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The 7 Best Recommended Tenant Screening Services Of 2022

Eight out of 10 renters pay rent on time, as per the National Multifamily Housing Council, an association of trade for the rental industry.

A savvy landlord can protect themselves by utilizing a reliable tenant screening service to verify the prospective tenant's credit, income, rental, eviction history, and criminal background. However, access to this kind of personal data is governed by the rules and regulations that are governed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

We looked at 20 tenant screening services according to their price and the variety of their services, their speed, and conformity to the FCRA. After conducting this analysis, we selected the top seven services to safeguard your investment.

The 7 Top Tenant Screening Services in 2022

Top OverallThe Koleman Group LLC

Best for Realtors: SmartMove

The best choice for multiple properties: RentPrep

Best Value: E-Renter

Most Comprehensive: VeriFirst

The Best Criminal Record Search BetterNOI

Most Predictive Model The RealPage

Best Tenant Screening Services

  • The Koleman Group LLC
  • SmartMove
  • RentPrep
  • E-Renter
  • VeriFirst
  • BetterNOI
  • RealPage

Best Overall The Koleman Group LLC 

The Koleman Group LLC wins best overall because of its extensive range of services, an extensive collection of white papers and datasheets, and its human review process that minimizes the chance that false positives could occur.


  • Access to a library of landlord-tenant information
  • Links to their ecosystem of partners for complementary services
  • The criminal records and evictions database is updated daily
  • Human review is used to minimize false positives
  • FCRA-compliant
  • Results are accurate and fast
  • Affordable pricing
  • Provide bulk tenant screening solutions by using a tenant api 
  • Landlords or tenants can order online
  • No sign up or subscription fees required


  • Navigation on the web can be difficult

Established in 2010, The Koleman Group has become one of the most extensive screening companies nationally, serving both USA and Canada. The company operates more than 10 million tenant background checks per year and is recognized among the top firms in the field.

Landlords can contact sales at The Koleman Group LLC for discussion of their criteria requirements along with the number of screens needed to obtain a cost estimate. The package is unique, which draws from the full range of The Koleman Group LLC products and the additional products offered by the company's partner's ecosystem. For instance, using Credit reports from the three national credit bureaus, it is possible to get information on credit scores for foreign tenant applicants who haven't established credit scores within the U.S.

The Koleman Group LLC provides rental, landlord, and utility debt histories and criminal background checks across every state. The FCRA-compliant services that they offer extend to identity fraud, too. Because a lot of evictions aren't reported to credit bureaus, The Koleman Group LLC maintains its database that is updated with the latest filings, judgments, possessions, and timely payments and lease disputes.

In the end, all information that landlords require is accessible in minutes. Another thing that has brought The Koleman Group LLC to top, was that it is possible to discover why these criteria are essential in their library online, blog posts, white papers, datasheets, and trends reports.

The landlord can select one or three credit-reporting agencies to screen potential tenants. The Koleman Group also offers a simple service for landlords that permits the storage of forms online. In the end, every aspect of screening, from the initial tenant screening payment, background screening, and filing, is all stored in the database of forms.

For customer support, tenants, applicants, and landlords can contact The Koleman Group via email or phone for assistance or file a complaint. The Koleman Group also has an FAQ page that provides answers and resources to help you solve your problem faster.

Great for Realtors SmartMove

A few landlords employ realtors who market their properties and also conduct screenings. SmartMove is the ideal solution for realtors taking on this responsibility. They can manage multiple properties with one account and allow applicants to pay for screenings.


  • Membership is not required to request a report.
  • Manage multiple properties using one account
  • The applicant can be charged for the screen.
  • TransUnion. 
  • FCRA-compliant


  • State, federal and local laws can restrict SmartMove from reporting certain criminal records.
  • Criminal results are not readily available in Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

SmartMove was founded in 2008 by TransUnion. SmartMove has brought huge customer power to small-business realtors seeking to complete criminal investigations efficiently and swiftly.

SmartMove provides three options: SmartCheck Basic for $25, SmartCheck Plus for $38 SmartCheck Premium costs $40 for each screening. In the Basic plan, you get an assessment of your credit score for residents and a nationwide background check. The Plus plan includes a complete credit report and a national report on evictions. If you choose premium, SmartMove gives you an income Insights report, which informs the agent know whether the applicant requires further income verification. In addition, for benefits to the person applying, this Income Insight report accounts for the income that is not earned through work, like child support or the alimony.

There aren't any setup costs, minimums, or monthly service fees. There are no hidden costs. It's also not a long time to determine whether your account has been approved. You'll have your first screen for applicants in just a few minutes of registering and logging in. In every tenant screening, you can select to charge the cost to the person applying or to your business. This is different from other options since it is specifically designed to help landlords assign the responsibility of screening to an agent. Pricing is transparent, and the realtor can manage multiple properties from the same account.

Customer service is accessible via the phone, and the company provides useful information via its FAQ pages.

Best for Multiple Properties RentPrep

Fidelis Screening Solutions' RentPrep is ideal for landlords with multiple properties since it provides the lowest bulk volume cost.


  • It employs, trains, and recruits FCRA-certified screeners.
  • Significant discount for the those who own 50 or more properties
  • Assisting TransUnion's SmartMove Reporting
  • Chat, phone, or email support for customers


  • Reports are not available immediately.
  • No way to charge applicants directly for background checks
  • Credit Check Add-on does NOT provide a credit score.

RentPrep has established a company that invests in the screening capabilities of its employees to allow them to conduct manual screening aided by technology. However, while other screening firms boast about their size database and speedy reports, RentPrep is skeptical about the quality and usefulness of their rivals' fast reports.

Two options to screen tenants include RentPrep Background Check at $21 and SmartMove's Full Credit report for $38. The cheaper plan does not require any involvement by the prospective tenant. It confirms Social Security numbers, address history, evictions and bankruptcies or judgments, and lien. For an additional $6, you can also add the nationwide criminal and sexual offender search. For $11, you can order a credit decision report.

Perfect for large-scale background checks, the Standard plan for $9.95 searches to verify Social Security number, date of birth, aliases addresses, and Evictions. Its Advanced bulk plan provides everything, including the nationwide criminal search and the U.S. National Sex Offender Registry, and the Global Homeland Security Database, at $14.95 for each applicant. A credit report is required to add the information. For landlords who have more than one property, we have found RentPrep as the best option for its bulk discounting.

RentPrep reports are provided within an hour or so during working hours. SmartMove reports are accessible in a matter of minutes. However, the clock does not begin to tick until applicants confirm their identity.

The company offers chat, phone, and email for customer support as well as tenants can initiate the process of resolving disputes.


Best Value E-Renter


Although E-Renter isn't the lowest cost starting point, it's near the lowest, as is the Basic plan's contents, including criminal reports, searches for sex offenders, banks, bankruptcies, liens, and judgments.


  • The employees are FCRA-certified and insured.
  • The site displays state-specific regulations.
  • Search for sexual and criminal offenders included in the basic package
  • There is no requirement for landlords to inspect to begin screening tenants 24 hours a day.
  • Reports from the sample on the website


  • There is no option to charge the applicant directly
  • A credit check is not the entire credit report of the services provided by landlords.

E-Renter was established in 2003 by two rental property owners who wanted to design an easier method for landlords to check tenants. The company is renowned for its customer service. Customers are usually contacting an FCRA-certified customer service representative via phone.

The Basic plan is priced at $21.95. The report validates applicants' Social Security numbers and conducts the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Patriot Act search. The entry-level includes judgments, evictions, criminal history, sex offenders' status, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcy. E-Renter has the highest value because it had no hidden charges at $21.95. It was also the cheapest cost for a big bundle of search results at the entry-level level.

E-Renter's more complete plans are also cheaper than comparable plans. At a $34.44 premium, the plan includes everything included in the Basic plan, plus a FICO score and a credit report; however, you won't get the complete credit report.

The Ultimate Plan, which costs $39.44, includes an enhanced background check that includes Rent Check Advisor, which is an analysis that reveals the possibility of accepting checks from the applicant and confirming the applicant's name, identification, and address. Additionally, the Ultimate plan includes the Social Security number name match and checks on the Social Security Death Index.

Their reports are produced online by scanning databases throughout the United States in less than an hour. There is no fee to sign up, monthly charges, or minimum order requirements. Customer Service is accessible via either phone or email all day, every day of the week.


Most Comprehensive VeriFirst

VeriFirst earned our vote for being the most comprehensive service. It offers instant reports, integrated complementary services like debt collection and property management systems, simultaneous screening of guarantor and co-applicant, and access to customer acceptance and denial letters.


  • The employees are certified by FCRA.
  • The free, extensive, and current library of educational resources
  • Instant reports
  • Integration with Property Management systems for property management
  • Easy transfer to the online debt collection system.


  • No online pricing
  • The applicant cannot be charged directly
  • You must call to determine the basic services and those that are premium.
  • No sample reports are available for the public to be viewed

VeriFirst was launched in 2004. VeriFirst is recognized as a member of The Professional Background Screening Association with an FCRA-certified staff of screeners to reduce false-positive screenings.

The company doesn't release pricing. Instead, you fill out an online form that outlines the services you're interested in, and the company provides a quote. There are no minimum orders or monthly costs.

VeriFirst received praise for its completeness as its reports are thorough. In addition, its technology and its staff members verify the information, and its Online Learning Library is among the most comprehensive we have found.

The services included in your customized-quoted report will include national crime and sexual offender database searches and local criminal, statewide, and district court search in the federal district. You can also request credit history reports, eviction documents, and driver's license information. VeriFirst also allows verification of the status of your education and employment, drug testing, and I-9 records usually used by employers to verify the status of a citizen.

The reports are immediately available, except for the local court records. However, these can take up to three days due to an element of manual extraction.

For submitting a claim or getting assistance from customer service, VeriFirst provides an online form, email address, and telephone number on its website.


Best Criminal Background Research BetterNOI

BetterNOI recognizes the importance of providing a reliable police background check to a landlord and the best way to search for information that does not appear in the online databases and that other businesses rely on.


  • County researchers are dispatched to courthouses across the nation
  • Reports that are easy to read
  • Customizable acceptance guidelines for acceptance


  • There is no pricing online. You must make a call to get an estimate.
  • No resource library or blog is designed to help landlords learn
  • No sample reports available to look over

Established in 2001, BetterNOI cannot publish pricing on its sites. However, you can request a demo to try the program out or discuss your requirements with a professional from customer service before receiving your personalized estimate.

Reports offer detailed credit information. Criminal background reports comprise searches and staff-confirmed research in county courthouses to collect information not included in the standard databases. Court reports that are complex in detail reveal eviction cases, and BetterNOI organizes the data to be easy to digest. Input the criteria that you consider important, and BetterNOI will let you know whether the applicant meets the guidelines for acceptance. The steps that it follows to search for criminal records are an improvement over its competitors, which is why we awarded it the highest criminal background check award.

In addition to its background checks, BetterNOI checks for Social Security number fraud and checks earnings and employment histories.

The applicants may file claims or inquire via the internet, phone contact, or mail.

Best Predictive Model RealPage

RealPage has put more emphasis on prediction by expanding its scope of research. For example, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) plays a big role in RealPage's model to go beyond just income and credit to determine if an applicant will have trouble paying rent.


  • E-books, articles, and videos and an online learning system that makes use of the concept of gamification
  • The first and only AI-powered predictive model.
  • Make use of the only accurate database in the world of rent payment history.
  • Rapid reports on most things.
  • FCRA-compliant


  • There is no pricing online. You must contact or email to request an estimate.
  • Do not use any traditional metrics like rent-to-income ratio.

In 1998, the company was founded. RealPage has been a pioneer in the field thanks to its prescriptive method. For example, it predicts whether a person can make payments and the applicant's ability to pay. In addition, RealPage uses information from more than 30 million leases to assist landlords in identifying tenants with traits that indicate good tenant behavior.

This means that RealPage can screen for willingness to pay and identity verification rental history and criminal background. The process is quick to complete when an applicant is in the process of touring the property. Utilizing artificial intelligence to inform tenants about their ability to afford, RealPage created the most accurate model.

If you contact someone or fill in an online form to discuss your goals and objectives, there are no packages that you can view online. Instead, quotes are custom-made for each customer.

When applicants have rejected an application, a human employee checks the applicant's eligibility before sending an email with a denial message. Then, a person can contact the office to start an appeal. For example, suppose a landlord uses RealPage's complimentary tenant management tools like its renter portal energy management and automated payment or renter's insurance. In that case, they have other options for the tenant to contact the landlord and submit a dispute.

What are Tenant Screening Services?

Suppose a renter who is not qualified to enter your property could result in costly loss due to damages or non-payments and legal actions and the frequent costs of turnover. Screening tenants is a method to check the applicant's financial and criminal background to determine the likelihood that they will be acceptable tenants that won't drain the rental profits. The process is digital, by scouring databases online records and transforming that information into a report to the landlord or an amalgamation of human and digital research.

What does a Tenant Screening Report imply?

Screening reports give an owner a sense of how an applicant performs as a tenant by looking at their past. For instance, the landlord will be able to determine whether the applicant has an issue with insufficient rental payments and if the tenant was ever expelled, and in many instances, for what reason while conducting a tenant background search.

It is also possible for landlords to determine if a potential tenant has enough income to pay the rent each month. In certain reports, landlords can see whether a tenant has many student loans or personal loans, for instance, and check if they are earning enough money to pay for all their expenses and debts.

How Long Will an Eviction Last on the Tenant Screening Report?

To comply with the regulations of the FCRA, evictions must not appear on the tenant screening report after seven years. However, if a prospective tenant finds out an eviction that was older than seven years appears on a new report, they can lodge a complaint.

Landlords need to know about the eviction history of applicants because they can be a determinant of future behavior. It's a good opportunity for landlords to examine why the eviction occurred by looking over the decision or asking the person who was evicted, or calling the landlord who was evicted to learn the full details.

What is the cost of a tenant screening service?

The basic tenant screening services plan ranges from $15 to $35 for each screened applicant. You could negotiate a bulk pricing discount with certain companies and cut that cost by a third. On the basic level, it is common to receive credit, address employment information, and the Social Security number verification. Sexual and criminal offender research typically comes as an upcharge itemized or bundled into the next, more expensive plan, the next tier.

On the other hand, the premium plans are priced at approximately $40 per applicant. Another pricing strategy most screening companies employ is the custom quote procedure. In this case, the landlord or real estate agent speaks with a customer service representative about the parameters they wish to screen and the many tenants they would like to screen each month to agree on a price.

How Do We Choose the Best Tenant Screening Services

We analyzed the work of 20 tenant screening companies before choosing our top seven suggestions.

The most important factors we considered when evaluating the company included FCRA compliance and training for staff, Company background, reputation, and accreditations. In addition, these pricing strategies comprised whether there were hidden costs. We also considered the screening process's speed and whether the company relies solely on computer algorithms or whether it supplemented its technology by utilizing human verification.

Each of the companies we recommend complies with FCRA regulations. However, the laws change as time goes by. Therefore, an FCRA-compliant screening firm keeps up-to-date with the latest developments and provides the landlord with an appropriately worded rejection letter sent to the applicant.

Companies that adopted technology to improve rapidity and effectiveness, and were also validated by human efforts, also scored top in our analysis. For example, credit databases are often filled with errors like closed loans that show there's still a balance to be paid. In addition, some have information from the past that cannot be used for any length of time, such as bankruptcy filings that are older than seven years. Criminal and other legal judgments are also criminal, particularly those in county court records that don't make it into the national databases for a crime. Thus, the companies that made our shortlist didn't only rely on database algorithms.

Updated on 2023-05-26 12:18:49 by larry coleman

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