Tenant screening services are used by landlords, property managers, and real estate agents to assess potential tenants and perform tenant background checks. We reviewed more than 20 online tenant screening services and identified the top 11 based on features and affordability for landlords.
Top 11 Tenant Screening Services
Tenant Screening Services
(Best overall) Screening service with affordable options that include credit checks
Interpreting screening reports by certified screeners
Flexibility to choose from an a la carte menu
All-in-one platform to market rental listings on the site
Scored reports rather than credit reports that include recommendations
Screening directly from a credit bureau (TransUnion)
Background screening and the ability to insure rental income
Tenant screening and optional online property management tools
An a la carte menu and the ability to speak to live support
A comprehensive entry-level tenant screening plan
Free screening in exchange for insurance sale opportunity
How We Evaluated the Best Tenant Screening Services
Tenant online screening services help landlords, and real estate agents vet potential tenants for vacant rental units. The best tenant screening services are those that offer criminal background checks, employment and income verification, and eviction history, at a price that’s affordable for landlords.
We looked at the following criteria to determine the top tenant screening services:
- Pricing: Screens prospective tenants affordably as an a la carte service or part of a larger plan
- Criminal background checks: Shows the applicants’ past single-state or multistate convictions records
- Landlord, residence & eviction history: Provides addresses, length of tenants’ residency, and whether an eviction was filed
- Income & employment verification: Verifies applicants’ employment and income to see if they fit income guidelines for vacancies
- Unique features: Sets each company apart and gives them a competitive edge
- Customer service: Offers landlord support with online chat, email, and dedicated phone lines
- Customer reviews: Perceived positively by the public and landlords who use the service
Based on the criteria above, our recommendation for the best overall tenant screening service is MyRental. It offers different plans for a variety of screening needs at fair prices. MyRental’s premium plan offers the most value at $29.99 and includes background checks, credit checks, income verification, and adverse action letters.
MyRental: Best Overall Tenant Screening Service
Offering a well-rounded set of plans at affordable prices makes MyRental good for budget-conscious landlords. If the applicant is denied, this is the only tenant screening service that generates Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)-compliant adverse action letters automatically. Starting at $19.99, and for the same price, MyRental provides greater comprehensive reporting than RentPrep or LeaseRunner.
MyRental Pricing & Features
Premium Plus Plan
A La Carte Menu
Starting at $7.99
Multistate Criminal Background Check
Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
Income & Employment Verification
Adverse Action Letter Created
Compare Score by Location
Landlord Acceptance Rate
MyRental Basic Plan
The rental background check provided in the company’s Basic plan is $19.99 and covers previous addresses, eviction histories, and multistate criminal background histories, including sex offender registries and federal terrorist watch lists. The price doesn’t include credit reporting or income verification, which are both available at the next tier. Court records are searched for failure-to-pay rent notices, judgments for unpaid rent, and evictions.
MyRental Premium Plan
The Premium plan is $29.99 and adds on credit reporting, income and employment verification, and the option to have applicants pay for their own screening. MyRental currently gets its credit reporting from TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting agencies. It’s a soft pull, so it won’t ding applicants’ credit profiles. Raw credit data is presented in the form of a reader-friendly risk score to help discern the applicant’s potential.
MyRental Premium Plus Plan
The Premium Plus plan is $34.99 and includes all the features of the Basic and Premium plans. In addition to the tenant background check services in those plans, the Premium Plus plan compares applicant scores to local averages, allowing the user to see other landlord’s acceptance rate for tenants with scores similar to the prospective tenant.
MyRental A La Carte
If landlords don’t need a full package, MyRental allows them to purchase individual reports. These rental background checks include an eviction history for $7.99, statewide criminal check for $9.99, county criminal records for $14.99, multistate criminal reports for $19.99, and credit histories for $14.99.
MyRental Unique Features
One unique feature of MyRental tenant screening services is if applicants are turned down, landlords can receive automatic adverse action letters, so landlords don’t have to create rejection letters and will also know if the applicant is FCRA-compliant. None of the other providers offer this service.
MyRental Customer Service
MyRental online customer support is available Monday through Saturday through live chat on the company’s website. Customers who sign up for a plan can email customer service with questions directly from their accounts.
What MyRental Is Missing
MyRental, like many of our providers, is missing an FCRA-certified tenant screener to help with proper background screening. However, it does offer the FCRA-compliant adverse action letter. For those who want personal guidance to interpret the tenant background report, they should go with RentPrep or National Tenant Network.
MyRental Customer Reviews
MyRental reviews are generally positive. Landlords typically feel the software is easy to use and reporting is fast. There were some dated individual complaints regarding a technical issue at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but most landlords love MyRental as a tenant screening service, and it is their preferred choice for tenant background checks.
Where to Get MyRental
You can sign up for MyRental online and start screening tenants right away. Choose from a Basic, Premium, or Premium Plus account, or pick the individual reports you need from their a la carte menu. MyRental is the only online tenant screening service that includes an adverse action letter, making it our top choice for completing a rental background check.
RentPrep: Best Tenant Background Check for Individual Guidance
RentPrep stands out because it utilizes certified agents to assist with interpreting the tenant background check at no additional charge. Even with live screeners, its pricing is comparable to the others, ranging from $18.95 to $35. This service is right for landlords who appreciate a human touch.
RentPrep Pricing & Features
RentPrep Tenant Background Check
SmartMove Full Credit Report
Criminal Background Check
Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
Income & Employment Verification
Judgment, Lien & Bankruptcies
RentPrep Tenant Background Check Plan
RentPrep’s background check solution has the lowest price of any provider at $18.95. However, it provides additional features like Social Security number verification, address history, national eviction data, and information on judgments, liens, and bankruptcies. Employment verification and criminal history are not provided with this plan. If credit reporting is desired, it’s an additional $9.95. Landlords can also add-on a national sex offender and criminal search for $4.
RentPrep Smart Move Plan
RentPrep Smart Move costs $35 per month and includes full credit reporting. Users pay $4.95 for the judgments and liens search. National sex offender search is included at no charge. Like MyRental, RentPrep uses TransUnion for its credit reporting. FICO scores are provided in addition to basic information. Credit reports are a hard pull if landlord initiated but a soft pull if the applicant pays for the screening.
RentPrep Unique Features
One unique feature of RentPrep is their live screeners where someone is manually verifying applicant information. Another unique feature is its no-nonsense approach to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance. RentPrep makes it a priority to know the laws and are proactive in complying with them, protecting landlords and property managers from accidentally breaking the law or discriminating against an applicant.
Customer Service at RentPrep
For general questions, users can chat with a RentPrep tenant screener online. It also has a dedicated customer service line and can also be reached by email or fax. Its certified tenant screeners are located in its New York office.
RentPrep’s hours of operation are:
- Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time
- Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time
- Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time
What RentPrep Is Missing
Automatically generated adverse action letters are not available with RentPrep as they are with MyRental, but clients have access to FCRA-compliant templates. RentPrep also doesn’t offer an a la carte menu as MyRental does, so landlords can’t order the single reports they might need. RentPrep formerly had a middle-range package of rental background check services for $22.95, which is no longer available.
RentPrep Customer Reviews
RentPrep customer reviews are generally positive. RentPrep users report customer service is excellent, and the staff is knowledgeable when answering landlord questions. However, there was one negative customer service review. Landlords overall enjoy these tenant screening services and report that the online content is a helpful additional resource.
Where to Get RentPrep
Landlords can find RentPrep online at their website and start screening applicants in just a few minutes. The company prides itself on including human interactions to assist landlords with its tenant screening services. For those who prefer to talk directly with a person instead of working with full automation like some of our other top picks, they can contact the company directly.
LeaseRunner: Most Flexible Tenant Screening Service
LeaseRunner doesn’t offer packages. Instead, it offers an a la carte menu for users to choose the types of reports they need. Each LeaseRunner tenant background check is more rigorous than its equivalent provided by the other tenant screening services. However, when purchasing all the available reports, LeaseRunner is the most expensive. LeaseRunner is right for landlords who want to choose individual rental background checks.
LeaseRunner Pricing & Features
LeaseRunner pricing is a la carte, and landlords can select the individual reports they need. It’s important to note that if every report was chosen, the total cost would be $57 per applicant, making LeaseRunner the most expensive. Depending on the need, single reporting can make this the least expensive option, if landlords only want to screen for one or two areas.
Prices for LeaseRunner tenant background checks are:
- Credit report $20: Provided by Experian; includes previous address and current employer verifications
- Criminal report $15: Covers all 50 states, sex offender registries, and federal terrorist watch lists
- Financial report $10: Provides bank account balances, deposits, and withdrawals; aids in income verification and in determining whether the applicant can afford the unit
- Nationwide eviction report $12: Also indicates if property damage judgments were filed
In addition to tenant background checks, LeaseRunner offers fee-based a la carte leasing services that include rental applications, online rent collection, and digital lease agreement templates with e-signing, ranging from free to $30. LeaseRunner doesn’t offer packages of tenant screening services like MyRental, RentPrep, and TransUnion SmartMove offer.
LeaseRunner Credit Reporting Methods
LeaseRunner uses Experian credit reporting. The applicant authorizes the screening, so it’s considered a soft pull. LeaseRunner’s reporting utilizes VantageScore 3.0, which is a competitor to the FICO scoring system and intended to provide more useful data than raw credit file information. LeaseRunner does not generate adverse action letters automatically but does supply FCRA-compliant templates for clients to use.
LeaseRunner Criminal Background Checks
LeaseRunner’s criminal background report provides criminal records from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Prison records, watch lists, sex offender information, parole and probation records, and terror watch list reporting make its criminal background reporting among the most robust of all the providers.
LeaseRunner Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
With their eviction report option, LeaseRunner provides a nationwide search for up to 10 prior addresses and up to seven years of information. Court actions, judgments, and property damage claims are all tracked. Because LeaseRunner reports are ordered individually, ancillary information, such as Social Security number verification or bank account data, are only available with the purchase of additional reports.
LeaseRunner Income & Employment Verifications
LeaseRunner offers the Financial Profile report, which contains the applicants’ bank balances, deposits, and withdrawals to help develop a financial profile of the applicant. Credit reporting also provides income and employment information such as current and previous employers and other sources of income.
LeaseRunner Unique Features
One unique feature of LeaseRunner as a tenant screening service is there are no subscriptions and monthly fees. Instead, landlords choose the individual type of rental background check they want, pay for it, and are done. For example, they may not require a credit check but might want a criminal background check, or vice versa. It also offers free online rental application templates.
LeaseRunner Customer Service
For immediate questions, consumers can call LeaseRunner’s customer service or email them directly. A clickable email address is provided at the bottom of their pages. The customer service team is based in Colorado and available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain time.
What LeaseRunner Is Missing
LeaseRunner is missing the affordability of some of the other tenant screening services. If landlords want all the available tenant screening services, it will cost $57, which is much more than MyRental’s top cost of $34.99. For landlords looking for multiple services, it’s more economical to choose another service like MyRental or RentPrep.
LeaseRunner Customer Reviews
LeaseRunner has positive customer reviews. Landlords report that the staff is professional. Using the individual reports for credit and rental background checks provides peace of mind. There have been complaints regarding receiving payments using its online rent collection tool, but LeaseRunner has updated its software to create faster funding. There were no complaints about tenant screening services.
Where to Get LeaseRunner
Once you’ve signed up for LeaseRunner on its website, you’ll immediately receive an email confirming your free account. From there, you can choose which tenant background checks you want and start screening applicants.
TurboTenant: Best All-in-One Platform for Landlords
TurboTenant is a tenant screening service with a platform that allows for posting available rentals. Unlike MyRental, TurboTenant doesn’t have packages. Instead, there is a $35 to $45 fee per tenant application. This site is right for landlords, real estate agents, and property managers who want to screen applicants and post their vacant listings.
TurboTenant Pricing & Features
The online property management software service is free to sign up and post available rental listings, but there’s a charge for each tenant background check. The applicant or the landlord can pay the screening fee directly on the site. If the applicants pay their own application fee, the service is essentially free for the landlord.
TurboTenant pricing includes:
- $35 per tenant screening includes a credit report and criminal background check
- $45 per tenant screening adds an eviction report with the credit and criminal background checks
TurboTenant is a platform for landlords, property managers and real estate agents to use to screen tenants and market their rental listings. Like LeaseRunner, all options are a la carte. One of its best features is that the prospective tenant can fill out the application online and directly pay for the screening, so landlords don’t have to fuss with collecting application fees and depositing checks.
TurboTenant Credit Reporting Methods
TurboTenant uses a soft credit pull, so it doesn’t impact the applicants’ FICO score. The report lists the applicants’ FICO score and the factors that are included in determining the score like the number of open and closed credit accounts, outstanding loans, and payment history. The company uses TransUnion.
TurboTenant Criminal Background Checks
Unlike National Tenant Network, TurboTenant conducts a deeper, more comprehensive nationwide rental background check. This advanced tenant background check is included automatically as part of the applicant screening fee. They search more than 200 million criminal records, so if a tenant has recently moved from another state, landlords will likely be able to find information about them.
TurboTenant Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
TurboTenant only includes an eviction report with the $45 tenant screening option. Otherwise, an eviction tenant background check isn’t included. The $35 option includes the tenants’ prior residence and public records to show if any landlord-tenant related cases are outstanding.
TurboTenant Income & Employment Verifications
This is where TurboTenant falls short. It doesn’t provide any type of income verification. It recommends that landlords verify the income and current employment with the applicants’ employer. It doesn’t offer live screeners, so it’s up to the landlords to have the applicant sign a records release form, or call the applicants’ employers, and collect their pay stubs.
TurboTenant Unique Features
One unique feature of TurboTenant for tenant screening is that it’s not just a tenant screening service. It can also be used to post vacant rental listings and create flyers for rental units. For prospective renters, landlords can have the applicant fill out the application directly on the website.
Customer Service at TurboTenant
Out of all of the tenant screening services here, TurboTenant provides the most options for contacting customer support. Site visitors can click on a button for live chat, call the Colorado-based customer support team, or email them. It also provides a lot of information in its frequently asked questions (FAQs) forum.
What’s TurboTenant Is Missing
TurboTenant is missing tiers or plans that offer different services for one fee. Everything with TurboTenant is offered a la carte, so if landlords want to sign up for a tiered plan, they’re better off choosing MyRental or RentPrep. As mentioned, TurboTenant also doesn’t offer employment and income verifications as part of a tenant background check.
TurboTenant Customer Reviews
TurboTenant reviews are overall positive. Landlords say the software enables them to find great tenants. Some users complained about the customer service team is difficult to contact directly by phone and fails to offer effective solutions. However, most landlords are saying positive things and like the ability to both screen tenants and market vacancies.
Where to Get TurboTenant
With TurboTenant, you only need to buy what tenant screening services you need to lease your properties with confidence. You can sign up for TurboTenant online for free or contact them from its website or through customer support.
National Tenant Network: Best Tenant Screening Service with a Point System
National Tenant Network is a tenant screening service similar to LeaseRunner, with no plan levels. The company screens each applicant and assigns a score from zero to 100 based on their debt, income, credit report, and eviction history. National Tenant Network is right for landlords who want strong tenant recommendations without trying to sift through and understand multiple reports.
National Tenant Network Pricing & Features
National Tenant Network is similar to LeaseRunner, offering an a la carte menu of services. Customers pay a one-time signup fee of $35 and then pay for the individual tenant screening services they need each time they want to pull a report. However, landlords who own multiple properties can call for package pricing.
National Tenant Network’s prices include:
- Setup fee: $35, one time
- National Tenant Network DecisionPoint: $22 per search; gives a rating score from 0 to 100; rental analysis results based on the applicants’ income and credit profile
- Tenant performance report: $10 per search; verifies applicants’ Social Security numbers and lease violations history
- County criminal search: $25 per search
- Multistate criminal search: $35 per search
National Tenant Network doesn’t include a credit report, making it different from the other tenant screening services. Instead, it provides a score from zero to 100, based on comprehensive tenant background check information, including criminal, income, and eviction checks. It analyzes the same data as the other top screeners but presents it in a scored format with a recommendation to either accept the applicants or to deny them.
National Tenant Network Credit Reporting Methods
National Tenant Network doesn’t use traditional credit reporting methods or provide an applicants’ credit report. Instead, landlords are given a score from zero to 100 and a recommendation to either approve or deny them based on National Tenant Network’s analysis. Landlords also have access to a financial report showing how much they owe in student loans, credit cards, and medical bills. It doesn’t send out an adverse action letter but does provide the landlord with a template to use.
National Tenant Network Criminal Background Checks
National Tenant Network offers two types of criminal background checks. The first is a county criminal history from the county where the applicant resides. The second is a more comprehensive background check that spans multiple states. These records are reviewed by trained staff to ensure an identity match.
National Tenant Network Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
National Tenant Network’s trained staff will call and verify past residences, previous landlords, and rental payment history, if applicable. It also pulls eviction records on each applicant by scouring through the landlord-tenant and eviction court records and will provide the case’s date, amount owed, and outcome.
National Tenant Network Income & Employment Verifications
National Tenant Network also offers tenant screening services which verify the applicants’ current and previous employers as well as past and present income. Landlords who want to purchase verification services as a package need to contact the company directly.
National Tenant Network Unique Features
One unique feature of National Tenant Network, unlike the other tenant screening services, is landlords can’t access applicant credit reports. Instead, they receive a score from zero to 100, based on the applicants’ financial standing, income, eviction history, and credit profile. The report generates their score and recommends whether to accept or deny the applicant. The report is easy to read and provides an overview of the applicant before reading about their background.
National Tenant Network Customer Service
National Tenant Network has 35 regional offices and can be contacted directly through the site. It also has a list of phone numbers for each office. For more general questions, consumers can contact the company through the site or look under the FAQs section.
What National Tenant Network Is Missing
National Tenant Network doesn’t provide a credit report for each applicant. Unlike MyRental and TransUnion SmartMove, it doesn’t give an option of plans to choose from, and users don’t have access to the applicants’ actual FICO scores, they only receive the National Tenant Network score from zero to 100.
National Tenant Network Customer Reviews
National Tenant Network reviews are generally positive from landlords, and they hold an A+ rating from the BBB. The company does have some complaints from applicants who have been screened by the company, stating their report is inaccurate. Overall, however, National Tenant Network is well-established as a leading tenant screening service, and public perception of the company is positive.
Where to Find National Tenant Network
You can easily find National Tenant Network online where you can sign up for the service and start screening applicants within a few minutes. Once the screening is finished, you will receive an emailed copy of the report for your records or in case you need to share it with the property owner.
TransUnion SmartMove: Best Direct Tenant Screening from a Credit Bureau
TransUnion SmartMove is a superb alternative to MyRental. It offers three different tiered plans with prices ranging from $25 to $40 per applicant. TransUnion SmartMove also offers an additional feature with all of its plans called a Credit-based Resident Score, which gives an overall tenant score developed by TransUnion. TransUnion SmartMove is ideal for landlords and property managers who trust the affiliation with TransUnion or who want an alternative to MyRental.
TransUnion SmartMove Pricing & Features
SmartCheck Basic Plan
SmartCheck Basic Plus Plan
SmartCheck Premium Plan
Full Credit Reporting
Credit-based Resident Score
Criminal Background Check
Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
TransUnion SmartMove SmartCheck Basic Plan
The SmartCheck Basic plan is $25 per applicant and gives a credit-based resident score along with a recommendation by TransUnion of whether or not to rent to the applicant. This plan also gives a nationwide criminal background check but doesn’t provide a full credit report offered by the more advanced plans.
TransUnion SmartMove SmartCheck Basic Plus Plan
The SmartCheck Basic Plus plan is $38 per applicant. Along with the features of the Basic plan, the Basic Plus plan offers data from TransUnion with full credit reporting on each applicant. The credit report is a soft pull on an applicant’s credit since the applicants are required to authorize it. This plan also offers previous landlord, residence and eviction checks, including a national eviction report.
TransUnion SmartMove SmartCheck Premium Plan
The SmartCheck Premium plan is the top plan and priced at $40 per applicant. In addition to the offerings of the other two plans, it also offers something called “Income Insights.” These are additional verifications that TransUnion SmartMove does to see if the applicants’ income is accurately reported by the applicant. It reviews online records, financial behavior, and all income sources, and advises landlords if they should get additional proof of tenant income.
TransUnion SmartMove Unique Features
One unique feature of TransUnion SmartMove for tenant background screening is the applicant score feature. It’s a score of each applicant from TransUnion based on an analysis of more than 500,000 resident records. Similar to the National Tenant Network, it gives the property manager or landlord a recommendation to accept the applicants or deny them.
Customer Service at TransUnion SmartMove
TransUnion SmartMove doesn’t offer telephone support. Instead, it asks landlords to complete a contact form online and wait for their response. In addition, it offers a FAQs section for landlords to use as a resource.
What TransUnion SmartMove Is Missing
A landlord or property manager can’t screen the applicants themselves on TransUnion SmartMove. Instead, they enter all the necessary information and have the option of paying the fee. The applicants then have to enter their personal information to authorize the criminal and credit reports. This can be time-consuming if the applicant doesn’t do this promptly, so landlords should encourage them to do it right away, so they don’t risk losing the unit to another renter.
TransUnion SmartMove Customer Reviews
TransUnion SmartMove generally has positive customer reviews. This is especially true among landlords who want to work directly with TransUnion, a leading authority in credit reporting. We didn’t find any negative landlord comments, but this may not be the best product when looking to stay in control of the screening process since this software puts applicants in charge of the report timing.
Where to Find TransUnion SmartMove
You can sign up for TransUnion SmartMove online and start screening tenants within a few minutes, like all of the top tenant screening services listed. All of TransUnion SmartMove’s credit reporting data is provided directly by TransUnion.
TenantAlert!: Best Tenant Screening Service With Available Rent-loss Coverage
TenantAlert! is best for landlords looking for rent-loss coverage, affordable basic tenant screening services and are willing to pay more for comprehensive packages. It offers four landlord packages from $24.95 to $49.95. TenantAlert allows for tenant or landlord payments, giving landlords free tenant screening options.
TenantAlert! Pricing & Features
Multistate Criminal Background Check
Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
Previous Address Verification
Lease Guarantee Analyzer
Social Security Fraud
TenantAlert! Basic Plan
The Basic plan is $24.95 and covers previous address and tenancy history, credit report, credit score, and a TeleCheck verification which verifies bounced check history. This is a good value, but if consumers want an eviction history, they’ll need to upgrade to the Plus package.
TenantAlert! Plus Plan
The Plus plan adds a statewide eviction report, which includes data pulled from county-level courts when a judgment is filed for possession of the property, and no money is awarded. It also provides information not included on credit reports and includes a Lease Guarantee Analyzer, which identifies tenants’ eligibility for rent-loss coverage. The plan price is $29.95.
TenantAlert! Pro Plan
The Pro plan is $39.95 and includes all of the above features plus a terrorist and sex offender search. The Pro plan also includes a federal search, which searches multiple databases for offenders of violent crimes toward children, cybercrimes, murder, white collar crimes, most wanted lists, and more.
TenantAlert! Premier Plan
The premier plan is $49.95 and is TenantAlert!’s most comprehensive rental background check plan. It includes the entire suite of searches available for all of their other products plus a Social Security fraud search. This background check searches more than 19 billion records to verify potentially fraudulent identities, validate the prospective tenants’ Social Security numbers, and reduce identity theft exposure.
TenantAlert! Unique Features
One unique feature of TenantAlert! is the company offers a Lease Guarantee analyzer, which identifies tenants who are eligible for rent-loss coverage. Lease Guarantee provides coverage to landlords for lost rent, damages, and legal fees ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for a fee of $299 a year.
Customer Service at TenantAlert!
TenantAlert! offers live telephone support Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time or they can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s Missing With TenantAlert!
TenantAlert! is missing support from an FCRA-certified screener, an income verification option, and online chat support, which is available through RentPrep. However, it prides themselves on having live telephone support staff available for customers five days a week.
TenantAlert! Customer Reviews
TenantAlert! public perception is generally very good with an A+ rating from the BBB. Landlords like its lease guarantee product and the live phone support. However, there were some resolved complaints regarding difficulties with opening reports after they were delivered. Overall, TenantAlert! is a leading tenant screening service and public perception of the company is positive.
Where to Get TenantAlert!
You can sign up for TenantAlert! online and start screening tenants, which makes it a convenient tenant background check option. Check it out to determine your applicants’ background, payment history, and if they qualify for TenantAlert’s rent-loss coverage.
Avail: Best Tenant Background Check With Property Management
Avail offers landlords three tenant background screening plans. Like our other providers that offer plans, each plan provides an increasing degree of verifications and checks. Unlike many of our included companies, Avail also offers full-service property management. Avail’s basic tenant screening service is free.
Avail Pricing & Features
TransUnion Credit Score
Nationwide Criminal, Terror List & Sex Offender Check
Rental & Employment Histories
Avail Rental Profile
The Rental Profile product at Avail allows landlords to screen tenants’ basic information. The service verifies the applicants’ rental history, employment history, and income. This basic service is free for landlords.
Avail Credit Plus
The Credit Plus option provides landlords with midlevel verification, adding a TransUnion credit score, credit history, and adverse records history. This is a good product for landlords wanting to add credit verification to their tenant screening. Credit Plus is available for $25 per applicant.
Avail Full Screening
Full Screening from Avail includes all tenant background checks and verifications included in their basic and mid-level report with the addition of a nationwide criminal, terror list, and sex offender registry checks as well as previous eviction reports.
Avail Unique Features
One unique feature of Avail for tenant screening is landlords can sign up for a monthly membership that allows them to manage one unit rental for free and includes there Full Screening product plus many other property management tools like online rent payment.
Avail Customer Service
Avail offers online support through its website. Consumers can email customer support with questions or read through the frequently asked questions section. Customer service is also available by phone, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time.
What Avail Is Missing
While Avail offers an a la carte tenant screening menu like the National Tenant Network, it may not be the best option for landlords looking only for a rental background check. Its best feature is the ability to utilize their online property management services that include listing syndication, applicant screening, leases, online rent payments, and maintenance tracking.
Avail Customer Reviews
Avail has good customer reviews. This is especially true among landlords who live a distance from their rental properties. There have been a few complaints about slow customer service. However, landlords typically love Avail as an a la carte tenant screening service.
Where to Get Avail
You can sign up for Avail online and start screening tenants right away, which makes it a convenient tenant screening option for busy landlords. Check it out to determine who your tenants are and what their payment history has been before you rent a unit to them. Get started for free or upgrade to their Credit Plus product for $25.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us: Best Service With Live Customer Support and a la Carte Reports
InstantBackgroundChecks.us has been in business since 1982. Similar to LeaseRunner, it offers an a la carte menu starting at $19.95 for credit checks but with no subscription fee. It is good for landlords that want the ability to speak with live staff and want access to FCRA-compliant single reports with a 24-hour turnaround.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us Pricing & Features
National Criminal Search
Landlord, Prior Residence & Eviction Checks
A la Carte Menu at InstantBackgroundChecks.us
InstantBackgroundChecks.us signup is free and landlord’s pay per report or bundle, depending on their needs. A credit report with FICO score is only $19.95. Nationwide criminal searches that include a state background check are $20.95. It also offers bundled services, but they are not as comprehensive as MyRental or RentPrep.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us Basic Bundle Plan
The Basic bundle is $22.95 and provides landlords with a full credit report, prior residence checks, and a previous eviction report. This package is good for landlords who want basic tenant background screening at an affordable price.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us Midlevel Bundle
The midlevel bundle includes a credit report and a national criminal search for $28.95. To receive an applicant’s previous eviction history in addition to these other tenant background checks, landlords can purchase the Premium bundle.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us Premium Bundle
The Premium bundle is $29.95 and includes the credit report, national criminal search, the applicant’s previous residence, and eviction report. This is InstantBackgroundChecks.us most comprehensive reporting option.
InstantBackgroundChecks.us Unique Features
One unique feature of InstantBackgroundChecks.us is that tenant verification records are collected in more than 8,000 municipal, county, state, and federal courthouses nationwide. With more than 30 years’ experience, they have one of the United States’ largest databases.
Customer Service at InstantBackgroundChecks.us
InstantBackgroundChecks.us offers a contact form on their website and has a dedicated support number for calls. Consumers can email customer service at info@InstantBackgroundChecks.us with questions.
What’s Missing With InstantBackgroundChecks.us
InstantBackgroundChecks.us is a great option for tenant background checks with no subscription fees. However, it is missing income verification services. While knowing the tenants’ background and payment history is very important, knowing if the applicant can afford the rental is valuable as well. Having the option to verify income allows landlords to make a better decision. For income verification packages at $30 or less, consider MyRental.
Instantbackgrouncheck.us Customer Reviews
Instandtbackgroundcheck.us has excellent customer reviews and a B+ rating from the BBB. Landlords like the experienced staff and highly recommend the company’s services. There were no negative comments or reviews, but landlords who want income verification services should consider MyRental.
Where to Get InstantBackgroundChecks.us
You can sign-up for InstantBackgroundChecks.us online and start screening tenants within a few minutes, which makes it a convenient tenant screening option. Check it out online to determine who your tenants are and what their payment history has been in just a few minutes.
E-Renter: Most Comprehensive Entry-level Tenant Background Check
E-Renter offers robust basic tenant screening services. Starting at just $19.95, its basic plan offers more than RentPrep or MyRental’s same tier plans. It is good for landlords who are budget-conscious, want robust features, and accept checks. This is the only tenant screening service offering landlord’s Rent Check Advisor.
E-Renter Pricing & Features
$29.95 (+$1.99 for tenant)
$34.95 (+$1.99 for tenant)
Multistate Criminal Background Check
Sex Offender Search
Eviction, Liens & Judgments
Social Security Number Verification & Death Index
Income & Employment Verification
Previous Address & Phone Number Check
Rent Check Advisor
E-Renter Basic Plan
The Basic plan is $19.95 and covers Social Security number validation, Social Security death index check, Office of Foreign Assets Control/Patriot Act Search, evictions, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, criminal records search, and a sex offender search.
E-Renter Mid-Level Plan
The Mid-level plan includes all of the background searches in the basic plan and adds in credit reporting, to help landlords see how a tenant manages their finances. It is priced at $29.95, plus there is a $1.99 fee charged to the prospective tenant.
E-Renter Premium Plan
The Premium plan is $34.95 plus a $1.99 fee charged to the tenant. This is in line with MyRental but doesn’t offer the adverse action letter. As E-Renter’s most comprehensive plan, it includes everything in Basic and Mid-level, plus the tenants’ previous addresses, identity, and phone number verification, and the Rent Check Advisor software that checks the applicant’s check writing patterns and history and performs a rental risk analysis.
E-Renter Unique Features
One unique feature of E-Renter is the company offers Rent Check Advisor, which recommends with a high rate of accuracy whether to accept rent checks from a potential tenant. For example, if a prospective tenant has a history of bounced checks, landlords may decide to either not accept checks for rent payments or not rent to the applicant.
Customer Service at E-Renter
E-Renter offers customer support Monday to Friday or by emailing them directly from the website. There is also a dedicated line for tenants disputing background check findings.
What’s Missing With E-Renter
E-Renter is missing credit reporting in its basic plan level. However, their basic plan offers the most comprehensive checks for $19.95. Although it does offer telephone calls during working hours, online chat would be a nice additional feature.
E-Renter Customer Reviews
E-Renter generally has positive customer reviews, especially from landlords who use their rent check feature. There have been a few instances of complaints from customers, most often related to inaccurate reporting. However, landlords are generally happy with E-Renter tenant screening service.
Where to Get E-Renter Tenant Screening Services
You can sign-up for E-Renter online and start screening tenants within a few minutes, which makes it a convenient tenant screening option. Check it out to determine who your tenants are quickly and what their payment history has been before you rent a unit to them.
Naborly: Best Overall New Tenant Screening Service
Naborly offers the only free unlimited tenant background check service out of all of our providers. Instead of charging for tenant screening services, they make money by providing approved tenants the option to purchase renters’ insurance. Its free service includes both credit reports and criminal background reports.
Naborly Pricing & Features
Equifax Report & Sscore
Bankruptcy & Liens
Tenant Suitability & Outcomes
Rent-to-Rent and Debt-to-Income Ratios
Federal, State, County & Municipal Tenant Background Checks
Sex Offender Registry Search
FBI Most Wanted Search
Interpol Database Search
Naborly Basic Plan
The Basic plan is free in the U.S. The plan comes with Equifax Report & Score, identity verification, employment and income verification, bankruptcy and lien search, previous address verification, employment stability analysis, pet liability analysis, property suitability analysis, projected tenancy outcomes, rent-to-income ratio and debt-to-income ratio (DITR) helping landlords make an informed decision.
Naborly Pro Plan
The Pro plan is also free and includes all basic screening, federal-level criminal search, state-level criminal search, county-level criminal search, municipal criminal search, driving records, sex offender registry check, FBI most wanted search, Interpol database search, terrorist watchlist check, and public court record check.
Naborly Unique Features
One unique feature of Naborly is that the screening services are free to both landlords and tenants. The company generates income from providing renters’ insurance to approved tenants. That is something no other provider offers. Renter’s insurance can protect the tenant’s belongings and the landlord’s property if the tenant causes damage.
Customer Service at Naborly
Naborly offers a dedicated customer support number from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday. Email is also available for those seeking more information about rental background check services.
What’s Missing With Naborly
Naborly is a fairly new company and doesn’t offer a live FCRA-certified screener like RentPrep. However, by offering free tenant screening for landlords since its launch in early 2016, Naborly has become a dominant player in North America, having worked with thousands of landlords and property management firms.
Naborly Customer Reviews
Naborly generally has positive landlord customer reviews. Both new and experienced landlords say they love the free service and that its insurance products are innovative. We didn’t find any landlord complaints. Overall, Naborly is perceived to offer great products for landlords at no cost.
Where to Get Naborly Tenant Screening Service
Landlords can sign up for Naborly online in just a few minutes. Once signed up, landlords will have access to Naborly’s online rental application that they can send to a prospective tenant to start screening for free.
Tenant Background Check Red Flags
Some landlords wonder if they should overlook any of the items that show up on tenant background checks, especially when most applicants have some ding on their record, and it seems like the ideal tenant doesn’t exist. While a tenant who has outdated information on their record or only a minor ding or two might seem worth taking a risk, it’s important to consider which items are red flags to avoid.
Lower Credit Score From Foreclosure
The real estate market crash of 2008 turned many homeowners into renters, impacting their credit scores. Since this was more than a decade ago, if the applicant has not shown any significant or additional recent credit issues, it’s likely safe to rent to them. If there’s no history of rebuilding credit, consider it a red flag.
No Rental History
Young people getting their first apartment are at a disadvantage because they have no rental history, making it tough for landlords to know how they’ll be as tenants. Lack of rental history is a red flag but can be remedied with them getting a parent co-signer. Don’t discriminate based on age and also screen co-signers.
Previous Landlords Withholding Information
If you call a former landlord and they don’t give the tenant good recommendations with examples, watch out. They may want to pass their problem tenant onto you, or in extreme cases, the alleged former landlord is a relative of the applicant. Come to the call with a list of questions and ask for examples.
Trust Your Gut
If something doesn’t seem right to you, it likely isn’t. Many landlords who were eager to fill a vacancy later reported their instincts told them to deny the applicant, even when the applicant looked good on paper. Leases are long-term agreements, so be sure you feel good about the tenants you rent to.
Tenant screening services help landlords, real estate agents, and property management firms run tenant background checks, credit reports, and eviction checks as well as verify employment and income. This helps landlords assess whether applicants are qualified to rent a house or an apartment. The best tenant screening service will depend on the landlord’s unique needs.
If you’re looking for a full-service tenant screening service, check out MyRental. It’s a great service for landlords who want an affordable and easy to use screening service with automatic adverse letters mailed to declined tenants, helping landlords stay in compliance, and make an informed decision as a landlord.