How to Become a Landlord: Tenant Screening and Maintenance

If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, there are a few key practices you’ll need to become second nature in order to make your investment profitable. They are:

  1. Have an understanding of your local rental laws.
  2. Make a maintenance plan.
  3. Get proper insurance.
  4. Have a background check provider.
  5. Have a thorough, researched rental agreement.

Understand Local Laws

If you don’t have easy access to an expert on your local rental laws, community resources, such as libraries and your city’s government website are great places to start. You simply need to educate yourself on the rules and regulations on renting out your home, basement apartment, or even a room in order to protect yourself from future liability.

Make a Maintenance Plan

As the property owner/manager, you will be responsible for keeping the property and its appliances in working order. Expect to have a lot on your plate. There’s electrical, gas, water, HVAC, appliances, and anything else agreed to in the rental agreement that you need to worry about. Are you personally a plumber or do you have a fair contractor on speed dial? It’s important to have a list of contacts ready for any eventuality, especially if you’re not qualified to perform a specific type of maintenance yourself.

Get Proper Insurance

Talk to insurance agents to get the best recommendations on property insurance and home warranties. You need a way to protect yourself and pay those contractors on your maintenance list if the worst happens, whether freak accidents, careless tenants, or simple wear and tear take a toll on your property.

Have a Background Check Provider

Find a background check provider that is fair and thorough. Running a background check on prospective tenants is an important step in the tenant screening process. Don’t take a gamble on who you decide to trust with your valuable investment property.

Have a Good Rental Agreement

Consult with an experienced landlord or your legal advisor when drawing up a solid rental agreement. Start with a basic agreement that you like and read through every line to make sure that your interests are protected. It should outline your tenants’ responsibilities as well as your own and be a source of protection for both of you going forward.

Contact us to learn more.

Background Check Fails to Find Criminal Past of Denver Surgical Technician

When do you know a background check has failed? For Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, that moment came back in June of last year when it was discovered that surgical technician Rocky Allen had been stealing syringes of the painkiller Fentanyl from patients. There was also a possibility that patients who had been treated at Swedish while Allen was employed had been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, of which Allen was a carrier.

The Aftermath

Allen is now serving time in federal prison and both Swedish Medical Center and the provider that had been outsourced Allen’s background check, PreCheck, are facing lawsuits for the oversight. So how could this happen? Where did Swedish and PreCheck go wrong?

Hiding in Plain Sight

Allen’s history of addiction and drug theft preceded him long before he was hired by Swedish. He had been court-martialed in the Navy for stealing fentanyl and had engaged in similar behaviors with previous employers, so why did Swedish hire him?

The answer: they didn’t know. They had outsourced his background check to Houston-based PreCheck, who had failed to uncover the facts about the court-martial, despite it being public record. And as for Allen’s work history—he simply omitted the hospitals that had fired him from his resume.

How to Avoid Background Check Failures

The fact is, you won’t know a background check has failed until a breach of trust has occurred, potentially resulting loss of business at best and legal action at worst. It wasn’t a mistake for Swedish to outsource their background check, but in failing to do their own due diligence on the claims in Allen’s resume. PreCheck is to blame for conducting a bad background check. A comprehensive check on Allen would have included a list of crucial verifications.

Contact VICTIG to learn more about what makes up a comprehensive background check and protect your company from liability.

When Background Checks Do Their Job: Employers Share Near-Misses

Does anyone really enjoy the hiring process? The multiple interviews, the questions, the background checks, calling references, verifying past employment—does it ever just feel like a hassle? For candidates, at least, the process is suspenseful on top of everything else. But for employers, sometimes you might wish you could just go with your gut and save yourself the hassle of hunting for the perfect employee.

A handful of employers and hiring managers shared their experiences when a good background check turned up some crucial information about candidates that ultimately helped them dodge a bullet. While most people are looking for undisclosed criminal histories, scrutinizing credit scores, or verifying credentials, occasionally a bit of thorough investigation will turn up something a little more unique, if troubling.

Social Media Marketing Gone Bad

According to one professional’s investigation into a candidate, a past employer revealed that the candidate had been fired for sneaking images of an inappropriate body part into the company’s Instagram and Twitter posts. Needless to say, they did not hire him to run their own social media campaigns.

When Crying Wolf Becomes Chronic

One person’s background check revealed that the candidate had sued each of his former employers for on-the-job injuries soon after the standard 90-day trial period ended. Reasons included an office chair that caused back pain, migraine-inducing lighting, and carpal tunnel.

The Rampant Falsifier

Using simple math, one professional discovered that if the candidate’s past work experience claims were true, the timelines didn’t match up with his age. He had embellished each of his past jobs, including a claim to have served in the military for four years when in fact he had been honorably discharged after failing to complete Boot Camp.

The Importance of Thorough Background Checks

Thorough investigation is the key to a good background check. It’s important to contract with a vendor who follows through the full list of verifications.

What has been the strangest thing you’ve uncovered in a background check? Share in the comments!