Credit Checks and Other Useful Tools for Landlords in St. Louis to Screen a Tenant

Credit Checks and Other Useful Tools for Landlords in St. Louis to Screen a Tenant

The median price of homes in St. Louis County rose to around $222,300 in 2023 from $192,000 in 2021.

So, if you recently bought a property in St. Louis, you likely spent more than you would have a couple of years ago. And if you plan to rent it out, you must do everything you can to recoup your expenses by finding tenants you can trust to pay rent in full and on time.

Conducting a comprehensive tenant background check, including a credit check, is one way to find such renters.

This landlord guide discusses these tenant screening tools, so read on.

Credit Check

A credit check is one of the most crucial items to include on your tenant vetting checklist, as it can tell you how a person manages their finances. It reveals a person's credit and financial history, including current debts. It shows whether someone pays their debts on time, how much they owe, and if they have delinquent accounts.

So, a credit check gives you an idea of whether prospective tenants have a history of paying their bills on time. It also tells you how much rent they can afford monthly.

Employment or Income Verification

The unemployment rate in St. Louis, MO, was 3.3% in April 2024. While that's low, you still want to ensure the tenants you accept aren't part of that statistic. If they aren't employed, they may have difficulty paying rent.

So, always conduct an employment or income check as part of your renter verification process. It lets you confirm a tenant's employment details, such as job title, income, and employer. You can then use this information to gauge a tenant's financial stability and ability to pay rent.

Criminal Background Check

You must know if the people you're letting into your property are of good moral character or have committed crimes. That's why criminal history should be a part of your tenant background check criteria.

A criminal background check lets you discover if an applicant has committed crimes. If they have, you'll know how severe their crimes are and when they perpetrated such acts. Severe crimes involve violence or property destruction.

Rental and Eviction History Check

This check involves contacting each applicant's previous landlords. It can help you find qualified renters during the tenant screening process, as it lets you learn if they have:

  • A good payment record
  • Cared for the property
  • An eviction history
  • Had complaints filed against them by neighbors

So, with a rental and eviction history check, you can gauge how good or bad a tenant is. Then, once you find good tenants, you can focus on making them happy and encouraging them to renew their lease.

Outsource Your Tenant Background Check Process

As you learned in this guide, a comprehensive tenant background check includes credit, employment or income, criminal, rental, and eviction checks. So, please use all these tools to assess prospective renters' trustworthiness and reliability.

Better yet, partner with our property management company, PMI STL Metro. We're locally owned but also part of PMI, a larger national company specializing in property management for over 20 years. You can rely on us for tenant screening, marketing, rent collection, lease enforcement, and eviction protection.

So, call us today to learn why you should outsource tenant screening and property management to us!