Find the Best Tenants

Every landlord wants perfect tenants. You know, the kind of tenants that pay the rent on time, don’t cause problems of any kind, and treat the property with the same respect as if it was their own. Finding those kinds of tenants can be a task only completed by doing tenant screening with a reputable screening company. There are some ways to draw the best possible tenants to your property. Let’s look at the things high-quality tenants will look for.

  1. Safety

We all want to feel safe and secure when we are at home. Generallsafetyy, home is where we go to feel safe when there is nothing else. Home is where ‘the heart is’. Your family is likely your heart, and you cannot lay down for a good night’s slumber when
you are worried about their safety at home. A simple and cost effective way to increase safety/security in your rental property is to add a security system.  Installing a security system can provide the feeling of an extra layer of safety for your prospective tenants.

  1. Move in ready properties

First impressions are lasting impressions. Never show a property that still needs cleaning, paint, or new carpet. Your property should be completely ready to rent before you show it for the first time. When you show the property, you are setting your expectations for how the properearthquake-house-clip-artty should be maintained (so you want it too look great), and you want to hook those great tenants on first property viewing.

  1. Property age

Prospective tenants will consider the age of the home and what types of repairs will be needed during tenancy. A property that needs major repairs, especially to plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems will turn away your chance at securing the best tenants possible. If your property is older, keep it properly maintained, make all necessary repairs and keep it clean. This will show the prospective tenants that you not only care about your property, but the likelihood of the property needing major repairs during their stay is less of an issue.

  1. Appliances

Renters do not want to have to purchase appliances when they are moving into a property. Purchasing appliances is expected when you are buying a home, but most renters do not want the hassle and feel that it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide such amenities. High quality tenants are especially drawn to properties that have washers and dryers. Even just providing the washer and dryer hook-ups can be attractive to tenants. If you do not have the option to provide an in-unit washer and dryer, your next best option is to provide it on the property.

  1. A cooperative landlord

Ideally the perfect relationship between and landlord and their tenants will be filled with respect, courtesy, and cooperation. If, as a landlord, you make promises to your tenant, make sure to fulfill those promises. A high-quality tenant may look for another place to rent if you trustbreak their trust. Your tenant will depend on you to take care of maintenance and other issues, just as you depend on your tenant to make timely rent payments.

Attracting high quality tenants will not be the easiest endeavor, but once you have found them, make sure to prove how much you care about your property by screening those tenants. A reputable tenant screening company will provide the necessary information on your applicants to make an informed decision.

If you need help deciding which types of reports would best screen your applicants, give us a call. Our knowledgeable staff will go over your available options to get you the best screening to meet your specific needs.

AAA Credit Screening Services

Phone:  (888)282-0447

www.hrbackground.com

Stress Relief During the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. Friends and family fill most people’s lives with cheer throughout the holiday season. Unfortunately for most, the holidays also elicit extra stress. The stress of finding time to get everything done and entertain those loved family members and cherished friends can become overwhelming. Finding the time to cook that extravagant meal or shop for the most sought after gift of the season can become an overbearing task when paired with normal life stressors.stress2

You do not have to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season. Check out the following to help reduce stress during the most festive time of the year.

  • Remember why the holidays are important to you. If your focus during the holiday season is being with family, then no matter what, if you are with family that’s all that matters. If your focus is R&R, then it is vital that you take time for yourself.
  • Count your blessings. Have you and your immediate family make a list of things and people that you appreciate in your life. Express gratitude to those people on your list.
  • Know and respect your limits. When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, rest. If you’re overwhelmed, ask for help.
  • Scale back if you are experiencing more life stress this year. You are not required to do the same thing each year. If you are up to your eye balls with stress in regular life, scale back your holiday plans to something more appropriate.
  • Set and maintain realistic expectations. You cannot control everything. Things are going to happen whether you like it or not. Whatever those things may be, you do not have to be perfect. Stop looking for perfection like what you would see in the movies. Enjoy the time you have with family and friends instead.

Of course, there are many other ways to combat stress during this time of year, but implementing just a few of the above could help ward off depression or worse during the most wonderful time of the year.

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Employer Certification: What is it, and why does it matter?

signature If you have requested an employment-related credit or background check from AAA Credit Screening recently, you may have been notified of a requirement you were missing from your request: an employer certification form. You may have found yourself asking: what is an employer certification form, and what is the purpose of this document?

The employer certification form is required for AAA Credit Screening’s compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)1. The FCRA mandates that a consumer reporting agency such as AAA Credit Screening can only supply reports for employment purposes if:

“the person who obtains such report from the agency certifies to the agency that […] (i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes; and (ii) the consumer has authorized in writing […] the procurement of the report by that person” (§ 604 – 15 U.S.C. § 1681b)

In short, this section of the FCRA requires that any employer requesting a consumer report for “employment purposes” must give “certification,” or written confirmation, to their reporting agency that they have given the proper disclosures to and obtained an authorizing signature from an individual before requesting an employment screening on said individual. The easiest way to comply with this certification requirement is to simply complete and sign the employer certification form that AAA Credit Screening Services provides for our clients.

Note that the employer certification form must be completed every time you request a screening. In this way, it is different from our Client Service Agreement or Criminal Reporting Policies Form, which are one-time requirements for sign-up with AAA Credit Screening Services. The one exception is during batch orders or multiple orders on the same applicant. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who controls the FCRA, has stated2 that “blanket certification” is acceptable in the case of multiple orders made on the same day “as a practical matter.” Additionally, they have said that it is acceptable “if an employer submits a blanket certification for purposes of obtaining consumer reports on an employee during the term of that individual’s employment.”

It is AAA Credit Screening Services’ duty as a consumer reporting agency to comply with the FCRA. To stay informed about employment screening and how the FCRA affects your company, be sure to follow the AAA Credit Screening blog!

www.hrbackground.com

1 For the full document of FCRA online
2 As stated in “Advisory Opinion to Kilgo” (07-28-98)

WELCOME TO OUR NEW REPORT PLATFORM!

Introducing InstaScreen, AAA Credit Screening’s new platform for running and viewing consumer reports. As of 6/13/201Easy-Button6, all of our reports will be run through InstaScreen. What does this mean for you, our clients?

Some of you may have already experienced InstaScreen. If you have requested a report within the past week, you should have received a welcome e-mail directing you to https://aaacredit.instascreen.net/ where you can use the login and password that we have e-mailed you to access your report – now, later, whenever you want; your report will be waiting for you within our neat and tidy interface.

If you haven’t requested a report in the past week – don’t fret! Your account is ready and waiting for you when you put in your next request whether it’s a week, month, or year from now; we will send you your login information along with the notification that your request has been completed.

Once you enter in your login for the first time, you will be prompted to reset your password to something other than the default. Be sure to practice password safety and do not use a password that you utilize for other logins, such as your e-mail or your online banking account. You will also be prompted to set up security questions. These questions are in place so that in the event you forget your password, you can prove your identity to regain access to your account.

How do you access your reports once you are logged in to InstaScreen? There are two easy ways.

  • The first way is to enter in your applicant’s last name into the search bar at the top of the page and press your “enter” key. Then, a list of any of your applicants with that last name will appear. Click on the applicant whose report you want to view, and voilà!
  • The second way is to click on the tab labeled “Reports”. Then, on the left sidebar, click on the link for “Last 10 Reports”. This will come up with the last 10 reports that you have ordered from us. Click on the applicant’s name whose report you want to view, and the report will appear!

One of the benefits of InstaScreen is access. You can now access your reports via your home computer, your smartphone, or a tablet with internet access! You can download your report as a PDF so you can view or print it offline or you can view it online. InstaScreen is perfect for anyone at home or on the go!

https://www.hrbackground.com

 

SORTING THROUGH THE FAKES

Most of your applicants know that a bad reference from a landlord or employer could easily disqualify them. What, then, stops your applicant from using a service such as careerexcuse.com or paladindeception.com, whose main objective is to provide fake references to potential landlords or employers? CareerExcuse boasts references for both “blue collar” and “white collar” jobs, with live phone operators and convincing company e-mails, phone lines, and “professionally located company” addresses and websites which can be used to deceive you, the landlord or employer checking into the references. Paladin Deception Services can even prepare a “fictitious reference, white lie or alibi” within 24 hours.

Using a consumer reporting agency such as AAA Credit Screening Services for your tenant or employment screening needs gives you several legs up against these fake reference companies and the applicants who use them. Firstly, you can get a more detailed dossier on your applicant through a credit report, criminal report, Sex Offender Registry search; or one of the many other reports offered by AAA Credit Screening. This way, you do not have to rely solely on references to have an understanding of who your applipinocchiocant is, and whether they meet your rental or employment standards.

Secondly, AAA Credit Screening Services offers a more intense research of references through our employment, landlord, and education verification services. Our team comes prepared – we spend an average of 4.6 hours on just one verification – this time is divided up between researching the reference/company, determining the proper route for verification, and completing the actual verification. The time AAA Credit Screening Services spending on each application far exceeds the amount of time that an individual landlord, property manager, HR manager, or small business owner could hope to spend on their screening process – especially if they have multiple applicants.

In the case of an employment verification, for example, if an applicant gives a company name, the name of a supervisor, and the supervisor’s direct phone number for an employment reference; we research beyond what is found in the application. Confirming the legitimacy of the company is our first step in the verification process, from there we go through the company’s channels to locate a contact within the HR or Payroll department – for a smaller company we will at times be put in touch with an office manager or the business owner – at which point we can obtain the verification through phone, fax, or e-mail.

In the information age, verifying the identity and legitimacy of a reference is just as important as the reference itself. Verifications, in addition to a thorough employment or tenant screening package, should always be a part of your hiring or rental process. It’s a scary world out there, and trusting your applicant on good faith alone is not only unwise – it can also be unsafe.

https://www.hrbackground.com

Happy Housing!

With more and more people obtaining steady work, the housing market is booming. Consumers are actually able to commit to higher rental/mortgage payments without significant fear of quickly not being able to afford the property, such as what happened during the recession of 2008. The year of 2015 proved to be the best year for the housing market since 2007, and market trends are pointing towards 2016 being even better.

The numbers are in, and are already showing promise for this year.

There were over 150K jobs created in January 2016.

Home sales grew .4% from December to January.

The NAR (National Association of Realtors) estimates that it would only take 4 months to sell the current inventory of available homes at the current pace. The “norm” is 6 to 7 months. This is driving up prices, and demand is growing rapidly.

Confidence is slightly down with consumers, as there was a small decline in stock values, but the good news is that mortgage rates have also fallen. This allows consumers to meet loan eligibility requirements which equals more buying power.

So what does this mean?

People will be looking to buy homes! Opportunity for selling your home for above value is likely. Your property will likely not sit on the market for an extended period of time without legitimate offers on the table.

But, if you are a renter, expect rental prices to rise as they have already been doing. It is more affordable to buy than rent in three-quarters of the U.S. Unfortunately, the majority of American renters are not anywhere close to being able to buy a home.

houses

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