Folsom Property Management Blog

The Importance of a Tenant Background Check

The Importance of a Tenant Background Check

Property ownership means more than just owning a piece of land and cashing passive income monthly. You are now responsible for people as well as a building and the property on which it rests. 

You have the responsibility of determining who will live in your building. How do you know if you're getting a great tenant or just a fly-by-night tenant that will leave you without a rent check in the future? 

You can reduce your liability risk, reduce turnover, and protect your current tenants best by conducting a tenant background check on each prospective tenant. 

Keep reading to learn the main reasons why you should conduct a criminal background check on incoming tenants. 


Becoming a landlord means assuming an entirely new responsibility. You're responsible for the building you own, and you're responsible for the tenants in the building. 

Bad tenants can ruin your building. They can also ruin good tenants. 

When you skip a tenant background check, you're more liable when things go wrong. Your tenants can sue you for negligence because you didn't properly and fully vet the tenants. Additionally, you need proper reasons for denying or accepting an applicant. 

Fair Housing laws prevent you from discriminating by gender, religion, race, color, family status, and national origin. Thus, you need a clear reason for accepting or denying an applicant. A good background check will give you those reasons. 

Criminal history does not qualify with the fair housing act. Thus, you may deny an applicant an apartment if they have a criminal history. When you deny an individual with a criminal history, though, you have to prove that your denial is to keep your property and community safe. 

Do not use criminal history as a reason for denial so you can cover discriminatory reasons. The reasons for rejecting an applicant must be clear so you can avoid liability. Criminal background checks give you that reason. 


A criminal background check ensures that you're keeping your current tenants safe. Tenant screening takes time, but you will succeed in finding tenants that contribute positively to your community by conducting such screening

You should not reject a tenant based just on the fact that they have a criminal history. Rather, you should look at the history on a case-by-case basis. Consider if the tenant will pose a danger to other tenants, you as the landlord, or your property. 

Reduce Turnover

There's nothing more frustrating than going through the process of finding tenants every few months. When you conduct a tenant background check, you reduce tenant turnover. 

You best understand the community in your building. Thus when you conduct a tenant background check, you can determine if the individual will contribute positively to your community. If they fit into your community, they are more likely to stay longer, and you will spend less time and money finding another tenant. 

Conduct a Tenant Background Check 

A thorough tenant background check will protect you and your tenants. You'll be able to rest at night knowing that you have good tenants who take care of each other and your property. 

If the idea of betting tenants sounds like a big responsibility to you, check out a good property management service. We can help you with this and many other parts of property ownership. 

Contact us today and let us know how we can help you manage your property.