Best Tenant Screening Services in 2020

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.

Tenant screening services are provided by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that find important background data on tenant applicants so you know exactly who you would be renting to. This service is ideal for landlords, realtors, and property managers.

Keep reading to find out all of the following:

  • Our methodology
  • Reviews of the top 10 tenant background check companies
  • How to choose a tenant screening service
  • Summary
  • FAQs

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Top Tenant Screening Services - Reviews

1. RentPrep

Hand-compiled reports

Established company with a great reputation

One-hour turnaround time

Best Overall

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This New York-based company has spent the last decade earning a name for itself. It’s an industry leader that provides its users (and website visitors) with a wealth of resources. RentPrep has an A+ BBB rating, and its FCRA certified agents are available to assist you seven days a week, preparing your report within an hour.

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2. Experian

One simple fee

Experian’s very own screening service

Reports are generated immediately after tenant confirmation

Most Affordable

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This California-based company provides potential tenants with the ability to easily share their important financial background data with would-be landlords. It offers a simple solution for a common problem and reports are generated in minutes. They are available for viewing for 30 days.This California-based company provides potential tenants with the ability to easily share their important financial background data with would-be landlords. It offers a simple solution for a common problem and reports are generated in minutes. They are available for viewing for 30 days.

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3. E-Renter

Incredibly well known

Simple pricing structure

FCRA certified team

Best for Property Management Companies

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The Washington-based company has been around for the longest and that is clear from its impressive turnaround time, trio of package options, and reasonable pricing that help this screener company to stand out from the rest. Great customer service is provided by FCRA certified screeners and you can access this service 24/7.

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4. Verify Tenant

Packages and a la carte screening services to pick from

International background checks available on request

There’s an option to customize your package

Best for Large Property Management Companies


This Florida-based company has spent the last fifteen years honing its craft and the results speak for themselves. It’s a simple company that offers a no-frills approach to background checks. Pick a package or customize your own and get the support you deserve whether your first language is English or Spanish.

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5. Avail

An abundance of positive reviews

Bundled pricing plan

An assortment of online education resources

Best Free Option for Smaller Landlords

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The Chicago-based business boasts an A+ BBB rating and is known for its extensive resource center, bundle pricing model, and comprehensive reports.

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6. MyRental

Both packages are affordable

24/7 access

One-hour turnaround time

Best for Property Managers and Realtors

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This San Diego-based company’s services are available 24/7, reports are generated within one hour, and both packages are affordable. In addition to its screening capabilities, the award-winning company also offers articles and resources to its users. Although the reviews on this service are positive, they are few and the company is not rated on BBB.

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7. Buildium

Fast turnaround times

BBB accredited

Different tiers to pick from

Best for Medium-Sized Property Managers

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The Boston-based company enjoys a well deserved A+ BBB rating and is the only screening service on this list that is BBB accredited. It’s an end-to-end solution for property managers that provides instantaneous reports that contain everything you need to know.

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8. TenantAlert

Discounts for more than 10 screenings

Operating since 1988

More pricing bundles to pick from than any other company

Best for Bigger Landlords

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An old and well established company, TenantAlert is perfect for those managing a large portfolio. It's affordable, has an impressive service offering, and provides underwriting to those who need it. Results are instant and the customer service team is very responsive.

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9. TurboTenant

Omnichannel customer service

Free plan

Various plans and services to pick from

Best All-in-One Solution

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This Colorado-based company enjoys a solid A+ rating and stellar customer reviews. Their responsive customer service, free plan, and advanced service offering make this company stand out.

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10. TransUnion SmartMove

User-friendly website and a wealth of resources at your disposal

Reports generated in just a matter of minutes

24/7 support available

Best for Direct Credit Bureau Screening

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This company is TransUnion’s platform and that makes it infinitely credible. With a turnaround time of less than 20 minutes, and three service tiers to pick from, SmartMove is a tenant screening service worth considering.

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11. VeriFirst

Simple pricing model

Part of the PBSA association

FCRA advanced certified staff

Best Tenant Verification For Realtors

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With a Trustpilot review rating of 3.9 and a BBB rating of A+, VeriFirst is known for providing quality customer care. The company is aimed towards businesses that are looking to hire credible and reliable employees or to verify vendors. It's a great choice for property managers and realtors looking for tenant verification.

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12. LeaseRunner

Offers rental application forms

Excellent online user experience

Lease agreements with E-signature

Best All-inclusive Solution For Landlords

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LeaseRunner is the perfect solution for property managers, landlords, and agents. Offering tenant credit, background check options, rental agreements and rental applications for tenant screening, LeaseRunner is seen as one of the best tenant screening services available for landlords since 2010.

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13. RealPage

Uses AI certified tenant screener technology

Innovative and credible real estate services

FCRA compliant

Best All-In-One Solution for Property Lease

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With the help of RealPage, you can lease your properties with confidence. The company uses innovative AI Screening for criminal history background checks, tenant verification, and rental history of the tenant applicants. It also offers property management, sales and marketing, revenue management, and renters insurance.

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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 10 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.

At a Glance

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

 

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

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

  • 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

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

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 tenant screening services available but it’s also one of the quickest, most convenient, and most comprehensive options

At a Glance

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

 

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.

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.

Amongst the best tenant screening services available in California, 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.

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.

At a Glance

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

 

If you’ve ever heard of a tenant screening service, 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.

The E-Renter pricing options are divided into different packages. The Basic package costs $19.95 and includes identity verification services and a background check. The Premium package costs $29.99 and includes the above with the addition of a credit check (note that the tenant will need to pay $1.99 as well). The Ultimate package costs $34.99 and includes all of the above plus name history, address history, and a Rent Check Advisor assessment.

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 landlord tenant screening reviews indicate that you’re likely to receive your report in around 15 minutes.

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.

At a Glance

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

 

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 property management companies 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 service that makes light work of a tough job.

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.

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 reports mentioned above the company also offers background check reports, DMV driving record reports, rental history verification, employment history verification, and reference verification.

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

At a Glance

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

 

Avail is a property management software for landlords that have 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 services have overwhelmingly positive ratings.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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

At a Glance

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

 

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 best online background check providers and its users are largely satisfied with the overall experience. Although anyone can use it, its commercial tenant screening services make this the ideal option for realtors, property managers, and portfolio managers.

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, 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, SafeRent Score, and location comparison. Individual credit reports are also available at $14.99.

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

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

At a Glance

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

 

Buildium is an end-to-end property management software company that has been in business since 2004. The company offers by far the best comprehensive tenant screening services 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.

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. 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.

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.

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

At a Glance

  • 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
  • Requires tenant involvement
  • Limited customer service hours

 

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 more than 10 screenings per month at a heavily discounted cost.

It might not be one of the cheapest tenant screening services 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.

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

At a Glance

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

 

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 one of the best tenant screening services for landlords who have smaller portfolios to manage.

This all-in-one property management tool offers numerous services from tenant verification and background search reports to marketing and eviction. TurboTenant has three 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
  • 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.

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

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 services on offer, are satisfied with the level of customer service.

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.

At a Glance

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

 

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

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.

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.

At a Glance

  • Simple pricing model
  • Customizable screening plans and reports
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) advanced certified staff
  • Part of the PBSA association
  • Part of BYL Companies
  • Response within 24 hours
  • A+ BBB Rating

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 some of the best tenant screening services on the market 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.

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 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.

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.

Clients can contact VeriFirst by emailing info@VeriFirst.com 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 services.

At a Glance

  • 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

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 one of the best tenant screening services available for landlords since 2010.

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 service.

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 $33
  • Online Rent Payments through Autopay at $4

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

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

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 help@leaserunner.com. 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.

At a Glance

  • Simple pricing model
  • Excellent online user experience
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant
  • Uses AI certified tenant screener technology
  • Adheres to Privacy Shield Principles set by the EU-U.S.

RealPage 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. 

With the help of RealPage, one of the best tenant screening services, 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 services. 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.

To make use of their best-rated tenant screening services, 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.

Best Tenant Screening Services at A Glance

  • RentPrep: Best Overall
  • Experian: Most Affordable
  • E-Renter: Best for Property Management Companies
  • MyRental: Best for Property Managers and Realtors
  • Buildium: Best for Medium-Sized Property Managers
  • Verify Tenant: Best for Large Property Management Companies
  • TenantAlert: Best for Bigger Landlords
  • TurboTenant: Best All-in-One Solution
  • Avail: Best Free Option for Smaller Landlords
  • TransUnion SmartMove: Best for Direct Credit Bureau Screening
  • VeriFirst: Best Tenant Screening for Realtors
  • LeaseRunner: Best All-inclusive Solution for Landlords
  • RealPage: Best All-In-One Solution for Property Lease

Buyer's Guide - How to Choose a Tenant Screening Service

Have you ever wondered, ‘Who pays for the background check: tenant or landlord? How do tenant screening services charge you?’ Or perhaps, ‘What does a rental background check consist of?’ All of these questions are about to be answered.

Pricing

As you can tell from the tenant screening reviews you’ve just read, this service is considered to be affordable by the majority. So, how much does tenant screening cost? 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 responsible for paying the screening fee for many of these services.

Services Included

Some tenant screening credit check services offer a plethora of services while others only offer a one main service. It’s entirely up to you to decide what you need – and what you’re willing to pay for. Some of the best tenant screening websites, like TurboTenant and Buildium, offer a wealth of additional services like property listing, advertising, management, and more. But if your needs are simple, all you really need is a report. Which brings us to our next point.

Reports

The screening reports provided by the online tenant screening services 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 even the best tenant screening services indicate that you will have to wait a bit, with time frames ranging from a couple of days to RentPrep’s 1-hour wait. Be mindful of the fact that not all companies stipulate their time frames so you may need to source this information from tenant background check reviews relating to a specific individual company.

Customer Service

When you are paying for a service, regardless of what that service is, you have the right 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 that offer renter background check services keep it simple and 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 services don’t include eviction data which is crucial
  • Some tenant screening services only offer statewide criminal checks and not nationwide ones
  • Certain tenant screening companies like SmartMove and Experian Connect require tenant involvement – which doesn’t yield the best results thanks to all sorts of things ranging from a lack of internet access to applicant laziness.

Key Takeaways

Different tenant credit screening services and tenant background screening services are needed in different scenarios.

Whether you’re looking for tenant screening services for realtors, property managers or individual landlords, you can find exactly what you’re looking for in the options we presented to you today.

If you need to check your potential tenant’s credit score, employment verifications, criminal history, and ensure that only the very best tenant ends up on your property, make use of any of the best tenant screening services we’ve introduced you to today.

FAQs

Is Tenant Background Search safe?

Absolutely. Tenant Background Search is a reputable background check company that offers complete tenant screening services thanks to its partnership with data warehouses like TransUnion and CoreLogic. Even though it didn’t make the cut as one of the best tenant screening services on our list, 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 tenant screening services 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 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.