This world is a scary place for us in 2019. Of course, you can argue that the world has always been frightening for women. Today, we’re better able to see it and we have more tools at our disposal to protect ourselves. The battle is far from won, but we’re at least a little closer.
Part of the struggle is keeping safe without judging people unfairly. People deserve second chances, as well as to be judged by things other than their worst mistakes. This is a line I had to walk when renting a property out. I would be dealing directly with the renters, so I needed to know that I would be safe.
You can visit this site to find out about a potential tenant’s history. But what should be a definitive reason to deny someone the chance to rent your place? Is it your responsibility to give a second chance to people who might put you at risk?
Think about the following when doing a background check on a potential tenant.
Credit history says a lot… and very little
A person’s credit score is very important when it comes to checking them out as a tenant. After all, people who have repeatedly shown themselves incapable of keeping to their commitments are unlikely to be the easiest tenants to deal with.
However, take context into account. A bad credit score tells you that the person has made mistakes. But make sure to find out when and why these mistakes were made. Ask about their age at the time, and what was going on in their lives. Someone who was twenty-two and had just lost their job will act very differently at the age of thirty, eight years into a successful career.
Criminal record is a different matter altogether, as you’re not dealing with their money alone. You’re going to be managing the property and may well be wary of spending time in a home alone with an ex-convict.
But again, context is important. If a person has a past as a violent or sexual offender, then you should probably steer clear. It’s not your responsibility or duty to rent your home to them, and especially if you’re renting a standalone property, they’d be better off renting in an apartment complex where the property manager is less vulnerable.
However, if they have a conviction for addiction in their past, or committed petty theft in their youth, consider giving them a chance. Ask them about the offense – why they did it and what has changed. Also, remember that certain offenses have been considered far worse than they actually are, leading to discrimination in some communities. This is especially true with regards to those who have been arrested and even jailed for possession of a little pot.
Finally, one of the most important aspects is going to be their rental history. While their credit score and criminal records may be impeccable, if their rental history is bad, you may have to give them a wide berth. Eviction is not an easy process to go through, and if a previous renter has had them kicked out for reasons that are not do with them missing payments, you have something to worry about.
Always remember that it is not your duty to rent your property to anyone looking. However, keep in mind that a person is more than their worst mistakes, and use your intuition to judge whether you feel safe around them.