woman filling out tenant background screening paperwork

Tenant background screening can seem overwhelming.

After you’ve advertised your Vancouver, WA vacancy, the flood of responses can be overwhelming (especially if you post it on Craigslist). Everyone wants your room, apartment, or duplex, but how do you know who will be a good tenant?

If you’ve been burned before, you know that even the most charming interviewee can flake out on you and turn into a nightmare tenant, leaving you scrambling three months down the line to fix holes in the wall, broken appliances, and a vacancy you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Enter tenant background screening. Whether you do property management in Vancouver, WA like we do or just rent out your basement, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior (as they say). Or in the words of famous poet Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Translation? Tenant background checks, rental history, employment history, criminal checks, and credit reports are the key to safeguarding your Vancouver property investment. Here’s what to expect, whether you hire a property management company or do it yourself.

tenant background screening paperwork

What Tenant Background Screening Entails

We can’t speak for every property management company — unfortunately, some just want to get a warm body in your unit ASAP — but here at Eqwest, our tenant background screening is extremely thorough. We provide the maximum possible screening available to not only ensure that your tenants in Vancouver, WA will pay their rent on time, but that they will take care of your unit and give ample notice before vacating. We make the process as smooth and seamless as can be while maximizing your ROI. Eqwest’s tenant background screening for the Vancouver, WA area includes the following:

  • Credit check
  • Criminal background check
  • Previous evictions
  • Income and employment verification
  • Current rental references
  • Prior rental references

As part of Eqwest’s comprehensive property management, our tenant background screening means your property won’t have a revolving door of tenants. After all, the point of investment or retirement property in Vancouver is to have a low-stress, passive form of income that will reward you for decades, not an expensive headache that becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

What Tenant Background Screening Can and Cannot Include

Screening can be tricky. Legally, according to the Federal Fair Housing Act, you cannot ask about a tenant’s religion, national origin, race, or gender, or whether they have children or are disabled. (Some states have certain laws about this as well, extending to age, sexual orientation, marital status, and more.) You also cannot ask if a prospective tenant has been arrested before, although you’ll definitely want to know if they have a criminal record.

It’s the questions you can ask that will eat up your time. Do you really want to spend all day scouring federal, state, and county criminal court records, the sex offender database, and the DOC offender list? And then calling former landlords and employers in Vancouver to make sure someone’s application is accurate? Don’t pull your hair out. Let Eqwest handle it for you.
keys to apartment after successful tenant screening Photo: Jake Liefer

Why Use Eqwest Property Management for Your Tenant Screening?

When it comes to tenant background screening in Vancouver, WA, our motto at Eqwest is “No desperation renting.” We never want you to feel like you don’t have the time or resources to investigate a potential tenant. You shouldn’t have to resign yourself to the first available candidate, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. We take those worries off your hands so you can get back to the rest of your life.

After all, Eqwest’s team is deeply familiar with the legal requirements surrounding both recruiting and screening tenants in Vancouver, WA. Plus, we pull your tenant options from a pool of excellent candidates, not the general public. We reduce your risks and unnecessary expenses. (Still not convinced? Check out 5 reasons to work with a property management company.)

Have you screened tenants before? Do you use a property management company or do it yourself?

If tenant screening sounds overwhelming, let Eqwest take it off your plate. Get in touch today with the best property management company in Vancouver, WA.