With a majority of the over 30 million small businesses in the US renting retail space, finding reliable tenants isn't always easy.
Financial strain, poor planning, and excessive overhead can all lead to non-payment and potential eviction.
What if you could help landlords and property owners avoid financial headaches by performing efficient tenant verification?
From financial reports to criminal history and background checks, tenant screeners give landlords peace of mind so they can hand over the keys with confidence.
Here we'll explore the best tools and resources for performing tenant screenings, both on-site and virtually.
The Importance of Tenant Verification
Nearly 80% of property owners cited finding reliable tenants as a top priority. Tenant verification is arguably the most important aspect of the leasing process.
From credit and criminal history checks to eviction reports and referencing, tenant verifications ensure owners only lease to desirable candidates.
Performing thorough inspections and remaining compliant are two more ways to always conduct business on the up-and-up.
Virtual and On-Site Inspections
In light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, virtual inspections are becoming increasingly popular, while some companies continue on-site viewings.
Regardless of the type of inspection, screeners need customized forms to perform their job properly. From interior and exterior on-site inspections to drive-bys and bulk inspections, screeners must photograph and document all pertinent information.
Inspectors must follow specific guidelines and FCRA and CFPB requirements to ensure all necessary information is collected and protected.
With some help from the tenants, inspectors can collect important information remotely including photographs, signatures, and detailed reports.
Handling Sensitive Data
Tenant verification involves collecting and analyzing sensitive data.
From personal and banking information to criminal history checks, tenant screeners must handle and manage this private information properly.
In December 2003, the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions) was signed into law as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The FCRA was designed to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in consumer credit bureau files.
It also regulates how credit reporting companies can access, collect, use, and share data when performing credit checks and generating consumer reports.
The FACT Act takes things one step further by also requiring the disposal of sensitive data and by limiting how consumer information is shared.
All tenant's right to privacy is protected under this law. Tenant screening must be done in compliance with both FACT and CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) requirements.
Placing More Power in the Hands of Consumers
You may be wondering how this new legislation affects the tenant verification process.
The FACT Act puts more power in the hands of the consumer. While this is ultimately a good thing, it means inspectors and tenant screeners must be even more careful and diligent about how they conduct business.
Now, consumers have more rights when disputing inaccurate information and are permitted to contact credit furnishers directly to launch an investigation.
Understanding the Tenant Verification Process
The ultimate goal of tenant verification is to ensure that property owners are leasing to reliable candidates who have the financial means to conduct business.
In order to verify this, tenant screeners must dive deep into the tenant's financials as well as perform inspections and observations. All of the information collected during this process is now protected by the FACT Act.
To ensure you remain compliant, let the professionals at ComplyTraq help. From inspections to credentialing and training programs, we support teams of all capacities.