FAQs on Screening Reports

Insufficient Credit Explanation

Insufficient credit means that there was not enough data to create a credit score for the applicant. If the person has no credit cards or previous loans then there is "insufficient credit" to create a credit score that we could report. This is common with younger renters who may not have a long credit history.

How long does it take to complete a tenant background check?

Our Basic, Pro, and Platinum tenant screening reports are hand-compiled by a tenant screener within one (business) hour of you submitting your order. If you order while the office is closed it will be worked on the next business morning. Our current (Easter Standard Hours) hours are the following: - Mon-Thu: 9:00AM - 7:00PM EST - Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM EST - Sat: 10:00AM - 2:00PM EST SmartMove turnaround times are dependent on how quickly your applicant takes action on their end. ...

Report Marked Complete But Still Pending?

This typically happens with reports that involve RentPrep doing phone call verifications. They are marked complete in our system when the data portion of the reports is complete even though we still may be making phone calls to the employer or previous landlords. In the verification sections of the report you will see a "pending" status to indicate that attempts are still be made to contact the verifications. The report is officially complete when you receive an email marking it complete.

Tenant Applicant Did Not Provide SSN (social security number)

If your tenant did not provide their social security number, we can still run a report if you have their name, date of birth and current address. Be sure to use the SSN 000-00-0000 as a placeholder and our Screeners will recognize that you did not have the SSN at the time of ordering. It is advised for accuracy purposes that you do get the SSN if possible.

Do I see an actual credit score on my credit check report?

Whether or not you see an actual credit score depends on the package you selected. A Credit Check Doesn't Show The Specific Score For the Pro, Basic, and Platinum packages you can add a credit check which is based on a pass/fail score. This allows us to provide zero tenant involvement which some landlords prefer. You decide the rating and we let you know if your applicant passed or failed. If you selected a 4 star rating and your applicant fails we will provide the reasons why the applica...

How do you verify employment for self-employed tenant applicant?

Self-employment can be very difficult to verify income since salary and distribution numbers can be skewed. In our experience, the most effective way to verify this type of income is through bank statements. We recommend reviewing at least 90 days of bank statement (provided by the applicant) to verify their deposit history. Since most people who are self-employed are used to taking additional steps to verify their income for most other credit related issues, they are typically conditioned to...

What is the global homeland security search?

A Global Homeland Security Search is sometimes called a Global Homeland Security Background Check or a Terrorist Watch List Search, or a OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets and Controls). It is a joint effort by countries around the world to help stop known and suspected terrorists. This search makes sure your applicant is not on any terrorist watch lists.

Do I get a receipt for running a background check?

Yes, you do. You will receive a payment confirmation email that contains invoice information. All of your receipts are also available inside your RentPrep account. If you're logged into your account, you should see along the top navigation an option for 'Billing' Click that option and then the option for 'My Invoices' will come up. If your tenant want's a copy of the receipt for the background check (https://www.rentprep.com/tenant-background-check/) you can forward them to your email.

Why does the Group Name say "No Order" when I just placed one?

That title of "No Order" will not switch over until your order has been completed by one of our screeners. It typically takes about 1 hour to turn around a report during business hours. If you ordered after hours we will get to your report first thing the next business morning. Since all of our reports are completed by-hand, the Group Name will not change until your first order is complete.

Why are there overlaps in reported address history?

The reported dates are when the database has first picked up the applicant at that address and when they were last picked up there. There tends to always be an overlap. Tracking a renters address history is much more difficult than someone who owns a home. In a homeowner scenario there are public records and a history of official filings (deeds, assessments, etc.) that help track exact dates. Since renters have no official filings, the databases must use information like tax filings, postal ser...

In identity development... are matching names the same person or showing people with matching names?

Full question from a Live Chat: Under the identity development, I see that there were a couple of names showing up that matches the name of my applicant. Is it the same person or is there a possibility of multiple individuals sharing the same name that showed up on your search? Screener response: It is the same person. It is just validating the SSN you provided and showing you your applicant's address history.

Eviction record shows $0?

An initial eviction is filed with a zero ($0) dollar balance because the monetary value of the judgment is not yet known. Step 1. of an eviction is to file the forcible entry/detainer judgment and it is not yet known what the final dollar amount will be since the lost rent and damages have not been calculated at this point. Step 2. of the eviction filing is to report the monetary amount that should be attached to the judgment. So the zero ($0) eviction record likely means that an initial evic...

How should I deny a tenant applicant?

If you're denying your tenant because of the screening report, you must let them know by law. You use an adverse action letter to do this. We have several types inside of our member's area (https://www.rentprep.com/members/clientarea.php). 1. Click "Guides & Forms" 2. Click "Free Landlord Forms" 3. Click "Free landlord Essential Kit" to download the files including the adverse action letter. Make sure you're using an adverse action letter that is connected with the correct service. ...

Do I need tenant permission to do a background check?

Yes, you will need the tenant's permission with a signed consent form to do a background check. Many times this is included in your rental application. For our SmartMove orders, the tenant provides authorization themselves and then confirms their identity by answering a series of "out of wallet" questions.

Does RentPrep discount for married couples running two reports?

All of our screening reports are run from the SSN. Therefore we charge per tenant applicant and we do not apply discounts for married couples.

What information do I need to start screening tenant applicants?

Our Basic, Pro, and Platinum reports are all hand-compiled tenant background checks by our team of FCRA Certified Screeners. For these reports, you'll need a sign rental application from your tenant applicant. You can use our RentPrep application available here: https://www.rentprep.com/tenant-screening/rental-application/ We recommend having the applicant fill out the rental 100% and to leave no blank spaces. This way you'll have all the information you need. SmartMove Requirements ...

Am I required to give applicants a copy of their credit report and background check?

You should not personally provide them a copy. In fact, we advise against this because the report landlord's receive do not contain the proper disclaimers that a consumer copy contains. If you had a Basic, Pro, or Platinum report ran with RentPrep and the tenant applicant would like a copy of the report the applicant should go to this link to fill out a renters relations form. http://www.rentprep.com/resources/renters-relations/

Does RentPrep provide a landlord pay stubs or driver license or other identity verification?

Our Platinum report includes the Employment Verification. We will call your applicant's employer to verify employment and ask if the applicant is full or part-time, is the applicant currently employed, hire date, position, hourly or annual salary. We will compile our findings inside of your screening report. We will make up to three calls and take care of release forms requested by most employers.

If I have already ordered a report with verification calls, is too late to change the employer or landlord info?

If you haven't received your completed report yet we can still modify your contact details for the verification calls. Reach out to us by phone (888) 877-8501 or email screening@rentprep.com (mailto:screening@rentprep.com) to update your report.