nbr: questions on background checks... — The Bump
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nbr: questions on background checks...

we have a rental property (our old house) and our renters are moving out early (GRRR) and we are talking to new potential tenants. 

as part of the background, are we allowed to find information on FB?  and use that to ask questions if there are inconsistencies?

I don't want to get in trouble :)

thanks!

Re: nbr: questions on background checks...

  • I dunno about FB but we've gotten credit reports on all our tenants in the past.  Usually with renters you are talking about moderate to bad credit so its a roll of the dice anyway.  We've allowed tenants with bad credit with mixed results.  Some actually to pay on time with no problems and some basically squat and trash your house until you have them legally evicted.  One tenant we had received government assistance for housing and we allowed her to rent for the amount of her assistance check even though it was below our rate but we got that check every single month on time bc the government sends it directly so be open to those type tenants for sure.
  • image ebearwife:
    I dunno about FB but we've gotten credit reports on all our tenants in the past.  Usually with renters you are talking about moderate to bad credit so its a roll of the dice anyway.  We've allowed tenants with bad credit with mixed results.  Some actually to pay on time with no problems and some basically squat and trash your house until you have them legally evicted.  One tenant we had received government assistance for housing and we allowed her to rent for the amount of her assistance check even though it was below our rate but we got that check every single month on time bc the government sends it directly so be open to those type tenants for sure.

    I know plenty of people who rent who have good credit, being a renter =/= bad to moderate credit.

    If they are stupid enough to have a non private FB I don't know why you wouldn't be able to look at it. 

    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

    [IMG]http://i44.tinypic.com/15gf6sz.jpg[/IMG]
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  • image frlcb:

    image ebearwife:
    I dunno about FB but we've gotten credit reports on all our tenants in the past.  Usually with renters you are talking about moderate to bad credit so its a roll of the dice anyway.  We've allowed tenants with bad credit with mixed results.  Some actually to pay on time with no problems and some basically squat and trash your house until you have them legally evicted.  One tenant we had received government assistance for housing and we allowed her to rent for the amount of her assistance check even though it was below our rate but we got that check every single month on time bc the government sends it directly so be open to those type tenants for sure.

    I know plenty of people who rent who have good credit, being a renter =/= bad to moderate credit.

    If they are stupid enough to have a non private FB I don't know why you wouldn't be able to look at it. 

    I never said it equals bad to moderate credit but we have yet to have even one renter even apply who has "good" or "excellent" credit.  I am sure they exist.  That is why I said "most" not "all".  But if we are going to get really technical around here I would wager that most people in the general population have moderate (or average) to bad credit - for whatever reason within or without their control.  Otherwise what is the point of having "good" credit if your credit isn't any better than the next borrowers?  Its this everyone deserves good credit for being a human mentality that got us into the recession.  And I didn't even tell her to weed out those with poor credit or that those with poor credit would even be poor renters.  I was offering my real life experience which may or may not be useful to a relatively new landlord who probably does not want to eat mortgage payments on an empty house.

  • image ebearwife:

    I never said it equals bad to moderate credit but we have yet to have even one renter even apply who has "good" or "excellent" credit.  I am sure they exist.  That is why I said "most" not "all".  But if we are going to get really technical around here I would wager that most people in the general population have moderate (or average) to bad credit - for whatever reason within or without their control.  Otherwise what is the point of having "good" credit if your credit isn't any better than the next borrowers?  Its this everyone deserves good credit for being a human mentality that got us into the recession.  And I didn't even tell her to weed out those with poor credit or that those with poor credit would even be poor renters.  I was offering my real life experience which may or may not be useful to a relatively new landlord who probably does not want to eat mortgage payments on an empty house.

    Because someone has to be the person with good or excellent credit. This is such a bizarre argument. I don't think I ever said everyone deserves good credit, I simply pointed out that saying that 'usually' renters have bad or moderate credit is not necessarily true. I have no idea why your renters all do, but it doesn't mean everyone will have that experience. 

    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

    [IMG]http://i44.tinypic.com/15gf6sz.jpg[/IMG]
  • image frlcb:

    image ebearwife:
    I dunno about FB but we've gotten credit reports on all our tenants in the past.  Usually with renters you are talking about moderate to bad credit so its a roll of the dice anyway.  We've allowed tenants with bad credit with mixed results.  Some actually to pay on time with no problems and some basically squat and trash your house until you have them legally evicted.  One tenant we had received government assistance for housing and we allowed her to rent for the amount of her assistance check even though it was below our rate but we got that check every single month on time bc the government sends it directly so be open to those type tenants for sure.

    I know plenty of people who rent who have good credit, being a renter =/= bad to moderate credit.

    If they are stupid enough to have a non private FB I don't know why you wouldn't be able to look at it. 

    Right, like if they say they don't smoke or have pets but public fb pics show they smoke and have pets then I don't know why you wouldn't be able to question that.  Although if you found a discrepancy like that I would just move to the next applicant. 

  • I honestly have no idea, we use a rental company for our properties, but I would say if their FB profile is public, to check them out. 
  • IMO, everything is fair game on the internet. When we look at prospective renters or even hire a new nanny, you better believe that I google the heck out of them and check on facebook. You'd be surprised at the things you find. Now, I wouldn't say something like " On your facebook profile, I saw you doing xyz", but would use that information to ask educated questions, kwim?  And if you don't like what you see, move on to the next person. Also, for renters we use screeningworks.com to run background checks. Great service and super quick!
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  • I have been helping my mom recently with renting several apartments that she owns and as far as background checks, we have the tenant get a local police check. We let them know that if there is any criminal history, it does not discount them, but we do need to know who we are renting too. So far no complaints and they actually seem to feel safer. I also check their FB page, or what I can of it, just in case, especially if I am showing the places by myself for safety reasons. 
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