Adrian Waters, a Baltimore, Maryland, area business man, created a Web site that provides background and financial checks for landlords at no cost to the landlords. Currently, landlords have to pay thousands of dollars to research that information, or they don’t spend the money and get a bad tenant, he said. The concept is one-hundred percent new.
“Often tenants will speak and present a good feeling to the landlord, but those might turn out to be the deadbeat tenants,” Waters said. “My service helps prevent that problem.”
Through a partnership with TransUnion Credit Bureau, Waters created yourfreetenantscreening.com. When landlords request screenings, they receive a thorough report listing credit information, criminal history, sex offender registry and background on payment. The service is paid through tenant application fees. The site is funded through advertisements of local professionals for 150 cities nationwide, such as real estate agents, construction workers or electricians.
How the Free Tenant Site Works
Prospective renters file an online application, which triggers registration with the site. The online application sends an e-mail to the landlord. The prospective renters pay a fee. After the background check is completed, the landlord is sent an e-mail to view documents and decide whether to rent to that person. The landlords have 30 days to decide. If a landlord accepts a tenant, the information remains on the site for 72 hours before it is removed, Waters said.
“If tenants have a bad credit history, they won’t want to go through this process. It’s likely it will weed out the deadbeat tenants,” he added.
Expansion Plans for Tenant Screening Site
Waters has created a marketing campaign to get out the word about the site. He’s targeting landlords, property managers and advertisers. In the future, Waters plans a Phase 2 for the site. He wants to expand the site to allow free screenings for American employers.
As part of the site’s launch, Waters is offering local advertisers free ad space for 30 days. He’s also offering to provide landlords free forms if they need them. The site began operation in May 2009 in the United States.
The company is trying to get advertisers from the following professions:
- real estate agents
- construction workers
- mortgage lenders
- handy-man companies
- pet sitting companies
- insurance companies
- medical professionals
Yourfreetenantscreening.com will save time and money for landlords who have small budgets, he added. It also will provide resources for landlords and tenants. Although the company is based in the Baltimore area, the Web site will be available to landlords in any city.