Vacation Rental Background Screening

With school out, longer days and better weather families go on vacation and these days they might be looking to make some extra cash on their vacant house while they are away. Additionally, in many parts of the United States families are taking much longer vacations, long enough to rent out their home. In order to save money or capitalize on a vacant property these families may turn to vacation rental properties.

Long-term vacation rentals offer a great many amenities that a standard hotel may not: A kitchen to prepare meals in, larger living space to spread out, and more bedrooms for the bigger families or those that invite friends along for the getaway. The affordability of a long-term vacation rental often outweighs daily maid service, an on-site pool, or room service.

Every year owners of vacation rental properties work tirelessly to attract long-term vacationers. The profit of a fully booked summer can pay an entire year’s property mortgage or, if the property is wholly owned, create significant profit.

But single family landlords must take the same care with long-term vacation rentals as they might with a traditional rental situation. Thorough tenant background checks should be standard.

It is important for a landlord to treat any landlord-tenant relationship in a similar manner. Even though a rental relationship that lasts only a month or two, and may be paid in full in advance, one should still take care to protect property.

A professional tenant background check offers three types of protections: Person, Property, and Perception.

Person: This protection is for neighbors or other tenants of a property. Running a criminal history check and sexual predator registry can afford a degree of security and peace of mind.

Property: Perhaps the most important protection for a vacation rental, protecting property from loss could be critical to a single unit landlord. Understanding the financial status of a rental could go a long way in protecting property, but a thorough tenant check, one that utilizes public records as well as a complete vetting interview provides a barrier to individuals with nefarious intent.

Perception: Not as important, perhaps, with vacation rentals, but protecting the perception of a given property goes a long way in ensuring the desirability of a property. No one wants to rent a property with horrible curb appeal or one that has a history of police calls and related challenges.

It is clear that the correct and proper use of public records combined with a thorough tenant vetting interview goes a long way in protecting a property and this holds true for vacation rentals as well.

A long-term vacation tenant check should include all the following:

  • Consumer Credit Report – Verify financial capability to fulfill a tenant agreement
  • Eviction Records – Verify any previous challenges a tenant may have had in a rental agreement
  • Criminal History – Provide greater protection for neighbors and other tenants
  • Sexual Predator Registry – Additional surety for neighbors and other tenants

Often time’s individuals with malicious intent drop out of the rental application process if they find out a landlord conducts a thorough background screening of all potential tenant applicants. Informing the potential vacation rental applicants about the thorough tenant screening process that will be utilized alone can act as a deterrent to nefarious vacation rental seekers. Knowing that credit checks and public record checks along with verifications and reference checks are to be conducted, those with something to hide will less likely proceed with the process for fear of certain background information being discovered.

Ultimately a best practice for landlords of long-term vacation rentals is to conduct a thorough tenant check through a professional third-party tenant screening company to protect person, property and perception.

To learn more about how to make extra money with vacation rentals and the proper background screening that should be involved prior to leasing read recent press release:

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