Popular Tenant Screening Options in 2021

How do you screen potential tenants in the quickest, easiest, cheapest, and most thorough way possible? It’s simple: you choose from the best tenant screening services available and allow the company to do the legwork on your behalf.

Keep reading to find out all of our methodology, reviews of the top companies that offer tenant background checks, how to choose a company offering tenant screening, summary, FAQ.

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1. Experian

This service is provided by the credit bureau itself and is perfect for landlords who are only after a potential tenant’s financial data. For one simple fee, you’ll get their credit reports, judgements, and liens, just enough to decide if you want them as a tenant or not. Full Review

  • One simple fee
  • Experian’s very own screening service
  • Reports are generated immediately after tenant confirmation
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This service is provided by the credit bureau itself and is perfect for landlords who are only after a potential tenant’s financial data. For one simple fee, you’ll get their credit reports, judgements, and liens, just enough to decide if you want them as a tenant or not. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

2. Avail

Currently trusted by 15,000 landlords, Avail provides comprehensive reports with a quick turnaround time. With affordable, bundled pricing you can receive information regarding credit reports, criminal reports, and eviction history. Full Review

  • Bundled pricing plan
  • An abundance of positive reviews
  • An assortment of online education resources
VISIT SITE

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Currently trusted by 15,000 landlords, Avail provides comprehensive reports with a quick turnaround time. With affordable, bundled pricing you can receive information regarding credit reports, criminal reports, and eviction history. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★☆ 4/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★☆ 4/5

3. RentPrep

RentPrep offers thorough, hand-collected data. In just an hour, they’ll perform tenant screening and rental background checks, and you’ll receive information about the potential tenant’s bankruptcies, evictions, judgements, liens, and more. Full Review

  • Hand-compiled reports
  • One-hour turnaround time
  • Established company with a great reputation
VISIT SITE

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RentPrep offers thorough, hand-collected data. In just an hour, they’ll perform tenant screening and rental background checks, and you’ll receive information about the potential tenant’s bankruptcies, evictions, judgements, liens, and more. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★☆ 4/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★☆ 4/5

4. LeaseRunner

LeaseRunner’s simple pricing model includes eight services. Besides the commonly present credit, criminal, and national eviction reports, it also offers renters assurance, as well as assistance with rent collection and rent application. Full Review

  • Offers rental application forms
  • Excellent online user experience
  • Lease agreements with E-signature
VISIT SITE

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LeaseRunner’s simple pricing model includes eight services. Besides the commonly present credit, criminal, and national eviction reports, it also offers renters assurance, as well as assistance with rent collection and rent application. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

5. Verify Tenant

If you’d prefer a customized package, Verify Tenant can help you out. While everyone can get thorough results via international background checks, professional property managers can also request to check criminal records, terrorist watch lists, and receive a credit-based score. Full Review

  • There’s an option to customize your package
  • International background checks available on request
  • Packages and a la carte screening services to pick from
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If you’d prefer a customized package, Verify Tenant can help you out. While everyone can get thorough results via international background checks, professional property managers can also request to check criminal records, terrorist watch lists, and receive a credit-based score. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

6. Buildium

Buildium offers numerous tiers to choose from and ensures you get instant reports. Get a potential tenant’s credit, criminal, and eviction data, find out if they meet your predefined credit score requirements, and all that via a subscription-based model. Full Review

  • BBB accredited
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Different tiers to pick from
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Buildium offers numerous tiers to choose from and ensures you get instant reports. Get a potential tenant’s credit, criminal, and eviction data, find out if they meet your predefined credit score requirements, and all that via a subscription-based model. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★☆ 4/5

7. TransUnion SmartMove

Get reports directly from TransUnion in just 10-15 minutes. This service boasts a user-friendly website and besides the regular - credit, criminal, eviction reports - it also provides income insights, recommendations, and ResidentScore. Full Review

  • 24/7 support available
  • Reports generated in just a matter of minutes
  • User-friendly website and a wealth of resources at your disposal
VISIT SITE

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Get reports directly from TransUnion in just 10-15 minutes. This service boasts a user-friendly website and besides the regular - credit, criminal, eviction reports - it also provides income insights, recommendations, and ResidentScore. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★☆ 4/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★☆ 4/5

8. E-Renter

Simple pricing and reports in under 15 minutes are E-Renter’s main selling proposition. The amount of information you’ll get is more than enough: evictions, bankruptcies, SSN validation, liens, judgements, criminal report, and more. Full Review

  • FCRA certified team
  • Incredibly well known
  • Simple pricing structure
VISIT SITE

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Simple pricing and reports in under 15 minutes are E-Renter’s main selling proposition. The amount of information you’ll get is more than enough: evictions, bankruptcies, SSN validation, liens, judgements, criminal report, and more. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

9. MyRental

MyRental is ideal for realtors, property and portfolio managers. Affordable packages offer information regarding multi-state criminal history, terrorist alerts, and the premium package even lets you pull the potential tenant’s credit report and SafeRent Score. Full Review

  • 24/7 access
  • One-hour turnaround time
  • Both packages are affordable
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MyRental is ideal for realtors, property and portfolio managers. Affordable packages offer information regarding multi-state criminal history, terrorist alerts, and the premium package even lets you pull the potential tenant’s credit report and SafeRent Score. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

10. TenantAlert

Tenant Alert offers more pricing bundles than any such service. It’s a great choice for bigger landlords thanks to discounts for over 10 screenings. You’ll learn of the tenant’s credit score and report, evictions, and receive a nationwide criminal and SSN fraud check. Full Review

  • Operating since 1988
  • Discounts for more than 10 screenings
  • More pricing bundles to pick from than any other company
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Tenant Alert offers more pricing bundles than any such service. It’s a great choice for bigger landlords thanks to discounts for over 10 screenings. You’ll learn of the tenant’s credit score and report, evictions, and receive a nationwide criminal and SSN fraud check. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★☆ 4/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★☆ 4/5

11. TurboTenant

TurboTenant is among the rare services offering a free plan. It’s easy to use and provides a plethora of useful information: credit reports, criminal background checks, eviction reports, collection history, fraud indicators, and plenty of additional features. Full Review

  • Free plan
  • Omnichannel customer service
  • Various plans and services to pick from
VISIT SITE

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TurboTenant is among the rare services offering a free plan. It’s easy to use and provides a plethora of useful information: credit reports, criminal background checks, eviction reports, collection history, fraud indicators, and plenty of additional features. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

12. VeriFirst

VeriFirst offers a simple pricing model along with customizable, industry-targeted screening and reports. Background search reports are immediate, while other information includes criminal history and credit scores, for all of which you can request a free quote. Full Review

  • Simple pricing model
  • Part of the PBSA association
  • FCRA advanced certified staff
VISIT SITE

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VeriFirst offers a simple pricing model along with customizable, industry-targeted screening and reports. Background search reports are immediate, while other information includes criminal history and credit scores, for all of which you can request a free quote. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★★ 5/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★★ 5/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

13. RealPage

RealPage’s AI certified tenant screener technology is available with a simple (per screening) pricing model. It was created for the real estate industry, offering extra services such as property and revenue management on top of credit, criminal, and eviction screenings. Full Review

  • FCRA compliant
  • Innovative and credible real estate services
  • Uses AI certified tenant screener technology
VISIT SITE

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RealPage’s AI certified tenant screener technology is available with a simple (per screening) pricing model. It was created for the real estate industry, offering extra services such as property and revenue management on top of credit, criminal, and eviction screenings. Full Review

Pricing

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Use

★★★★☆ 4/5

Turnaround Time

★★★★☆ 4/5

Services Offered

★★★★★ 5/5

Our Methodology – How We Created This List

There are many companies that offer tenant credit and background check services which makes picking the right one a challenge. We’ve done our best to make this easier for you by examining countless companies and narrowing them down to 10. The choices that you see on this list have been included based on the following factors:

  • Customer reviews: Some companies have more reviews than others, but ALL options featured on this list have reviews that lean more towards the positive than the negative.
  • Pricing plans: The listed companies offer a bunch of different pricing plans so you can pick the one that’s most convenient for you. Do you want to pay per report or per month? Does a package or bundle sound good to you, or do you want a single report?
  • Ease of use: User-friendliness is something that should never be overlooked, and the companies on this list have been picked with this important aspect in mind.
  • Turnaround time: Every company on this list has a fast turnaround time. While some take days, others take under one hour. Several of them will even have your reports ready in minutes!
  • Services offered: What services does the company offer? What reports are they able to provide? All of the companies featured today offer an assortment of background checks.
  • Reputation: All the screeners on our list have been in business for quite some time and have a reputation for being aboveboard, trustworthy, and worth paying for.

Detailed Reviews

Experian
Experian
Experian

Most Affordable Tenant Screening Tool

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  • One simple fee
  • Experian’s very own screening service
  • Extended customer service hours
  • Includes judgments and liens
  • Inexpensive
  • Credit reports pulled directly from Experian
  • Reports are generated immediately after tenant confirmation
  • No criminal history checks
  • No eviction history reports
  • No eviction history reports

Company Overview

Experian Connect is a platform created by Experian, the credit bureau, that provides you with all the financial information you need to know about a prospective tenant. It’s a bare-bones background check for renters that most users are totally happy with. If you’re only looking for financial data on a potential tenant, Experian Connect is all you need.

Services & Pricing

Reviews of Experian Connect state that for $14.95, tenants can purchase and view their credit report and provide you with the authorization to view it for a period of 30 days. The report consists of:

  • credit rating
  • credit score
  • VantageScore
  • name (including possible aliases)
  • employer information (current and previous)
  • addresses (current and previous)
  • credit accounts
  • payment history information
  • negative public record filings (bankruptcies, tax liens, foreclosures)
  • credit report inquiries.

Reporting

Review of Experian tenant screening report that this is a perfect service for those who aren’t concerned with criminal checks or who are solely interested in the potential tenant’s financial status. It must be noted that, although Experian is heavily endorsed, Experian Connect doesn’t have much in the way of online customer reviews.

Customer Support

Experian’s customer support can be contacted via online form or telephone from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also a fantastic online education center that landlords and tenants alike can learn from. Overall, the tenant verification services offered by Experian are simple, secure, and swift.

Avail
Avail
Avail

Best Free Option for Smaller Landlords

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  • An abundance of positive reviews
  • Bundled pricing plan
  • Free plan
  • Numerous features
  • Boasts numerous integration options
  • An assortment of online education resources
  • Customer service isn’t very impressive
  • Can be difficult to use

Company Overview

Avail is a property management software for landlords that has been operating since 2013. It’s currently used by 150,000 landlords or more. The platform has a fantastic reputation and Avail’s tenant screening have overwhelmingly positive ratings.

Services & Pricing

It offers a range of renter background check tools for renters and landlords alike. It helps you screen your tenants and provides you with an assortment of credit, criminal, and eviction reports before you let them in your tenancy. Avail has a bundled pricing structure that starts at zero dollars for landlords and increases up to $5 per unit per month. A fee of $30 is charged for credit, criminal, and eviction checks or you can bundle them all for $55.

Reporting

Avail has a quick turnaround time and its reports are pretty comprehensive. It covers the tenant applicants’ credit score, red flags, account summaries, and tradelines. The criminal history report cross-references the applicant against state reports, federal watch lists, OFAC watch lists, and the National Sex Offender Registry.

Additional Features

Users have access to the Avail community, the Avail blog, and an all-encompassing landlord education center. There’s also a help center, and you can also ask your questions via online chat or the online contact form.

Avail is a great option for landlords that have smaller portfolios – and smaller budgets.

RentPrep
RentPrep
RentPrep

Best Tenant Screening Option Overall

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  • Established company with a great reputation
  • One-hour turnaround time
  • Hand-compiled reports
  • Well established company
  • FCRA certified
  • Credit reports pulled directly from TransUnion
  • Costly
  • Only on the web

Company Overview

Founded way back in 2007 by Fidelis Screening Services, RentPrep’s purpose is to make sure that small landlords don’t get “lost” in the hustle and bustle of big firms. RentPrep is the best of the best and reviews of their tenant screening back up this statement. This FCRA certified company performs more than 30,000 screenings every year and is the official screener for Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Services & Pricing

RentPrep offers tenant screening, rental background checks, and a tenant credit check. The company provides users with different pricing packages:

  • A background check (evictions, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and credit score range): $18.95
  • Full credit report (the above plus SSN verification, address history, and full credit report with an exact tenant credit score): $38
  • Nationwide criminal and sex offender check: $4
  • Credit decision report: $9.95
  • Judgment and lien search: $4.95
  • Income verification: $10

Reporting

RentPrep’s reports are thorough and are compiled by hand in an hour’s time. The agents are certified with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and manually compare and check records before compiling the report.

Customer Support

If you ever need help, you can find it in the form of a thorough knowledge base. You can also take advantage of the live chat support option or reach out to customer service via email or telephone from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, Mondays through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

RentPrep is one of the most affordable companies offering tenant screening but it’s also one of the quickest, most convenient, and most comprehensive options.

LeaseRunner
LeaseRunner
LeaseRunner

Best All-inclusive Solution For Landlords

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  • Simple Pricing Model
  • Offers Renters Insurance
  • Offers Rental Application Forms
  • Assists Landlords in Rent Collection
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant
  • Provides Lease Agreements with E-Signature
  • On the expensive side
  • $12 for instant data pull on evictions

Company Overview

LeaseRunner is the perfect solution for property managers, landlords, and agents. The company offers tenant verification services that include tenant credit and background check options as well as rental agreements and rental applications for tenant screening. Because they are focused on background search reports for tenants, tenant applicants, and other lease agreement services, LeaseRunner is seen as a good tenant screening tool available for landlords since 2010.

Services & Pricing

LeaseRunner has a simple pricing model that includes 8 different services. Two free services include the posting of rental ads on social media platforms and an email application link for prospective tenants. Using these two free services will ensure a risk-free complete tenant screening process.

The following services are available, paid per transaction:

  • Credit Report at $20
  • Criminal Report at $15
  • 3-month Financial report at $10
  • Nationwide Eviction Report at $12
  • Digital Lease Agreement that offers an e-signature at $35
  • Online Rent Payments through Autopay at $4

The landlords can either pay for the service themselves or request payment from tenant applicants.

Reporting

Background search reports are instantly available to landlords, and reviews have testified that the entire process is easy and fast.

Customer Support

Customer service is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST on (303) 325-3665. Additionally, they can be contacted by submitting a request form or via email at [email protected]. You can also refer to the FAQs on their website. To assist landlords and property managers even further, LeaseRunner adds updated tenant screening processes onto their Help Desk page on their website.

Landlords and tenants prefer LeaseRunner’s tenant background screening services because they offer an all-inclusive solution that makes the entire renting process easy and glitch-free.

Verify Tenant
Verify Tenant
Verify Tenant

Best for Large Properties

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  • There’s an option to customize your package
  • Packages and a la carte screening services to pick from
  • International background checks available on request
  • Customer service is available in English and Spanish
  • Available in all states
  • Affordable
  • Credit reports are not available to individual landlords
  • Minimal reviews available
  • Outdated website

Company Overview

Since 2005 Verify Tenant has been providing landlords with the peace of mind brought by knowing that they’re renting their properties to upstanding citizens. Verify Tenant is best for large properties or property managers with large portfolios, and it does not cater well to individual landlords. Its user reviews show that it’s compliant, convenient, and yields thorough results quickly. It’s an exceptionally convenient tenant screening tool that makes light work of a tough job.

Services & Pricing

Verify Tenant offers two tenant screening packages – the Silver package at $20 or the Gold package at $25. Both packages yield instant national criminal record search results, check the sex offender registry, and the terrorist watch list, but the Gold package also provides you with eviction records. Alternatively, the Smart Move lets you pay $25 per screening for a Credit-Based Resident Score and a national criminal background report that you get instantly. 

Reporting

Note that ONLY professional property managers or members of homeowners’ or condominium associations can obtain credit reports from Verify Tenant and this service is withheld from individual landlords. In addition to the tenant credit screening services mentioned above the company also offers background check reports, DMV driving record reports, rental history verification, employment history verification, and reference verification.

Customer Support

Customer service can be contacted via their online form, phone, or email, although the hours of operation are not specified.

Buildium
Buildium
Buildium

Best for Medium-Sized Property Managers

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  • Different tiers to pick from
  • Fast turnaround times
  • BBB accredited
  • Various service tiers to choose from
  • Reports are generated instantly
  • No credit score provided
  • Requires tenant involvement
  • Monthly subscription plans only

Company Overview

Buildium is an end-to-end property management software company that has been in business since 2004. The company offers by far the greatest comprehensive tenant screening available which is why they’re the first choice for medium-sized property managers. Individual landlords may find the features on offer overwhelming while larger corporations may find its offering sparse. Its user reviews indicate that it is perfect for middle-sized businesses.

Services & Pricing

The company offers everything that a property manager needs. In terms of its screening services, you can pick from 3 different subscriptions: Essential, Growth, or Premium. All plans offer tenant screening, but to various degrees. And how much does Buildium tenant screening cost? The Essential plan costs $50 per month and only has ticket support available. The Growth plan costs $160 per month and the reports it provides are standard, while the Premium plan costs $460 per month and the reports are more advanced plus no tenant involvement is needed for this service.

Reporting

Reports are generated instantly but in the case of the Basic and Essential plans, they need to first be accessed by the tenant. These reports offer credit, criminal, and eviction data. Note that no credit score is provided. However, Buildium notifies you as to whether or not a potential tenant meets your predefined credit score requirements. It also lets the applicant know whether they meet your requirements, which is an intuitive feature we appreciate.

Customer Support

Depending on the plan you pick, customer service can be reached via live chat, their contact form, or telephone. Buildium‘s subscription-based pricing model is incredibly unique and makes this company stand out from all the rest. It’s regarded as one of the most popular landlord-tenant screening tools on the market for a reason.

TransUnion SmartMove
TransUnion SmartMove
TransUnion SmartMove

Best For Direct Credit Bureau Screening

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  • Reports generated in just a matter of minutes
  • In partnership with RentPrep
  • Reports pulled directly from TransUnion
  • 10 to 15 minute turnaround time
  • 24/7 support available
  • User-friendly website and a wealth of resources at your disposal
  • Expensive
  • Limited customer support channels
  • Eviction data not available in every state
  • Requires tenant involvement

Company Overview

A TransUnion web-based tenant screening platform, SmartMove has been the option for landlords in a rush since 2008. Regarded as one of the sought-after tenant screening sites around, SmartMove has a formidable reputation.

Services & Pricing

SmartMove provides the following services: credit reports, criminal reports, eviction reports as well as income insights, recommendations, and ResidentScore. Pick from three service tiers: Basic ($25 per applicant), Plus ($38 per applicant), and Premium ($40 per applicant). The Basic plan includes a nationwide background check and a ResidentScore, the Plus plan covers this and full credit reporting, nationwide eviction reports, and landlord checks, while the Premium plan covers all of the above with the addition of Income Insights and landlord advice. These costs can be paid either by the landlord or the prospective tenant.

Reporting

Credit reports are pulled directly from TransUnion, which is why reports are generated in 10-15 minutes. In terms of support, agents are apparently available 24/7 via their contact form. User reviews indicate that the support agents aren’t always very friendly or knowledgeable, though.

TransUnion SmartMove is one of the few services that are directly tied to a credit bureau, and many people like the fact that the one-time fee can be paid by tenant or landlord.

E-Renter
E-Renter
E-Renter

Best for Property Management

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  • FCRA certified team
  • Incredibly well known
  • Simple pricing structure
  • Great customer service
  • Reports are generated in under 1 hour
  • 24/7 service
  • Doesn’t include a full credit report
  • Outdated website
  • No option to purchase a credit check separately

Company Overview

If you’ve ever heard of tenant screening tools, you’ll probably have heard of E-Renter. The company has been around since 2003 and has earned an impressive reputation during this time. Its fast results, streamlined screening process, and no-frills approach to background checks make this the perfect choice for property management companies or even tenant screening companies.

Services & Pricing

The E-Renter pricing options are divided into different packages. The Basic package costs $21.95 and includes identity verification services and a background check. The Premium package costs $31.95 and includes the above with the addition of a credit check (note that the tenant will need to pay $2.49 as well). The Ultimate package costs $36.95 and includes all of the above plus name history, address history, and a Rent Check Advisor assessment.

Reporting

An E-Renter tenant background check will furnish you with information pertaining to bankruptcies, evictions, SSN validation, liens, judgments, previous addresses, and sex offender records. You can also opt for a criminal report that details everything from traffic violations and misdemeanors to felonies and incarcerations. The company promises that you’ll receive your report in an hour. It’s probably good to note, however, that reviews of landlord-tenant screening indicate that you’re likely to receive your report in around 15 minutes.

Customer Support

Customer service can be contacted by email or phone Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. Although the hours are limited, the level of customer service supplied is incredible. E-Renter is perhaps the best-known option on this list and its well-deserved reputation cannot be ignored.

MyRental
MyRental
MyRental

Best for Property Managers and Realtors

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  • One-hour turnaround time
  • Both packages are affordable
  • 24/7 access
  • Live screeners don’t verify the reports
  • Individual reports are expensive

Company Overview

Since 2010, MyRental – a CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions product – has been assisting property managers and realtors in screening potential tenants. Similar to RentPrep, MyRental has a reputation for being one of the greatest online backgrounds check providers and its users are largely satisfied with the overall experience. Although anyone can use it, its commercial tenant screening makes this company the ideal option for realtors, property managers, and portfolio managers.

Services & Pricing

As one of the top online background check providers, MyRental has two options for you to pick from – the basic and the premium plans. The basic plan costs $24.99 and requires no credit consent from prospective tenants. It covers eviction history, previous address history, terrorist alerts, public records check, and multi-state criminal history searches. The premium plan costs $34.99 and covers everything the basic plan does but with the addition of a credit report, applicant payment option, landlord acceptance rate, adverse action letters, SafeRent Score, and location comparison. Individual credit reports are also available at $14.99.

Reporting

MyRental can be accessed 24/7 and reports are generally available within the hour.

Customer Support

Customer service is available via live chat, email, or telephone from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

TenantAlert
TenantAlert
TenantAlert

Best for Bigger Landlords

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  • More pricing bundles to pick from than any other company
  • Discounts for more than 10 screenings
  • Operating since 1988
  • Underwriting available
  • Well established
  • Numerous plans to pick from
  • Affordable
  • Limited customer service hours
  • Requires tenant involvement

Company Overview

TenantAlert is the oldest screening company on our list, it was founded all the way back in 1988 as part of Application Research, Inc.’s service offering. To date, it has been used to perform millions of background checks. It’s a fabulous resource for bigger landlords who manage numerous properties as they offer complete services in terms of tenant screening with more than 10 screenings per month at a heavily discounted cost.

Services & Pricing

It might not be one of the cheapest tenant screening options around but its prices are definitely affordable. It has four plans to pick from – Basic, Plus, Pro, or Premier. Here’s a brief overview of the different plans:

  • Basic ($24.95): Includes a credit report, credit score, previous address history, TeleCheck Check Verification, and the ability to charge tenants directly or allow the landlord to pay.
  • Plus ($29.95): Includes all of the above with the addition of a LeaseGuarantee Analyzer and a statewide eviction report.
  • Pro ($39.95): Includes all of the above plus a federal search, sex offender check, and terrorist check.
  • Premier ($49.95): Includes all of the above plus a nationwide criminal check, eviction check, and SSN fraud check.

Reporting

Reports are instant and can be accessed the moment the tenant approves you can do so.

Customer Support

The TenantAlert customer service can be contacted via phone, email, or through the online form or live chat on its website. Customer service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST, Monday to Friday.

TurboTenant
TurboTenant
TurboTenant

Best All-in-One Solution

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  • Various plans and services to pick from
  • Omnichannel customer service
  • Free plan
  • Additional services
  • Comprehensive reports
  • A la carte services can be expensive
  • The application process is lengthy

Company Overview

TurboTenant has been on the market since 2015 and has helped more than 250,000 landlords during this time. It has a great reputation and its users praise its interface’s versatility, ease of use, and intuitive layout. TurboTenant is a great tenant screening tool for landlords who have smaller portfolios to manage.

Services & Pricing

This all-in-one property management tool offers numerous services from tenant verification and background search reports to marketing and eviction. TurboTenant has three cheap tenant screening plans to pick from – landlord, tenant, and a la carte. The landlord plan is totally free, while the tenant plan costs between $35 and $45 per application and you can pick any of the following services:

  • Rent Estimate Reports: $14.99
  • Lease Agreements: $29
  • Landlord Form Pack: $99.99
  • Electronic signatures: $9
  • Credit report, criminal background check, and eviction report combo: $45

The $35 TurboReport includes a full criminal background check, collection history, inquiries, civil records, fraud indicators, payment history, a full credit report (with score) from TransUnion as well as a recommendation as to whether you should accept or deny the tenant. The $45 TurboReport Pro includes all of the above plus an eviction report that informs you of failure to pay rent, unlawful detainers, writs and warrants of evictions, judgments, and a full eviction check.

Additional Features

On top of its tenant-screening capabilities, TurboTenant offers an assortment of online rental applications and rental marketing tools.

This company is on our list because it’s a valuable tool for landlords of all sizes. If you’re after an all-in-one solution with additional features, you’ll appreciate TurboTenant. Its free plan, advanced service offering, and responsive customer service make it truly stand out.

Customer Support

TurboTenant’s customer service can be reached seven days a week via the online form, email, live chat, or telephone. In addition, all customers have access to an extensive help center. Customers, specifically those who are taking advantage of the free tenant screening option on offer, are satisfied with the level of customer service.

VeriFirst
VeriFirst
VeriFirst

Best Tenant Verification For Realtors

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  • Simple pricing model
  • Customizable screening plans and reports
  • Part of the PBSA association
  • Part of BYL Companies
  • Response within 24 hours
  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) advanced certified staff
  • No online pricing
  • Must call to identify which services are basic and which are premium
  • Does not charge the applicant directly

Company Overview

Established in 2004, VeriFirst offers background data checks and invoice collections. Their services are aimed towards businesses that are looking to hire credible and reliable employees or to verify vendors. Primarily, they offer tenant screening options aimed at property managers and realtors looking for tenant verification. With a Trustpilot review rating of 3.9 and a BBB rating of A+, VeriFirst is known for providing quality customer care. As part of the BYL Companies group, they offer numerous BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) solutions.

Services & Pricing

VeriFirst offers a variety of tenant credit and background check services that include:

  • criminal history screenings
  • tenant credit score checks
  • background search reports

Users can request a free quote by filling in a simple online questionnaire. This allows all users to completely customize their plan according to certain rental criteria. You can choose what services you want to use, whether it is employment screening, tenant screening, or business credit reports, as well as the number of reports you’ll request within a year.

Reporting

Background search reports are typically available immediately except for local county court records that take a maximum of three days to be released. Reports are tailored to your specific requests and are industry-targeted for in-depth reporting. As an added benefit, the company can provide credible solutions that are FCRA compliant to minimize your risk.

Customer Support

Clients can contact VeriFirst by emailing [email protected] or phoning (800) 891-6024. Additionally, clients can chat live with customer support via the website. To assist customers even further, the company provides in-depth information on legal issues related to background screening and remaining FCRA compliant.

Operating since 2004, VeriFirst is a great choice for any company looking for certified tenant screening.

RealPage
RealPage
RealPage

Best All-In-One Solution for Property Lease

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  • Adheres to Privacy Shield Principles set by the EU-U.S.
  • Uses AI certified tenant screener technology
  • Simple pricing model
  • Excellent online user experience
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant
  • Must call for quote
  • Does not use rent-to-income ratio

Company Overview

RealPage, like many other real estate lead generation companies, provides data analytics and software solutions to the real estate industry. It was founded in 1998, making it a well-established company with almost 12,200 clients globally. Not only does RealPage provide tenant verification services, but it also offers other solutions like property management, sales and marketing, revenue management, and renters insurance.

Services & Pricing

With the help of RealPage, one of the top-rated companies that offer tenant screening, clients can lease their properties with confidence. The company uses innovative AI Screening for criminal history background checks, tenant verification, and rental history of the tenant applicants.

RealPage works on a per screening pricing model and provides some of the most affordable tenant screening. Basic screening services include the following:

  • Credit only ($7.95)
  • Criminal history only ($8.95)
  • Eviction only ($4.45)
  • All three for $16.95

Advanced screening services include a bundle of credit, criminal, and eviction tenant screenings in different countries for $29.95. California properties can include criminal record searches for $39.95.

Based on the products that the clients choose, they would need to provide the following to process background search reports:

  • Contact and personal information
  • Financial account information
  • IP address
  • Authentication information
  • Credentials
  • Other usage data

For accurate and instant results, RealPage uses innovative screening software that’s linked to a concrete database of over 30 million rental history records. For quality and accurate credit reports, RealPage uses credible institutions like FICO and VantageScore.

Customer Support

To make use of their tenant screening, you can submit an online support request or phone customer support Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a Tenant Screening Tool

Have you ever wondered, ‘Who pays for the background check: tenant or landlord? Or perhaps, ‘What is the optimal price for a tenant screening report?’ All of these questions and many more are about to be answered.

Pricing

On average, screening costs between $18.95 and $75 per person, some services offer monthly payment plans, while others operate on a one-time-fee basis. If you only want to pull one or two individual reports you can expect to pay as little as $5 per report. And when we say “you”, in most cases we mean your tenant applicant as the person applying is usually responsible for paying the screening fee. 

Services Included

Some companies offer tenant screening services only, but there are ones that additionally provide a plethora of other services as well. Some of the tenant screening websites offer a wealth of additional services like property listing, advertising, vetting, management, and more.

Reports

The screening reports provided by the companies listed in our review help inform you as to what kind of tenant an applicant will be. At the very least you want to see how much the applicant earns and whether they can afford the rental or not, but we recommend you to consider pulling the following reports:   

  • Credit reports and score information
  • Eviction history 
  • Employment status and history
  • Criminal history and background check

Turnaround Time

The problem with companies offering instant results is that these instantaneous results are seldom accurate. Reviews of some tenant screening services indicate that you will have to wait a bit. Be mindful of the fact that not all companies stipulate their time frames so you may need to source this information from reviews relating to a specific individual company.

Customer Service

As a customer you should be able to reach out to someone when you need assistance or when you have questions that need answering. This is why we recommend that you compare tenant screening services and see what their customers say about the quality of the customer service they provide.

Exclusions or Limitations

Mostly, companies and platforms offering renter background check services only perform the task they’re designed to do. When it comes to exclusions or limitations most tenant screening services offer everything needed, however, keep your eyes opened for the following:

  • The basic packages offered by certain tenant screening credit services don’t include eviction data which is crucial
  • Some services only offer statewide criminal checks and not nationwide ones 
  • Certain companies like SmartMove and Experian Connect require tenant involvement 

Best Tenant Screening Services at a Glance

Key Takeaways

Different tenant background screening services are needed in different scenarios. 

Whether you’re looking for a tenant screening as realtors, property managers, or individual landlords, you will find what you’re looking for in the options we presented to you. All these tools cannot be used for background checks and people search purposes, but there are ones that can like background checks or people searches.

FAQ

Is Tenant Background Search safe?

Absolutely. Tenant Background Search is a reputable company that offers accurate services thanks to its partnership with data warehouses like TransUnion and CoreLogic. Even though Tenant Background Search reviews are not very positive, it’s still a certified tenant screener worth considering.

How far back does a tenant background check go?

That really depends on what there is to find. Credit checks go back around 7 years while bankruptcies stay on reports for as long as a decade. Criminal records are reportable for up to 7 years under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rules.

Where do companies offering tenant screening get their data?

Consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) get their data from the tenant applicant (such as name, SSN, and resume) which the company will then verify against sources including public birth records, the DMW, and a database of employment verifications. Credit reports are pulled from credit reporting bureaus and criminal history is checked with either the Department of Corrections or the U.S. District Courthouses.

How do companies that offer tenant screening charge?

They can charge either the landlord, the tenant, or both. They can also offer one-time reports or monthly subscriptions. If you are a landlord that rents frequently then it is better to pick a reputable background check company that offers a monthly subscription. Though it may seem more expensive at first, it will pay off in the long run as you won’t need to pay-per-report for every new tenant.

Does Experian include tenant screening eviction reports in its credit reports?

Tenant screening eviction reports are not included in the Experian credit report, and therefore will not affect your credit score. However, that doesn’t prevent the landlord from obtaining a tenant eviction report from somewhere else.

How do I do a credit check on a potential renter?

Use any one of the best tenant screening services we introduced you to today to check a potential renter. All you need to do is adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and get your potential renter’s permission.