Best Tenant Screening Services

By PropertyClub Team
Jul 2nd 2023
If you’ve had experience selecting tenants for a building, you know that unwelcome surprises are something to avoid. A proper tenant screening can help you understand more about your potential customers. It should provide you with payment history, background information, and other things that can help clarify if they will be an ideal tenant. 

Some tenant screening services are better than others. Read on to learn about some of the best tenant screening services you can use for your renting process.

hash-mark7 Best Tenant Screening Services (2023)

  1. First Advantage
  2. RentPrep
  3. E-Renter
  4. VeriFirst
  5. SmartMove
  6. RealPage
  7. Avail

Every tenant screening service varies. Here’s a breakdown of seven of the best services you can use. These are quality background check suppliers, providing variation in price points and available features.

hash-mark1. First Advantage

The best tenant screening service is First Advantage. It’s an FCRA-compliant option that offers human review for reliable results. It’s one of the largest tenant screening programs and has garnered quite the following in its eighteen years of existence thus far.

With First Advantage, you can access a package tailored to what you need with an individualized quote. They provide information about tenants such as criminal background, debt history, and lease disputes. They even have educational material to help inexperienced landlords learn more about the process.

One of the downsides of First Advantage is that the price isn’t laid out on their website. You need to call them to get a personalized quote for your needs. Their website navigation can also be confusing for new customers.

hash-mark2. RentPrep

Another one of the best tenant screening services is RentPrep, a tenant screening service that works well if you have multiple properties to manage as a landlord. They have excellent customer support background checks that deal with personal information safely. They offer options for multiple landlord styles.

RentPrep has a couple of plans available and discounting when you add more properties to your package. The RentPrep Background Check is $21, and the SmartMove Full Credit Report is $38. You can pay for a criminal check for an extra $6 and a credit decision report for $11.

On a typical day, RentPrep reports are complete within an hour. They provide information such as criminal background checks. For upcharges, you can add extra features to the background check. Unfortunately, the verifications are not instantaneous. You also can’t charge customers for background.

hash-mark3. E-Renter

E-Renter will give you the most bang for your buck. It’s known for quality customer service, and it is FCRA-certified. It offers a criminal and sex-offender search right in the basic package, so you don’t need to spend an outlandish amount to access the most critical features of a background search. 

There are three plans you can get with E-Renter. The basic plan will cost you $21.95, the Premium $34.44, and the advanced $39.44. It’s very affordable compared to other background check options.

E-Renter doesn’t offer a way for you to directly charge the tenant for a background check. They also lack a full credit check in the credit report you can get for landlord purposes, which can be a setback.

hash-mark4. VeriFirst

VeriFirst is the most comprehensive service you can select as a landlord. All employees are FCRA-certified, and they work hard to minimize the number of false-positive screenings. It has robust reports, comprehensive technology, and an online library set to help new tenants learn as much as they can.

VeriFirst is another company that does not offer prices online. You need to fill out a form with the information you need, and they will find a plan that works for you.

VeriFirst doesn’t have sample reports published online for you to see if you like looking at examples before investing. You need to call directly for pricing information, which some landlords may not be a fan of for their work.

hash-mark5. SmartMove

SmartMove works best for landlords who work with realtors to sell properties and perform background checks. It’s FCRA-compliant and operates through TransUnion. Once you get approved to work with SmartMove, you can begin your first background scan in a few moments. 

There are no hidden fees with SmartMove. They have three plans available for landlords to choose from for their situation. SmartCheck Basic is $25, SmartCheck Plus is $38, and SmartCheck Premium is $40. These prices are per screening.

SmartMove, unfortunately, is not as powerful as some background checkers. Local laws can prohibit the service from accessing some criminal database information, and you won’t find criminal results in Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Dakota, or Wyoming.

hash-mark6. RealPage

Realpage is unique because it utilizes Artificial Intelligence to make its system work. It uses prediction features to determine if an applicant will, and will be willing, to pay rent every month based on background information. It’s excellent at analyzing the characteristics of renters.

With RealPage, you’ll get information such as identity verification, general willingness and ability to pay, criminal history, and so much more. There is also a human side to RealPage that deals with items like customer complaints. You will need to call the company to get a quote on a price for your package. 

RealPage doesn’t have any pricing information online, so you need to call for any financial questions. They also avoid using traditional metrics to get client information.

hash-mark7. Avail

Avail is a tool that has more than one function as a tenant screening service. You can examine background information about the individual, but you can also collect rent, draft leases, keep track of listed properties, and so much more. It offers education for landlords who are just getting started.

With Avail, personal information is kept under wraps to remove the liability from you. It provides everything you need to follow through with a tenant if they end up being the right choice for your building.

All of Avail’s basic features are free to use. You can get information such as rental history and income verification for free. However, services like criminal background checks and eviction notices will cost an extra $55.