How to Perform a Landlord Background Check

By: ROS Team

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When you’re looking for a new apartment, it’s important to do your due diligence and ensure that the landlord is trustworthy. If you don’t know much about them, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from scams or trouble down the road.

Get In Touch With The Owner’s Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve determined that your landlord is a good candidate for a background check, it’s time to get in touch with the owner’s real estate agent.

The best way to do this is by phone or email. If you can’t find any contact information on their website. Try calling or emailing another property owned by the same person. They will likely have access to their client list and can give you an introduction to how things work at their company.

Once connected with an agent (or several), ask them questions regarding how long the landlord has owned this particular property and whether there were any issues with past tenants or mortgage payments that might be relevant for future reference when considering who gets selected as a new tenant for this particular space.

You should also inquire about what plans they have in mind for future development to keep up on trends related specifically to residential properties such as yours so that everyone involved knows exactly what kind of expectations are being set forth between parties involved before signing anything official together!

Check The History Of The Property

The next step is to check the history of the property. You can do this by contacting your local municipality, county recorder’s office, and assessor’s office. If you are in NYC, you should also check with your state tax office for any liens or judgments against the property owner.

Check The History Of The Property
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Look For Any Outstanding Judgments Or Pending Lawsuits Against Them

If the landlord has any outstanding judgments against him or her, you can search the court records for them. You can also check for lawsuits by searching the court records. If that doesn’t work, you can search the secretary of state’s website for judgments or lawsuits against your potential landlord.

Review Any Online Comments About This Landlord

Next, you’ll want to look for comments about the landlord and his or her property. It’s best to avoid landlords with negative reviews, but if you find a few positive ones as well as some neutral ones, it might be worth giving them a call.

You should also pay attention to comments that aren’t about either of these things. That is if anyone in the community has something positive or negative to say about anything else going on at that property (for example: “I love living here because my neighbors are so friendly!”).

Run A Credit Check

People will argue, “Why run a credit check on a landlord? The credit history of landlords is as important as that of tenants in the sense that if you opt to move out of the property. You may want your landlord to return your security deposit on time.

To get a thorough picture of your landlord’s financial history, you should run a credit check.

Their credit report will tell you whether the person has been sued, filed for bankruptcy, and how they’ve managed their debt in the past.

Run A Credit Check
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Check Criminal Records

When conducting a landlord background check, it’s also important to keep an eye on your potential landlord’s criminal record. You can start by investigating the criminal records of the person who owns or operates your rental property.

You’ll want to check their state-level records first; if they have any convictions, then you’ll want to see if they’ve been convicted in other states as well. If so, you may also want to check out any criminal charges that were filed against them in foreign countries as well. After all, it’s possible that these could affect your decision about whether or not this person should be allowed access to your property and its tenants!

Talk To Other Tenants Who Have Lived With The Landlord

If you have a tenant who has lived with the landlord and is willing to talk, ask them about their experience. Ask whether they were happy with how their landlord handled repairs and maintenance. If there were any issues, were they resolved quickly? Did the landlord listen to their concerns?

If your prospective tenant has had other tenants live in their home before you. Ask if those people would recommend them as well. If so, reach out to those former tenants directly. They’ll be able to tell you more about how things worked out for them when living under this particular landlord’s roof.

Go With Your Gut

It’s important to listen to your gut when performing a landlord background check. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you have any doubts about a potential landlord or their ability to maintain their rental property, trust your instincts and pass on them.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know how to do a landlord background check, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action. You may feel overwhelmed by all the information out there, but we encourage you not to let that stop you from doing what needs to be done!