Managing an apartment building is a job that requires finding good tenants for all available rental units. Effective screening techniques can help you weed out the good applicants from the bad, and one important step in the screening process is finding out if the applicant has ever been evicted. Evictions cost time and money, and you may want to avoid renting to a person that has been evicted in the past. Here are three ways to find out if an applicant has ever gone through an eviction.
Ask for their previous residency history
If someone was evicted in the past, they may be more likely to encounter the same issue again in the future. One of the ways you can find this out about an applicant is by asking them for their previous residency history.
This is a common method landlords use; however, it is not always an effective method. Applicants may lie on their applications. If you call previous landlords, they may not remember the person you are talking about, and they may not have good records of previous employees.
You should also realize that If an applicant was evicted in the past, he or she might leave this landlord's name off the residency history form. Because of this, you may want to complete the other steps to verify this information.
Run a credit check
A credit check is a common part of tenant screenings; however, it will not always show evictions. It will show one if a landlord evicted a person and filed a judgement against the person for money owed. It may not specifically state what this is for, but if the creditor's name is a property management firm, you can assume it was for an eviction or for unpaid rent the tenant owed.
You should also remember that there are times when landlords evict tenants without going to court. If the tenant willingly moved out, there might not be any information about it on the person's credit report.
Contact the local courthouse
Finally, if you cannot find any information and feel suspicious about an applicant, you could always visit your local courthouse. Courthouses keep track of all cases that come through, and these cases are public knowledge. You can ask a clerk to look up a person's name to see if the person has any court records involving evictions. These evictions might not appear on the person's credit report, but there would be court documents from the cases.
Keep in mind that you can always ask applicants if they have ever been evicted, but there are some people that might not be honest with you about this. Looking up eviction records is a common step in tenant screenings. If you would like help with this, contact a company that offers tenant services in your area.