9 Best Tenant Screening Services 2020

[Tested and Reviewed]

So, you’re searching for the best tenant screening services in the market. 

How’s that going?

It can be confusing and exhausting trying to find an ideal solution since there are too many alternatives available.

That’s why I compiled a list of the top screening websites out there. This piece will make it easier for you to navigate through the large assortment of options. 

In this article, you’ll find:

  • TechJury’s rigorous methodology that helped me with the selection.
  • Nine informative tenant background check reviews
  • Best use case scenario for each tool
  • An informative definition of a tenant screening service
  • An insightful explanation of how tenant screening services acquire information.
  • A helpful buyers’ guide for this type of platforms
  • Answers to your frequently asked questions
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1. RentPrep

RentPrep is the best community-based tenant screening solution. This user-friendly tool will provide you with thorough screening before renting out your property. Some of this website’s features include tenant assessment, credit check, income verification, and background screening. Full Review

  • Fast turnarounds
  • Facebook support group
  • Live agent support
Visit Website

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RentPrep is the best community-based tenant screening solution. This user-friendly tool will provide you with thorough screening before renting out your property. Some of this website’s features include tenant assessment, credit check, income verification, and background screening. Full Review

Trial period

Yes, 14 days

Income verification

Yes

Background checks

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

2. MyRental

MyRental is an excellent tenant screening service. It's got flexible pricing options - order as many reports as you need. Some of the vital things that you'll find out about your potential renter include terrorist alerts, eviction history, previous addresses, credit reports, county and state-wide& criminal reports, sex offenses, amongst others. Full Review

  • Allows single report purchase
  • User-friendly
  • Terrorist alert
Visit Website

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MyRental is an excellent tenant screening service. It's got flexible pricing options - order as many reports as you need. Some of the vital things that you'll find out about your potential renter include terrorist alerts, eviction history, previous addresses, credit reports, county and state-wide& criminal reports, sex offenses, amongst others. Full Review

Trial period

No

Income verification

Yes

Background check

No

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

No

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

No

3. TurboTenant

TurboTenant is a tenant background check service free for landlords. This all-in-one property management tool streamlines the entire rental process from screening to moving out. Now you can take care of background checks, property listing, rent estimate reports, sharing and storing of documents, renters insurance, and e-signatures with ease! Full Review

  • Free for landlords
  • Lease creation
  • Lead generation
Visit Website

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TurboTenant is a tenant background check service free for landlords. This all-in-one property management tool streamlines the entire rental process from screening to moving out. Now you can take care of background checks, property listing, rent estimate reports, sharing and storing of documents, renters insurance, and e-signatures with ease! Full Review

Trial period

Free

Income verification

Yes

Background check

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

4. TenantAlert

TenantAlert is yet another tenant background check tool that's free for landlords. It offers credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It gives credit and criminal history statuses, lease guarantee coverage, live support, online applications, and international business reports. You get all you need in one place! Full Review

  • Lease guarantee coverage
  • Live support
  • Online applications
Visit Website

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TenantAlert is yet another tenant background check tool that's free for landlords. It offers credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It gives credit and criminal history statuses, lease guarantee coverage, live support, online applications, and international business reports. You get all you need in one place! Full Review

Trial period

Free

Income verification

No

Criminal background checks

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

5. Verify Tenant

Verify Tenant is a rental background checker that will make sure you hand the key over to the right person. Some of the site's features include SSN verification, credit reports, international background checks, national eviction report, bankruptcies, sexual and criminal offenses. Full Review

  • Instant results
  • Can order without membership
  • Bilingual
Visit Website

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Verify Tenant is a rental background checker that will make sure you hand the key over to the right person. Some of the site's features include SSN verification, credit reports, international background checks, national eviction report, bankruptcies, sexual and criminal offenses. Full Review

Trial period

No

Income verification

Yes

Criminal background checks

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

6. RentSpree

RentSpree made it to our best tenant screening services list not only because of its top-notch features, but because it’s also free for landlords and agents. This service's features include credit reports, credit scores, criminal records, eviction reports, and online applications. Full Review

  • Offers rent estimates
  • Free for landlords/agents
  • Exhaustive reports
Visit Website

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RentSpree made it to our best tenant screening services list not only because of its top-notch features, but because it’s also free for landlords and agents. This service's features include credit reports, credit scores, criminal records, eviction reports, and online applications. Full Review

Trial period

Free

Income verification

No

Criminal background checks

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

No

7. SmartMove

You need SmartMove if you want everything to go according to plan. This platform partners with TransUnion to bring you dependable details about all renters. This tool offers a tenant's criminal history, credit records, and income insights. You can trust it to get the job done. Full Review

  • Free for landlords
  • Fast turnaround
  • Income insights
Visit Website

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You need SmartMove if you want everything to go according to plan. This platform partners with TransUnion to bring you dependable details about all renters. This tool offers a tenant's criminal history, credit records, and income insights. You can trust it to get the job done. Full Review

Trial period

No, free for landlords

Income verification

Yes

Criminal background checks

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

8. Experian Screening Services

Experian Screening Services is one of the leading tenant screening services. The solution has credit details of 220+ million individuals and 20+ million businesses. It offers features like credit reports, FICO score, automated credit score monitoring, amongst many others. Users are amazed by it, and you will be too! Full Review

  • Free for landlords
  • Automated credit score monitoring
  • Offers FICO score
Visit Website

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Experian Screening Services is one of the leading tenant screening services. The solution has credit details of 220+ million individuals and 20+ million businesses. It offers features like credit reports, FICO score, automated credit score monitoring, amongst many others. Users are amazed by it, and you will be too! Full Review

Trial period

Yes

Income verification

No

Criminal background check

No

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

No

Sex offender search

No

National evictions search

No

SSN verification

No

9. Lease Runner

LeaseRunner is for a landlord looking for a flexible background check tool. It starts by pre-qualifying applicants before diving into credit and background checking. Lease Runner's features include rental application, lease agreement, credit reports, criminal backgrounds, eviction reports, financial health, and online rent payments. Full Review

  • Free rental listing
  • A la carte pricing model
  • Free online application
Visit Website

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LeaseRunner is for a landlord looking for a flexible background check tool. It starts by pre-qualifying applicants before diving into credit and background checking. Lease Runner's features include rental application, lease agreement, credit reports, criminal backgrounds, eviction reports, financial health, and online rent payments. Full Review

Trial period

No

Income verification

Yes

Criminal background check

Yes

Credit reports

Yes

Evictions history

Yes

Sex offender search

Yes

National evictions search

Yes

SSN verification

Yes

Now, let’s have a closer look at that methodology.

Methodology

Here is the procedure that I used to handpick the top tenant screening services.

  • I scoured the World Wide Web in search of suitable candidates. I found about 17 options, some not so good and some perfect.
  • Next, I analyzed each platform in terms of pricing, customer support. I also checked out features such as credit score and employment status, criminal background check, residence and eviction history, reporting, and additional features. Here is where my elimination started.
  • I opened accounts for the remaining options to experiment with their features.
  • Then I read hundreds of tenant screening services and user reviews. This step was crucial in helping me determine what other buyers had experienced while using the platforms.
  • Lastly, I personified the buyer and asked myself the following questions.
  • Is the support department responsive such that it takes minimal time for them to resolve my issues?
  • Is the service affordable?
  • Do the tools have all the necessary features, i.e., background checks, eviction records, credit score, or employment history?

Legal Disclaimer

Tenant screening services gather their data from consumer reporting agencies such as Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. 

Ensure that your website of choice follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It promotes honest and trustworthy reporting of public records. According to the organization, a tenant has a right to dispute incomplete, inaccurate, or unverifiable information.

Now, let’s have an in-depth look at the top platforms.

Detailed Reviews

RentPrep
RentPrep

BEST FOR

Landlords with 50+ properties

Visit Website
  • Fast turnarounds
  • Facebook support group
  • Live agent support
  • Resident score

RentPrep is one of the best tenant screening services because it allows you to do soft pulls for your applicants. That way, your search won’t affect their credit score. 

Now, let’s have a more in-depth look at this software’s features.

For starters, it only takes about an hour to return reports after you submit your request. 

It comes with a free tutorial for things like screening tenants to help you make an informed decision. It includes useful guides on parts of the process, like pre-screening questions.

RentPrep also allows you to do a thorough tenant background search to see their past behavior. This feature covers a wide area, including:

  • Criminal records
  • Public arrests
  • Employment histories
  • Eviction records

And finally, the credit report.

You want to be sure that your applicant will honor paying their rent on time. This solution offers a “Credit Decision Report.” Note that this comes as a separate add-on with an extra cost.  

It presents a list of criteria that you must rate with a score of 1 to 5. The document will show you whether an applicant is suitable based on your requirements.

Free tutorials, criminal background screening, and credit checks are some of the features that make this tool dependable when finding the right tenant.

MyRental
MyRental

BEST FOR

Terrorist alerts and purchasing individual reports

Visit Website
  • Allows single report purchase
  • User-friendly
  • Terrorist alert
  • Flexible pricing

The MyRental reviews that I read point to its flexible pricing as the best part. You can choose to pay a percentage of the booking, monthly, or yearly payments.

Not properly screening your tenant can lead to expensive evictions or lawsuits if they end up harming their neighbors. Luckily, MyRental has plenty of features that will help you determine if it’s safe to let someone into your property. The system gives you a credit score and previous eviction reports

For safety, the platform gives multi-state criminal records for all states in the US.

MyRental offers a free tenant credit check for income and employment. The platform not only presents a score but allows landlords to compare them with others in an area. 

It also provides essential data like previous evictions and loan history.

Premium package subscribers have the luxury of letting applicants pay for screening using either a debit or credit card. Once the authorization and search are complete, it sends a report to the landlord securely and privately

With MyRental, you’ll have a more in-depth look at your clients before letting them into your property.

TurboTenant
TurboTenant

BEST FOR

Landlords looking to advertise their rental properties

Visit Website
  • Free for landlords
  • Lease creation
  • Lead generation
  • Automatic payment reminders

TurboTenant does thorough applicant screening and brings forth information like bankruptcies, collections, credit score, employer, lines of credit, criminal records, public records, and evictions.

Note this is one of the best credit checkers for landlords. It’s from TransUnion, one of the most trusted consumer credit reporting agencies. 

There’s a catch though:

Clients have to pay for the reports

Unless you decide to pay on their behalf

But that’s great because it shows that your renters approved of the search once they make payments.

The system allows you to post to listings like Realtor.com, Rent.com, or Apartments.com to help you get clients. People that need a place to stay can begin applying online.

From here, you can start doing your searches. Reports will show you who to accept or decline. 

The system also makes it possible to share documents like lease agreements or identification.  TurboTenant allows renters to sign property-related legal documents using electronic signatures too.  

Finding a great renter with TurboTenant is stress-free. Turbo Tenant reviews confirm that this is among the best solutions on the market currently.

TenantAlert
TenantAlert

BEST FOR

Lease guarantees

Visit Website
  • Lease guarantee coverage
  • Live support
  • Online applications
  • Fast turnarounds

TenantAlert is yet another free tool for landlords. To stay compliant with FCRA, it sends clients a link for approval. 

This platform is one of the best tenant screening services for landlords since it comes with a lease agreement feature of up to $10,000. It helps protect you from legal fees, damages, or lost rent.

The screening takes just 30 seconds after authorization from your tenant. It covers things like credit reports, credit score, terrorism reports, sex offenses, evictions, previous addresses, SSN fraud, and criminal backgrounds. 

For the searches, TenantAlert comb through millions of nationwide and global databases. Thе reports highlight if a tenant has committed crimes in other countries, cities or states. You can also get international business reports from their system.

To reduce paperwork, you can send an application to tenants to fill online. Setting an online verification page takes less than a day, and after that, you can email them a link. 

If you don’t have an applicant’s email address for credit reports, don’t panic. All you need to do is request a credit bureau for underwriting. This allows you to access the documents. 

TenantAlert is yet another tool that will help you get the best renter with its extensive screening features.

Verify Tenant
Verify Tenant

BEST FOR

Customized packages

Visit Website
  • Instant results
  • Can order without membership
  • Bilingual - English& Spanish
  • International background checks

Verify Tenant does TransUnion background checks. The system pulls debt and credit records, showing details like civil litigations, bankruptcies, and collections.

Sexual offense and criminal histories are also covered. This background checker for renters brings forth details across 50 states, with names, aliases, DOB, and specific sexual offenses. 

If you want to confirm employment details, Verify Tenant has got you covered. It will check whether a tenant has sufficient income for rent commitment

If a renter has ever gone through an eviction, the software will alert you. It searches data nationwide, so you’ll get all the details. 

The issue of bad checks is another crucial element for pre-qualifying a client. The system makes sure there are no such instances – issuing bounced checks is a criminal offense that could cost your business. 

The software also shows individuals with terrorism activities or ties. The data comes from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Verify Tenant also allows you to order individual products. Examples include details like:

  • National eviction
  • Employment history
  • Bad check report
  • Rental history
  • DMV record
  • Criminal record

Verify Tenant is a useful platform to screen your tenant before giving them thе key to your rental.

Rentspree
Rentspree

BEST FOR

Exhaustive reports

Visit Website
  • Offers rent estimates
  • Free for landlords and agents
  • Exhaustive reports
  • Fast turnarounds

RentSpree’s tenant screening services will give you a 360-degree view of each of your applicants. 

The system has an online portal for renters to fill in their details. From the entries, you can start sending links through text or emails. You can begin conducting searches after you get approval. 

RentSpree provides an eviction report that covers the whole country. The document includes things like warrants of evictions, court records, and tenant judgments.  

The system searches against records in TransUnion to provide in-depth credit histories. These include trade lines, payment histories, inquiries, collections, public records, fraud indicators, number of derogatory items, and more. 

If you’re looking for good background checks for landlords, RentSpree gets you insights into a tenant’s criminal record on things like sexual offenses, theft, or property damage, etc. It even goes a step further to search the Most Wanted lists to ensure that you don’t harbor a criminal. The tool also helps you ensure that you don’t take in someone that’ll force you to evict them sooner or later. 

RentSpree is the perfect tool to give you a bird’s eye view on anyone that applies to your property, allowing you to pick the best.

SmartMove
SmartMove

BEST FOR

Income insight reports

Visit Website
  • Free for landlords
  • Fast turnaround
  • Income insights
  • User-friendly

If you’re looking for a reliable credit check for tenant service with detailed reports, this is one of them. SmartMove will show you things like:

  • How late the payments were
  • How recent or old the data is
  • SSN matches
  • Employment

This solution also offers a resident score on things such as:

  • Renters that skip on leases
  • Evictions
  • Late payments

An applicant’s criminal history is another important feature that tenant verification services should offer. SmartMove scours the Most Wanted, National Sex Offender Public Registry, and criminal databases in 44 states to ensure that you don’t unknowingly let criminals into your property. 

Verifying a renter’s income will help you know right from the start if they’ll be a headache when it comes to the payment date. This platform enables you to do just that. 

This is how it happens:

SmartMove compares data from the credit report with what a renter says they earn and spends. With this analysis, you’ll know who can afford to meet their commitment to pay for staying at your property.

Good tenant screening services for landlords protect the tenants’ privacy. They should also protect their credit score by allowing them to screen themselves. 

SmartMove does all that. 

As opposed to giving out personal information like bank accounts, email addresses, or SSN, tenants get to screen themselves. The system then delivers only the bits of information that the landlord needs to know. 

SmartMove helps you cover all the corners, so you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you picked the best renter.

Experian Screening Services
Experian Screening Services

BEST FOR

Checking the FICO score

Visit Website
  • Trial period shorter than seven days
  • Extra charges for additional services
  • No criminal and sex offender backgrounds
  • No tenant eviction information

Conducting a renter credit check happens through Experian connect. All a landlord needs to do is submit the client’s name and address. Once they send a request to Experian, the tenant approves the search giving the property owner access.

Experian offers credit information from the three major bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Transunion. It continually monitors your account and instantly sends you an email if the data changes. 

Aside from the in-house credit score that many websites offer, this solution also gives the FICO score. It helps lenders give you better rates and terms on loans if yours is higher.

Experian gives information on bankruptcies, civil judgments, foreclosures, and credit inquiries. 

Note that this website concentrates on providing credit checks for tenants. It doesn’t give insight into things like sexual offenses or criminal backgrounds. 

Therefore, it’s probably the best service for bare-bone screening.  

Lease Runner
Lease Runner

BEST FOR

E-signature Digital Leases

Visit Website
  • Free rental listing
  • A la carte pricing model
  • Free online application
  • Online rental payments

LeaseRunner lets you post your vacant rentals on Facebook, Twitter, or CraigsList to generate leads. Potential tenants can apply online via email. 

This renter background check tool provides crucial information regarding people’s criminal histories. You’ll know if your property and neighbors will be secure with the new tenant.

Another feature that this product offers is income verification. It checks your applicants’ earnings for the last three months – that way, you’ll know if they can keep up with rent.

Not only that:

It also analyses their financial details for the last 90 days. The report includes both payroll and expenses. 

LeaseRunner offers credit reports complete with public records of bankruptcies and collections. It also verifies SSNs to let you know that you’re dealing with the right person. 

The solution gives you a tenant’s eviction report. You’ll know who’s troublesome and who you can trust. 

Once you pick the right renters, the software allows you to send leases online. They sign them using digital signatures.

You can rely on LeaseRunner to help you determine who the best renter is with is thorough screening.

Best Tenant Screening Services for 2020

The top tenant screening service for 2020 should have unique features. My research showed that different software is suitable for different situations. Take a look:

  1. RentPrep – best for landlords with 50+ properties.
  2. MyRental – best for purchasing individual reports.
  3. Turbotenant best for landlords looking to advertise their rental properties.
  4. TenantAlert – best for lease guarantees.
  5. Verify Tenant – best for customized packages.
  6. RentSpree – best for exhaustive reports.
  7. SmartMove – best for income insight reports.
  8. Experian Screening Services – best for checking the FICO score.
  9. LeaseRunner – best for E-Signature digital leases.

What is a Tenant Screening Service? 

Tenant screening services for landlords are solutions that allow agents, property owners, or real estate agents to learn more about applicants. They offer information like credit histories, background checks, and eviction notices regarding a renter. 

How do Tenant Screening Services Get the Information? 

Tenant screening services get their information from consumer reporting agencies like TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The bureaus don’t report information that’s more than seven years old, hence contain current and verifiable data. 

The information sources follow FCRA rules, put in place to protect the tenant. The best tenant screening services require the landlord only to access records after tenants authorize.  That means that at no one time will malicious busybodies access someone’s private information. The information from the organizations is accurate and reliable. 

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Tenant Screening Service?

Here’s what you should consider:

Pricing

How much money are you willing to spend? Remember that even if the software allows tenants to pay, it should have reasonable rates

Tenant screening services like RentPrep or Experian offer cheaper pricing. Others like MyRental, TruboTenant, or TenantAlert have slightly higher rates.

Websites like MyRental or LeaseRunner allow you to purchase individual reports, which is cheaper if you only need one document. However, the costs could easily pile up. 

Who pays for reports?

Does the site for doing background checks for tenants specify who makes payments? 

TurboTenant, RentPrep, My Rental or TenantAlert, give renters/landlords the option to pay for services.

Others like VerifyTenant charge property managers, landlords, and real estate agents for services. 

Turnaround time

How quickly do you need a tenant?

Tenant screening services like TurboTenant take about 10 minutes for you to post across multiple property listings. 

RentPrep takes about an hour to return screening results, while TenantAlert does it for just 30 seconds!

Features

The best tenant screening services offer comprehensive features. Such solutions ensure that you don’t have to jump from site to site looking for information.

Some, such as RentPrep, TurboTenant, MyRent, SmartMove, VerifyTenant, or RentSpree, present detailed checks. That means that they’re rich in vital features like credit score, eviction, criminal and sexual offenses, SSN verification, bankruptcies, collections, amongst others. 

Experian Screeninging Service, on the other hand, concentrates more on credit reports. It lacks essential information like criminal background, SSN verification, or evictions.  

If you need the details, you’ll have to pay for the services on other sites. That is not only time consuming, but it also means additional expenses.

Advanced features

Tenant screening services that offer extra functionality are always a plus. 

Platforms like TurboTenant or LeaseRunner allow listing properties. TurboTenant also has professional fliers, which most sites don’t. 

TenantAlert and MyRental show terrorism alerts – quite a unique option. 

Wrap Up

It’s paramount to screen applicants before letting them into your property. This procedure sheds more light on an individual’s criminal background, evictions, credit report, amongst other things. You’ll be grateful for them further down the line. 

The tenant screening reviews above will help you make an informed decision. They show each solution’s weak and strong points. 

Investing in such a solution is life-changing. And, as we all know, peace of mind is priceless. So get one of the software on our list and sleep assured everything will be okay.

FAQ

What does tenant screening mean?

Tenant screening means checking whether an applicant is suitable. It covers things like verifying individuals are who they say they are via SSN matching. It also searches for details like their credit reports, proof of income, and criminal backgrounds. 

How do I get a tenant screening report?

You can use the solutions in our best tenant screening services list:

  1. RentPrep
  2. MyRental
  3. Turbotenant
  4. TenantAlert
  5. Verify Tenant
  6. RentSpree
  7. SmartMove
  8. Experian Screening Services
  9. LeaseRunner
How much does it cost to run a credit and background check?

Running a background and credit check could cost anywhere from $14.00 to $45.00.

Can I run a tenant screening on myself?

Yes, you can run a tenant screening for yourself. It’s helpful to know the kind of information about you that exists so that you can fix any inaccuracies