Winnetka Property Management
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Chatswoth and Tarzana Property Management
How to See if a Tenant Has Been Evicted Before
Screening your potential tenants is just good business before you commit your personal property to their use. The history of your tenant is a good indicator of her future payment behavior. A history of non-payment and eviction throws up a red flag that she may not be a wise investment. If your application does not have a clause providing consent to run a credit check, have the tenant sign a waiver or authorization to contact her references prior to signing the lease. You need written consent to run a background check, check references and pull credit reports.
Request previous residency information. Contact the tenant’s previous landlords and inquire about the circumstances surrounding the vacancy of the property. Let them know you have authorization to speak with them. Fax a copy of the authorization as proof if requested.
Contact the court in the county the tenant previously lived in to check eviction records. In order for a landlord to evict a tenant, he must file an unlawful detainer in the superior court where the tenant lives. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, he files a writ of possession ordering the sheriff to remove the tenant from the property. These eviction records are open public record. Many superior courts provide a public access database for searching on the Internet.
Run a credit check. If a tenant is evicted and sued for past due rent, the judgment appears in the public records section of the tenant’s credit report. You need her name, address for the last two years, Social Security number, date of birth, current employer and current landlord. All three credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Equifax, Experian — provide credit reports to landlords which contain credit history, payment history and personal information.
Purchase a Tenant Screening Report. Several reputable companies offer reports to potential landlords for a fee. TSRs contain credit information, criminal history information and eviction records.
by Leigh Thompson