How to Properly Run a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Daytona Beach, FL

How to Properly Run a Tenant Criminal Background Check in Daytona Beach, FL

Rental properties can be a great investment, including a source of passive income. However, that term is a bit deceptive, since a rental property demands a lot of work, including finding the right tenants.

Criminal background checks are a valuable tool for helping landlords rent to reliable (and safe) occupants. Failing to do so could jeopardize your rental income and business.

This article explains the steps involved in running a tenant criminal background check in Daytona Beach. Keep reading to find out how to ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Get Permission

First, you can only run a criminal background check on someone if you have permission from them. In most cases, landlords include this in the rental application.

If not, you should seek signed authorization from the applicant before proceeding. Without clear consent, you are likely violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as Florida housing laws.

Also, to perform the background check, you will need some basic information from the individual. This includes their full name, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Choose a Background Check Provider

To run a comprehensive criminal background check yourself you would need a lot more information. Namely, you would need every address where the applicant had lived. Then you would have to go to those jurisdictions to run reports.

This is not feasible. It also would not guarantee that you would find every possible arrest or criminal charge.

For this reason, you should use a third-party company to perform these services. There are many to choose from, and some are better than others. Be sure to select a reputable provider that has a history of complying with all relevant laws and regulations.

As an alternative, consider hiring a property management company. They will have access to criminal background check software for conducting comprehensive screenings.

Review the Information and Make a Decision

Once you receive the report, go over it very carefully. Most will contain information about arrests, criminal convictions, and pending charges.

If there are any red flags, it is important to verify them and investigate the details surrounding the incident. In most states, including Florida, it is illegal to discriminate against an applicant only because they have a criminal record.

To be clear: you can deny an application based on the presence of any felony committed in the last seven years. You can also deny an applicant based on certain other convictions (not simply arrests or charges), such as those that could put your property or community at risk. But a blanket exclusion is likely illegal.

Get More Landlord Advice on Running a Tenant Criminal Background Check

Now that you know how to properly run a tenant criminal background check in Daytona Beach, you are ready to get started. An experienced property management company can further advise you on the steps to take to protect your business. They also will ensure that tenant rights are upheld.

PMI Daytona Flagler is a comprehensive property management company that provides a variety of services. These include marketing, tenant screening, rent collection, grounds maintenance, and more. Reach out to us today to see how we can assist.