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What Landlords Should Look for in a Background Check

Showing the rental before a background check.

The landlord shows the property to a couple.

What a background check consists of

As a landlord, it is important to understand what goes into a background check. Able Screening offers many services including employment screening, tenant verification, criminal history, a credit report, and marketing for your property. To understand what to look for in a credit report, first, you must know what it consists of:

  1. Credit Score

  2. Basic Information (name, current address, employment history)

  3. Fraud Indicators (e.g. deceased person’s SSN being used)

  4. Tradeline Summary (active accounts, credit cards, debt accumulated)

  5. Credit Score (Find out how to interpret a FICO score here)

  6. Inquiries (only hard inquiries will appear)

  7. Eviction History

  8. Criminal Report

Now that you know what is in a screening report you are almost ready to start renting. What makes the difference between a good tenant and a bad one? Here are some things to look out for.

Red Flags to Look Out for

Now that you know what goes into a credit check, it is important to pay attention to some red flags that may arise. Be sure to look out for warning signs of a bad tenant, as you may be stuck paying in the long run. As you assess the results of the background check, be sure to look out for:

  1. Low credit score (what is a good credit score? Find out here)

  2. Late payments

  3. Payment gaps

  4. Significant debt

  5. Derogatory marks

  6. Delinquent accounts in rental history

Any or all of these in a credit report may indicate a risky renter. Now more than ever it is important to know who you are renting to. If any doubts exist on the character of who you are giving your space to, establish a third-party verification. Able Screening may be able to provide an answer to your renting needs! Call today at 415-353-0744 to talk to a real person!

Have any questions? Email us at

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