Tenant Screening Tools for Landlords


“Just wanted to let you know that I had a Wonderful experience with Mr. Landlord Credit Checks today. “Dave” walked me through the whole process. It had been a long time since I had used the credit check thing and was unsure of how to do it. Thankfully Dave was patient and all went well. Thanks! ” – by Melinda, [MD]
“Definitely check out the site here recommended by Jeffrey (Mr Landlord). I’ve used their services for several years and I’m 100% happy” – by razorback_tim [AR]
“Over the years we’ve used many check services– this one is by far the best.” – by myob [GA]
“I use the one that mrlandlord provides. It’s affordable and pretty detailed. I used to use other service which was more expensive and not as detailed.” – by Pacman [IL]
To those who think it is not necessary to run credit reports because you already know the credit score is probably low,  “you NEED to start pulling credit. In addition to credit scores and judgments, you should also receive a confirmation of Social Security match, Date of Birth confirmation, name match, past/current employers, aliases used in the past, fraud alerts (possible ID theft), and my personal favorite — addresses where they used to live and “forgot” to include on my application. I have caught liars a handful of times. All of them were a mixed bag as far as scores go: some were good, some were terrible. Pull the reports! It’s too cheap to miss this report that is chocked full of important info!” – by Sid (MO)
A lady friend wanted me to see her parents apartment building since they had their first vacancy since inheriting it from their grandmother. I was familiar with the current rents, I had just rented out one of my 1 bedroom units close by days before.My friends father took an old rental sign from the basement and posted it on the lawn. They were asking $830, $30 more than their other 1 bedroom units. I told the family to be quiet and allow me to take over the showings for the first hour. I removed the listed price on the sign, way too low, and wrote — “Inquire within for Today’s Special!” Something I learned from attending a Mr. Landlord convention.The neighborhood had 10 similar rentals, all in competition with one another.
The first person walked in the door. She was a professional, 29, came from out of State to work for her new employer. She had a letter from her employer that guaranteed her next two years of employment at $135,000 per year. She also had a trust set up by her grandparents with over a million dollars in it to help provide for her basic expenses like rent, insurance and vehicle costs. She asked if the apartment came with appliances, like refrigerator, washer/dryer, dishwasher, stove and microwave.
I explained that this was an older building with charm, not a modern box like design.We were asking $1,395 but were accepting multiple several occupants and possible a pet. Since you are a single occupant without any pets, we could lower your rent to $1,295. The unit comes with a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and there’s coin operated laundry machines in the basement.But I said, at this price the unit’s going to go fast. If you fill out an application now, I can run your credit and give you an answer within 15 minutes. She filled out an application and her credit came back perfect. I told her she needed to sign a lease and come up with the move in costs, first of $1,295 plus security of $1,200 — a total of $2,495. She left for her bank saying she will be back soon.
In the mean time I wrote up a lease on my laptop and printed it out at another tenants printer. The applicant came back with cash and we signed a lease that day. The owners were so happy that I was able to get them $465 dollars more per month. While re-keying the locks the new tenant came back because she decided to look at the other units and said had she not taken this unit, should would have taken on of the others instead. Having the ability to run credit on the spot, got someone who was willing to pay $5000 more a year than expected!” — by Robert J [CA] 
“Just used the new MrLandlord.com online (web) credit check for the first time. Worked quite well. It was straight forward to use and very quick. I appreciate having access to credit checks during nights and weekends. This is a great improvement over my previously used (modem) company.” — by Paul [CA]  
“I have done 4 credit checks so far. The last 2 were done online. It works great! Having this service online is appreciated.”  by P Globerson
“I was very impressed with mrlandlord.com credit screening service. In a matter of seconds the credit report was on my screen. No fuss no muss.” by Kate G. [TN]
“Having just used the credit report, it does not get easier than this. Though I thought the first time setup paperwork might get me in a circle romp, it didn’t. It was easy, they were pleasant on the phone, and the report results were great! Thanks!!!” — by George [MD]
“It’s quick, affordable, and even easy to read.” — by Ralph [DC]
“I’m a new LL who just started using the mrlandlord.com credit report service. It’s great; it couldn’t be faster or more accessible once you have it set up.”  — by Matt [NJ]
“The credit service on this site is $9.95, with no other fees. First one free. My local co charged $15.00, faxed back several hours to a day later. This was instantaneous! Again, I was impressed. VERY thorough, scores, verified SS#, bankruptcies, month by month payment hx breakdown, very easy to read. Available instantly, 24 hours/day was my reason to try. Right off the computer, online. Not e-mailed to you later. I did two co-applicants. Had both in seconds. Happy so far!” — by Karen
“I find the credit reporting service from this site to be very convenient (sp?) Prior to this, I went through a local realtor and paid double for the reports. It takes some paperwork to set up to verify you are a landlord (most internet credit checks require this anyway and it makes sense). That was the most time consuming part. Once you’re set up, you can check credit reports any time, and you can access them later, and it even allows you to select if they were approved or declined. If you check decline, it will allow you to generate a rejection letter for that applicant.…The credit reports on this site are complete with past addresses, account info, etc. I ran my first one, and got my rebate check a few weeks later. I’ve run 4 additional reports, all worth the money (well the applicant’s money, anyway!!)” — by Nightaura [CT]
“I use the credit report service on mrlandlord.com regularly. You get a credit report on your computer screen within seconds. I have not had a problem with this credit service at all. I would recommend it.” — by Scott [FL]
“Just starting to lease the 6 new duplex’s I built. Have run about 10 credit checks so far with the Mr LL agency. Seems fine with quick 24/7. I’m hooked, also love the price.” — by TT [Texas]
“I signed up to do credit reports here. I did my first two last night. Whew! I’m sure glad I did.” — by JJ [CA]  
“The credit report gives you a wealth of info!!!! The score is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find past addresses – call the city where those places are located – ask for the name of the owner of record and call them!!! Past LL’s give plenty of info. Call employer. What is work history – steady employee or skips around from job to job. Call former employer if less than 1 year on job. Judgments, spending habits, collections – are all on there. We recently had a couple of applicants that had a chunk of money in their hand (bad sign-says I’m desperate and hope you’re greedy)… when we ran the credit check we found judgments from landlords for the past five years – I could almost see my name up there if I had rented to them. They had 27 collections – that means they have no concern for the responsibility they assumed to pay back these charges when they got their cell phones, etc. He had been at his job for 3 months. She was at hers for 1 year-but was PG and planning on being a stay at home Mom. That credit report gives you a history of what they have done and how they will respect your rental agreement. I wouldn’t consider renting to anyone without a credit report.” — by mlr [MI]
“I just signed up for the credit reporting service offered on this site. The process to sign up is a little cumbersome. Be aware that you will be asked to fax the service things like proof you own property and at least one signed rental application. But once you are set, it works great and you can run all subsequent reports any time you need to from the internet. The report is fairly easy to read and gives you a lot of information. Additional comment, I really like what they put at the bottom – a series of colored dots that show how they paid each month on each account they have. Red and green. Green is good! Red is….Easy to get a quick though detailed view of how they are doing now (which is what I’m most interested in) vs. how they have done over time. That plus the FICO score gives you a pretty good picture.” —by Steve [TN]
“Note that you have to provide information to ANY credit reporting agency to get set up. Actually, this site doesn’t require nearly as much information as my local landlord association did to get set up.” — by Beth [WI] 
“I just used the Mrlandlord.com credit check for the first time. Excellent & fast process! I highly recommend it…” — by S.R. [CA]
“I just used this site last month and really liked it. The information came through right away – plus the system keeps a copy of the tenants credit report, so if you ever need something down the road.” — by Rose [CA]

“I use the Credit Check also. Like it — sort of a hassle to first set it up, BUT you only need to do it once. Love the idea that I can use it anytime — my Landlord Association closes on weekends. This is open 24 hours 7 days a week.” — by Mario [CA]
“I ran my first credit report from this site yesterday, and it came sooooo fast and was easy to read!” — by KF [VT]
“I just completed my first credit check using the credit check at Mr. Landlord.com. I was very impressed with the service and I plan to use it frequently in the future. It worked quickly, smoothly, and was very complete. Unfortunately, I could quickly tell that I could have avoided ALOT of headaches if I had only used your service sooner!” — by JT
“Signed up last night – one fax and one phone call later (30 minutes) I was getting credit checks. Just faxed them the info. they required and had no problem at all.” — by Sue [MA]
“I just got registered and used the credit check service for the first time about a month ago. There is some faxing and phone calls involved in getting set up, but once that was done, it was all done on line – worked well. I did 10 credit checks in a matter of minutes.” — by Peva [VA]
“You have to fax them a document showing proof of ownership, and fax a signed agreement not to misuse the credit checks. Once you are through that in a couple of days, it is amazingly convenient. The format is very easy to read and contains payment history information on loans. Entries are red dots for late payments, green for on-time. At a glance you can see the tenant’s payment profile–whether it’s all clear, spotty, or red alert!” — by Suzanne [TX]
“I am very happy for this service,It is only fair to pay the rent and now when people need to purchase cars or homes it will make everyone be responsible.Thank you a service long needed.” — by Virginia V.
“I have used this service for over a year, and agree with all the advantages listed above. This May I ran a credit report on a young lady, and she showed no history. She had a job, and no BAD history. Now I find that she has a car loan! I called the lending institution, and they were glad to tell me that she is impossible. Why didn’t it show on my report?? They said they reported to Trans Am (?) I also find in recently posted court records that they have had her in court twice. What could I do to prevent this in the future if I use this service?” by Chas [WI]
“After faxing the application through, getting a report was a piece of cake. The credit report is obtained from Experian, which is my favorite of the three because of the way that they format the credit reports (i.e. makes it easier to read through better layout).However, I think that Mr. Landlord should add a demo section, so others can see what a sample tenant credit report will look like before they purchase the service.” — by Charlie[CA]
“I like the credit report service. I’m also considering using the service where you can report court judgments to the credit bureaus….I really would like the details!” — by Barbara[OH]
“If you use the credit service from here it prints out with lots of red and green flags to easily see the payment patterns and you can see if they pay their bills or not.” — by Chris[MD]
“Evidently, I caught this company on the day that they were changing phone service. Their customer service manager called me the same day & got me signed up.I ran 2 credit reports that night. It was fast & easy. You enter the applicant’s name, address & SSN & you get the report in real time. My previous service required a person to physically fax a copy of the report & they didn’t work after 5pm EST nor on weekends.They retain a copy of the report online, so you don’t need to store a paper copy.I’m very happy with the service.” — by Cindy [CA]  
“I am always apprehensive about sending personal information to someone I don’t know. I did anyway just so I could enroll in the service. That’s the hard part, but I’m glad I did. It is a good service, and I agree very easy to read. Takes some of the guesswork out of screening.”– by BC[OK]  
“I requested to get set up to use the credit check service during business hours and was able to obtain my first tenant credit report within an hour of requesting to be set up.Now I have 24/7 access to reports.Set up now before you need a report in a pinch. It is free to set up even if you never need it – it’s good to know it’s there and you most likely will use it.Highly recommended.” — by Lisa[AZ]
“I really like the credit check service available on this site. It’s one of the best and user friendly I’ve encountered. You can track how many credit checks you’ve done on a particular property, get the denial and approval letters…Try it, you’ll like it!” — by Staci[MO]
“I have been using this service for 2 years now. I love it. It is my fist line of defense in screening out bad potential tenants.” — by markster2 [SC]
“Once I faxed the info that was requested, I was set-up, logged in and got all the credit reporting necessary. In future, getting info will be fast, no hassle.  I like it!” — by Paul Steel[CA]
“I got past step 2!. The same day I emailed about not getting past Step 2, I was able to do so successfully that very evening. Although it was late in the day, I was able to check an applicant’s credit report and made the decision to accept his application. We made a deal that very night (10:00 pm) and I now have a tenant!Thanks to Mr.Landlord.com for coming through for me.” — by Nguyen A. [CA] 
“The reason the tenant screening service requires certain documentation from landlords is because the rules for running reports have tightened up. Some companies are requiring an onsite inspection before they set you up.You need to prove to them that you are a landlord….The company behind the MrLandlord credit checks is actually the largest credit service for landlords in the US. Nothing to worry about there.” — by Sean[CA]  
“After faxing the needed info I was setup and ready to go. The service is needed and greatly appreciated.  Another winner for MrLandlord.com.” — by Malcolm[MI]
“Well I ran my first credit report, very easily I might add through the help of MrLandlord. And………….false address AND false DOB, in addition to numerous charge-offs, past-dues, and bankruptcy filling.Thank you to all for the advice you have posted throughout the years. All my research on this site paid off!!!!!” — by Erin[RI]
“I had a lady apply for my apartment yesterday. She seemed like a perfect tenant. I thought she would be perfect for my nice two bedroom duplex. She and her daughter really loved my apartment and seemed so nice. So, I came home all excited to get the apartment rented and ran her credit report…….boy what eye opener I got!!!! 24 collections, 4 evictions. 5 public records…..She lied about her current address. Gee, she’s in the process of being evicted!!!! So, never ever ever let someone move in without that one little report that can save your butt!!!! Thank you Mr. Landlord again. Kim :)” — by Kim[MI]
“For credit screening I have to say this site is one of the best. You can get a basic report for only $9.95 and the report is available online immediately. There are some services on the net that require you to send them the credit check info and then they fax you back the report a day or two later. That is a hassle especially when you have a good tenant waiting for an answer.”– by Roy[IL]
“Wow!!! Besides the fact that I promptly received the critical tenant info I needed… I was even more impressed with the level of customer service!!! I was assisted by jamil in the AOA compliance department and he gave me top shelf customer assistance and satisfaction. He walked me thru everything via emails!! I am about to become a Mrlandlord junkie. thanks jamil!!!!!” — by gena [GA]  
“Although I signed up for the credit checks on this site a long time ago, I hadn’t actually used it until today. It was nice to get an instant report in electronic form.I usually run reports through my local landlord’s association, which also gives good service – but I wanted to try out the one from this site since it is available outside of normal business hours.”by Carolyn[MO]
“I have used the service on this site for some time now. I too like the fact it is ready when I am 24/7. I have found them easy to read and they also come with the credit score. Beats anything else I had available.” — by David[FL]
“Credit Reporting on this site works great and does provide a FICO score. There is paperwork they need from you to get started, but your first one is free. After that it’s only $10 each time.” — by Dejay[TX]
“To be honest, I don’t get why any landlord would NOT fully check out applicants since:1) You can charge an application fee2) Technology makes it so much easier now than it used to be.Also…You need to be careful and never “not” check one but yet DO check another who might be in a protected class…Again…Why on earth would anyone NOT run checks when they are so easy to do? GUT is VERY important as ONE piece of the screening process and sometimes it can be the tie breaker but I would NEVER rely on gut alone!” — by Terry[CA]  
“This site is great for credit checks! I registered and was able to pull credit in one day.  By the description of the process I thought it would take at least 3 days, but the process was really fast.” — by Neill[CA]
“I find them very easy to understand. I’ve used others but find this site’s reports to be very easy to read and understand compared to the “other” company our landlord associations have been using. In fact, I always had to rely on their telephone summary before receiving the hard copy to be able to know if the applicant was okay. Not so with reports from this site – they are instant and no confusing codes to ponder over.” — by CTLL [CT]
“Had a golden boy tenant apply for renting my duplex at the beach for $1200/month plus 1200 deposit. It was a very nice husband and wife, very nice with a 1 year old daughter and loved the place and wanted to call it their home. I verified employment and called their current landlord. The landlord raved about them and was not happy they were moving but they wanted to be closer to the beach. I thought I struck gold and almost considered not running a credit report.However, the taunts, nightmares, and I told you so’s from all the vets on this site (especially Radar) told me I had to do more checks. Me, the 28-year-old know-it-all did the credit check just to prove everyone wrong. Found out, 5 delinguent accounts and 3 collections. Did more research and goldenboy has been arrested 4x and been to prison once for burglary. Needless to say, I called them and told them based on the information collected on their application and discussion with partners, they do not meet our policy standards (even though I own it myself).This site saves a lot of money if you listen and not be stubborn like me or used to be. I have been brought down to reality after this week. Thanks for everything you do!” — by DMS [FL]
“I got my first rental application yesterday. The gentleman looks very nice and he works for the city with a senior position and has high income. After reading many bad stories here, I felt so lucky that the first time I am looking for tenants I got a good one. After I verified his job, I even thought credit check might not be necessary. Since landlords on this forum always say the check is a must, I still did it. The score is less than 600 and there are many late payments and collections. There is also a court judgment for credit card debt. I am so disappointed.  I had thought a government employee needs to have good records.” — by Maggie[MA]
“The screening site here gives you a free form that you just print out after screening your applicant. You then check the little boxes that pertain to your rejection and then mail it to them. Way easy. There are four categories with 4-5 boxes in each category. Falsifying information is one of them. I’ve never had a single person call me for an explanation after checking that box. A liar knows he/she is a liar.” — by Priscilla[TX]  
“Landlords MUST check the credit histories and backgrounds of their applicants and tenants. Why should a landlord bear the burden of a tenant’s fiscal and moral irresponsibility? I can’t afford NOT to check and screen for honest, financially-responsible tenants.” — by Ashley[KS]
“Once you get setup with the service (from this site), it is smooth sailing. This site has never let me down for INSTANT reports for eviction and credit for the low price of $14.95. I’ve probably run 200+ reports here. With any service you sign up for, you will have to setup your account by proving you own the properties you are renting.” — by Steve[CA]
“I have used other services. None are as efficient, quick, reliable, cost-efficient, and easy to use as this one. I ONLY use the MrLandlord Credit Checks services now and I would wholeheartedly recommend them.” — by Dixie[KS]
“I had been using another credit check agency up until today. Don’t ask me why it took me so long to switch my business to MrLandlord.com, since I’ve been registered to use the credit check service here since 2004! Anyway, better late than never – the people I dealt with, price and product are leagues over what I was using, and I highly recommend this excellent service.I have a lot of gratitude for this place, and don’t stop often enough to say ‘thank you, Jeffrey’.”by Jessica[CA] )
“Who provides your credit checks? Do you have access 24/7/365?I am fighting a bit of vacancy at the 48 unit, and it can be a tough market.. Surrounded by similar units, all with vacancies.PM was holding an open house today / this evening. She calls at 6:39pm. “I have a good one, can you run credit for me?” Sure, gimme two seconds here.. OK, “Name, DOB, SS#, Last address”. OK.. This should only take a few… “Tell Barbara welcome to her new home.”That fast, I was able to approve a new resident. I’ll do a bit more checking before signing the rental agreement, but this unit is 99.9% filled just on the info contained in the credit report.When I think about all the tools I use daily in this business, the one tool that always stands out is the INSTANT credit reports. I used to have to FAX in an application to our local credit agency, then wait, sometimes for up to three days (if submitted after hours on Friday) for a response.Tenants DO NOT wait 3 days to find out if they are approved. They either move on to the next complex that can give them an answer right now, or to the un-suspecting landlord who doesn’t even check.I would STRONGLY suggest to any newbies out there that are not already signed up for this service to do so NOW. It looks daunting and intimidating at first, but the requirements are quite simple, and all the “inspection” stuff is easy to comply with. IMHO, this is a MUST HAVE tool.My personal Thanks again, Mr. Taylor. You just enabled me to fill another vacancy that might have gotten away from me were it not for the blistering fast credit reports offered here.I also just wanted to pass on a note about the MrLL Credit Check Service, since from time to time we see posts from folks having trouble getting set up.I can confirm that the application process is both SIMPLE and VERY FAST. IF you follow the instructions!!At 10:50 this morning I faxed over 1 deed, 1 closing statement, 2 applications, 2 trade references, and the agreement. At 12:17PM I was completely set up with an account. If you ask me, that is BLISTERING fast customer service.We will still have to be “inspected”, but we just passed an Experian inspection 3 months ago, and it was no problem at all.If you need instant credit reports, you should absolutely sign up RIGHT HERE!! I no longer have to fax in info to the local agency and wait by the fax machine.. sometimes for hours.. For a response.Thanks Jeffrey, for the excellent service!!

Sean” — by Sean[CA]  

“I have been using MrLandlord for 4 years now and wouldn’t have the quality of tenants I have without it. I can get results on an application within minutes and it is the best tool I have to screen applicants.” — by Cathy B.[GA]
“By supporting the credit check service which sponsors the MrLandlord.com forum you also help to maintain a really great venue for all of us to discuss LL issues by signing up for credit checks here…Initial price is offset by two free initial credit report requests.” — by Irish[MD]
“Yes, use the service here! I have been extremely satisfied with the results.” — by djbutler[MD]  
“I have used the service often and highly recommend it. Only had one problem in the last three years after a long period of inactivity. They resolved it in a couple of hours.” — by Matt [MD]

“I too use the service and any time I’ve needed assistance I have found the office to be more than helpful.” — by RonD[CA]
“For those of you using other tenant screening services that do not allow you to see the actual credit reports of your applicants, I’d say that you need to switch to a company that gives REAL credit reports so that you can actually make an informed decision based on the data as opposed to based on someone else’s automated calculation of “poor” or “good”.I use and recommend the one associated here with this MrLandlord.com. Just click on the yellow “Credit Checks” box above. It takes a little work to get set up — but it really is fairly easy and quick and, after the initial inspection fee, is only $10 to run reports ($15 with state eviction checks).” — by John…[MI]



  1. As a professional REALTOR, I’m always looking for the best services to refer to my clients. Will absolutely be passing along Mr LL info to my investor clients who run a lot of leases in their business. Great reviews! Thanks!


    I called in today because I was lost and had crazy amount of issues with my account. I spoke with a rep Angelica B from the first 30 seconds to the end of the call she answered everything to my liking. From calling in with zero certainty and ending the call with 100% certainty / happy with the results. ANGELICA B thank you

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