measures
With any tenant screening provider, it’s vital that their information is secure and that their technology is up-to-date. You don’t want any of your applicants’ or tenants’ personal information on an unsecured, outdated computer waiting to get hacked. If your current provider doesn’t showcase that it has high security measures, then that’s a big red flag. ApplyConnect® uses a 3rd party Qualified Security Assessor to annually review its physical and computer infrastructure. We’re also EI3PA Level 1 certified, similar to PCI compliance that credit card processing companies abide by.
Ask if the screening vendor has a backup system. In the event of a disaster or a power or internet outage, does your provider have an emergency recovery procedure to ensure that your business is not prevented from screening applicants for day or more?
Low Accuracy Rate
Unfortunately, it can be pretty tricky to figure out if your current provider’s data is accurate. When shopping for a new tenant screening provider, the best way to find out is to ask (we’ll prove it to you). They should be able to show you how their matching algorithm successfully identifies your applicant (with an SSN, previous address history, date of birth, etc.), if their criminal record search also identifies and factors in aliases, and the initiatives they’ve taken to minimize false positives and maximize the numbers of real criminal hits. At ApplyConnect®, for example, we update our criminal and eviction records every 24 hours to provide the freshest and highest possible accuracy on your background screening reports.
While data quality isn’t the only factor you consider when shopping for a new tenant screening provider, things like price (we’re free for landlords & real estate agents), experience, speed, etc. are also important, it’s essential if you want to accept high-quality tenants into your rental property. Without quality data, you completely undermine the purpose of tenant screening and risk accepting applicants who do not pass your standards and pose a threat to your property. In order to protect yourself and your property, you should expect your background screening provider to utilize excellent databases (like from the over 36 million eviction records at ApplyConnect®), uphold high security standards, and actively seek a high accuracy rate. Anything below that standard is a waste of money.
To find the right tenant screening solution for you, go to https://www.applyconnect.com/ and sign up now for free!