Homeowners, Background Screen Your Prospective Tenants!

As a homeowner wanting to rent your property, one of the biggest concerns you may face is “What if I get a bad tenant?”. We often hear stories of tenants refusing to pay rent after moving in or vandalising the leased property. In worst-case scenarios, you may even find furniture missing from your home after your tenant pulls a disappearing act.

Throughout our years in background screening, we’ve received many requests to run checks on potential tenants. Through our research, we found that such services are popular in the US and Europe but not widely practiced in Asia, which we believe to be a huge oversight.

In Malaysia, tenancy laws are more advantageous for tenants, which puts landlords in a tight spot. In the event that you find an incompatible tenant who also refuses to move after an eviction notice,  the landlord may file an eviction order against the tenant in court for the outstanding rental, double rental and recovery of the vacant possession but it could take up to three to six months at Sessions Court at the cost ranging from RM7,000-RM25,000.

Getting an incompatible tenant can be a time-consuming and costly affair.

How do you mitigate these risks? You can always meet prospective tenants or simply draft an ironclad tenancy agreement and enforce necessary legal action against infringements. However, those steps will not provide any in-depth knowledge into your prospective tenant as a person. The simple solution is to conduct a background screening on your prospective tenant.

One publication that agrees with this is The Star, which has also advised landlords on the need to vet their tenants on top of drafting a thorough tenancy agreement (the publication has shared case studies where tenants caused significant damage during their stay). After all, in the fallout of such agreements, it is the landlords that lose out the most.

In a tenant screening, Verity intelligence conducts identity verifications, financial health checks, employment, civil records, reference checks and criminality checks.

While some may consider this to be an extra step in securing a tenant, it can help landlords protect their investments, minimising risk of unnecessary tenancy that can lead to reputational and financial loss.

Background screenings have been proven to work beyond employee screenings, and can be a practical solution to filtering out suspicious prospective tenants. You can learn more about the other types of background checks here or stay tuned for future insights from verityintel.com.

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