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If you’ve been a landlord for a while, you’ve probably encountered a tenant applicant who wanted to provide you with a copy of his credit report rather than you running a report yourself. The conversation usually goes like this:

“I just had my credit report run to (purchase a car, rent furniture, buy a computer, whatever), and I’d really prefer not to have multiple credit inquiries on my report so the score doesn’t go down. Can you just take the copy that I printed out from the last credit check instead of running your own report?”

Hopefully you said “heck no” if you’ve encountered this, because it’s the oldest tenant scam in the book. With today’s ease of access to credit reports, anyone can get a copy of their credit report in minutes online. And as everyone knows, it’s also incredibly easy to “photoshop” just about anything nowadays to make it look like something different than what it is. In the case of a credit report, it usually doesn’t even take Photoshop skills or software. A simple copy-and-paste of the credit report from the internet into a word processor will allow the applicant to make adjustments, keeping all of the graphics and everything else from the original report to make it look legit.

Anytime someone doesn’t want you to run a full background check, that’s a red flag. Never accept any reduction of your normal background check process. You should be running a credit report, criminal background check, sexual predator list check, and even terrorist watch list check. Every. Single. Time. No tenant applicant should be an exception to this rule.

Give us a call and have us take care of this for you! We can handle all of the tenant screening and keep you out of trouble, avoiding problem tenants to the maximum extent possible.