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

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.


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 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!


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.


Watch Out for Weekenders


Time to think about adding one more task to your checklist before renting your property. If you didn’t already have enough to do, you can now add reviewing and addressing your subletting policy to your agenda.

Being specific in your lease agreement and explaining to the tenant about your subletting policy has now become a bigger issue than ever before. Companies like Airbnb now allow people to rent/sublet their rooms to travelers for a day, or even months. This is a great convenience for travelers, but sometimes not so great for the landlords that own the property.

Recently in New York, a tenant turned a 3-bedroom apartment into a 10-bedroom apartment to sublet on Airbnb. Once the landlord of the property found out about the unapproved renovations from the neighbors, he sent his own work crew in to tear down the renovations and change the locks. He attempted to evict his tenants and their Airbnb guests, but the tenants filled a court order and were allowed back into the apartment. The landlord is working towards properly evicting the tenants who are, in the meantime, still renting out their now-cloth-divided rooms to guests.

Some tenants are violating the law by subletting their entire property to guests while they are not there.

As a landlord, you are responsible for who is residing within your property. Protect yourself and others by reviewing your lease and the clauses for alterations and subletting.

To protect yourself, and protect your right to evict your tenants, make simple changes to your lease language. Prohibit your tenants from making unapproved alterations to the property. Specify the length of time guests are allowed to reside in the property before being required to be added to the lease. If you are completely against allowing your tenants to rent a room to guests, include that language in the lease.

Thoroughly go over the lease with your tenants, explaining policies about subletting if needed. If you are still worried about your tenants hosting guests, physically check on your property. Also be sure to check the online rental websites for your property address.

Though tenants subletting your property can be a very troubling experience, there are benefits too. If you allow your tenant to sublet with written consent (which makes it legal), the tenant then becomes responsible for the property if damaged by guests. The extra income from the guests can help ensure that your rental payments will be received in full and on time. You are still responsible for who is on your property. If you allow your tenants to sublet, require them to perform a background check on the guest and share the information with you.

As always, remain mindful of the situations that you are inadvertently allowing yourself to be responsible for. Protect yourself accordingly.



Lions, tigers, and lost Social Security cards, oh my! Yes, it’s a very scary thought. Information that you have likely worked hard throughout your life to protect is now missing. It could be in the hands of someone that has mischievous ideas or more likely, it could be in the trash. The thought of your name and matching social security number being used to secure credit (that you obviously didn’t authorize) is horrifying and devastating.

If this happens, steps may be taken to lessen the blow to your credit (and psyche).

If you believe that you might be a victim of identity fraud, follow these steps.

  1. Place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax). Once placed, the other two bureaus will be notified. The initial fraud alert will last for at least ninety days.
  2. Review your credit report for fraudulently open accounts.
  3. If accounts are found; contact the creditor and question the account.
  4. File a fraud report with your local police department and the Federal Trade Commission.
  5. Report to your bank and other creditors about identity fraud.
  6. Place an extended fraud alert on your credit. The extended alert will last for 7 years.

For some it is necessary to continue with one more step. They may elect to place a security freeze on their credit report. The security freeze prevents anyone (lender’s and creditor’s) from accessing your credit report. There is no time limit on the security freeze, and will remain on your credit until you say otherwise.

The fraud alert and the security freeze are consumer (you) initiated and ended. A credit reporting agency must follow certain guidelines pertaining to identity theft. As a consumer, you have rights, and those rights are there to protect and help you in the event of a situation such as identity fraud.

There are other reasons that one may elect to place a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit, but it may cost the consumer an out of pocket initial fee to establish.