Rentor check out

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How can a landlord reliably check out a potential rentor? If you ask for s reference what's stopping them from having a friend say they are a previous landlord and giving them a good recomendation? I know of no way to verify that person's phone call.
I am asking because my last tenant wrecked the rental and I'd prefer this not happen again.
Of course I should inspect but I'd never had a bad tenant before and it didn't occur to me.
Suggestions?
TIA
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The people I know do a criminal background check and a credit check along with whatever they can find on social media. I think there is a service out there that will do all of this for you if you want.
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On 5/14/2016 7:30 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Obama says you need to rent to felons now.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 07:51:46 -0700, Taxed and Spent wrote:

One of my best tenants was a felon. Never missed a payment, no damage, no hassles, gave proper notice before move.
I have been using mysmartmove.com for a number of years and require the tenant to pay for the reports on the website. So, I don't have to handle money, all I get is the reports. Many bad tenants will not even go thru screening because they know they won't get thru it.
Note: I'm currently looking for another screening service because mysmartmove has started using cloudflare website security. I absolutely do not want cloudflare running scripts on my machine -- their behavior is simply too borked up.
If you find a decent, non-cloudflare site, post it please.
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Ya left out publicdata.com , Cheapest way i have found
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As an individual it may be difficult. Realtors that handle rentals do that as a part of theirs service. Worth the fee? I guess it depends on how "hands on" you are and want to be.
There are web sites that do background checks and provide information, but I have no idea how reputable they are.
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On 5/14/2016 7:02 AM, KenK wrote:

What do you mean, "verify the call"? You can verify *who* they called but, I suspect, you want to k now if that person was actually a landlord.
[I suppose you could ask for their name, check with phone records and then check that they are the legal owner of the property in question]

How much do you want to spend for that "assurance" (play on "insurance")? There are firms that will do a comprehensive background check -- but it can run to hundreds of dollars.
Firms like Intellius can probably give you a list of recent addresses (to corroborate the applicants alleged rental history).
Sex offenders are usually easily identified via public databases (there are even web sites that you could exploit, given their current address).
There's a site that posts "mug shots" that you can search for any (recent) criminal record -- along with the charges, etc.

Photos of the property *just* before (and just after) they take occupancy. Ideally, do this with them present so they see that you're making a record AND it gives them an opportunity to draw your (and your camera!) attention to things that they think should be recorded. Expect to confiscate their security deposit if not in comparable condition (*hire* someone to clean it up so if they later drag you into court and claim "$800 is excessive to clean up the mess" you can point to the photos and the receipt from the cleaning crew)
It's also usually prudent to do a walkthrough once a year just to get an idea of how the property is being treated. And, can't hurt to reflect your happiness with that condition in your proposed rent increase (if people feel like you're screwing them -- "Hell, we've not bothered you in the past year and inflation is flat so why do you feel you should increase the rent 10%??" -- then they tend to be much quicker to rationalize screwing *you* in return. And, you've got a helluvalot more skin in the game than they do!)
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On 5/14/2016 10:02 AM, KenK wrote:

hiring a PI or someone with access to a database which will display past addresses, along with other personal info. You can find those addresses and determine home or apt. Then you can search the county record of deeds to find owners of such addresses. Then you can contact the owners for references.
There are several sites online which claim to offer much info and past residence for a fee, but I'm unaware of their legitimacy and accuracy. I do think some may be fairly accurate since I have compared their brief provided info to what I actually know.
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On 5/14/2016 9:02 AM, KenK wrote:

The number one thing you can do to protect yourself is to go to the courthouse and check the court clerk's office and run their names through the civil and criminal indices. Doing this as an individual doing it for yourself relieves you of some of the stupid restrictions the states and feds place upon you via the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
We find that most of the problem tenants move around a given area and screw over one landlord as they look for a new place to live and keep repeating the cycle generally staying in the same jurisdiction - but not always.
If you have a tenant that was living the next town over, etc. if he was evicted or sued for non-payment of rent, arrested for drug use/possession/distribution, or just a lousy record of not paying bills, bouncing checks, you will find it when you search. If they are coming in from another county, you can still call that court and either find out what record may exist (for a fee usually) or drive there yourself.
Regardless, it's always a good idea to have the prospective tenant(s) sign a release allowing you to run credit, criminal history, etc. checks. You don't need, you won't use it, but if there's any hesitation on the part of the prospective tenant(s) you don't want them.
If you find numerous small claims cases against them, etc. You don't want them.
If they've been evicted - you don't want them.
If they're dopers, fighters, burglars, shoplifters, bad check artists, guess what. You're ahead of the game leaving the property vacant.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 16:27:42 -0500, Unquestionably Confused

Still stuck in the 80s huh? Now days that is all on line in most areas. Start with the county sheriff/police and you can see if they were ever arrested, then go to the court site and see if they were ever charged with anything, if there are any law suits on record, liens or anything else that involves the court. You can also find bankruptcies, divorces, marriages and judgements. All from the comfort of your La Z Boy
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On 5/14/2016 6:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

not online around here. privacy issues. landlords and business owners be damned.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 18:44:07 -0700, Taxed and Spent

Where is that? These are public records.
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On 5/14/2016 7:02 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

At least some counties in California. you have to go in person to get criminal files, and I don't know what hoops you have to jump through.
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On 5/14/2016 8:07 PM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

and then there is stuff like this:
http://people.opposingviews.com/can-deny-tenant-rental-criminal-record-california-9289.html
And Obama says since blacks are highly represented in the criminal category, denying rental to criminals is a civil rights violation. Or some such nonsense.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 21:13:34 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

and the legal actions/banrupsies etc in the name of the ex partners.. Not a single record and they've fleaced all kinds of landlords AND partners.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 21:57:21 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That is where the credit check comes in. No credit history is a tale in itself.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 23:31:34 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

tennancy. They may pay their credit cards on time because if they don't, they won't have the card long and they know it.
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On Sun, 15 May 2016 00:19:48 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

A landlord can screw with that credit history if they are not paying their rent.
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You can send a report about late payments to credit agencies or even on time payments but it usually costs money from the creditor. you can certainly report someone who is delinquent, long before you ever go to court.
These guys are soliciting landlords to check out renters. https://connect.experian.com/credit-check/landlords.html
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On 5/15/2016 11:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You talk a good game gfretwell but you may wish to get up and out of your easy chair and actually try practicing what you preach. It's not that simple. There are fifty states and, thus, fifty variations (more or less) on what is accessible and how it is accessed.
There are no right or wrong answers simply because there are too many variables in play in this sort of thing. Credit bureaus may pick up evictions in one county and not in another simply due to size, the courts system itself and access, or. . .
What the hell, you're probably correct though. What do I know as I've only been involved with this stuff since the mid-70's. As for being in the dark ages, I'd wager I have access to databases (at a hefty monthly cost) that would surprise even an expert like you. ;)
Bottom line to OP: Do as I suggested and you'll avoid probably 80%-90% of the risk involved in renting.
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