Felonies are more common than you may initially realize. Across the United States, a third of the adult population has a criminal record, but at least 19 million have a felony.
The thing is, you won't always be able to tell a felon apart by tattoos or an ankle tracker. Many of them look just like anyone else, blending in seamlessly with the people around them. Tenants for your property could be some of this never-do-wells-and you'd never know.
A tenant criminal background check is a must-have. When you get one for tenant screenings, there are 3 big red flags to be on the lookout for. Read on as we dig into them one by one.
1. Frequent Moving and Job Hopping
One of the biggest red flags when choosing tenants that are good might not be the crimes themselves, but the gaps in between. Pay close attention to how often a prospective tenant has moved, or left behind jobs. Though innocent at first glance, this could be a sign that they are a troublemaker.
Many criminals have to move from place to place or get new jobs because they can't stay out of trouble. When they mess up again, they're forced to head to a new location and start over-repeating the process. Just having a juvenile rap sheet means a person is 80% likely to re-offend, after all.
This means they could abandon their contract early. One day, they're living there. The next, they vanish without a trace and break the lease.
2. Incorrect or Mismatching Information
A person can put whatever information they wish to on their rental application. At first glance, they may appear to be responsible tenants. It's only once you conduct the background check that you find inconsistencies.
For example, suppose they claim to have worked for a company that has no record of them. This could be more than just a lie to fill a gap in employment. It could be a means of hiding more pernicious information.
Some criminals have never been caught, and so they need alibis to mask their illicit activities. Having information that is incorrect or that conflicts with official records is a huge red flag.
3. Rushing to Move In
There's a housing crunch, so everyone is in a hurry to find a place to live. When renting out a property, you'll run into tons of home-seekers who pester you with phone calls asking about their applications. Then there are a select few who are uncomfortably persistent about it.
These are the people who bombard you with texts and calls or offer a suspiciously large sum of money to pass up other applicants. The reasons for this could be varied, but it's best to play it safe. Stay clear of anyone who is in such a rush to move in.
Do a Tenant Criminal Background Check and More With PMI
A tenant criminal background check will reveal a lot about a person that you never knew. Aside from the obvious red flags, there are a few warning signs that could easily pass by you. Pay attention to incorrect information, strange past behavior, or over-eager applicants.
PMI Commonwealth makes the headache of renting as easy as pie. Use our free rental analysis tool to get a read on your property.