Do-it-yourself (DIY) landlords or individuals who manage rental properties without assistance from a property management company, may be putting neighborhoods at risk, according to a survey on landlord practices conducted by independent research firm Liminality, Inc. on behalf of Real Property Management.
That’s because most DIY landlords have lenient or non-existent policies when it comes to conducting background checks, the survey of a national probability sample of more than 150 DIY landlords nationwide revealed, which suggests criminals – including sex offenders – could be living next door.
The survey found that 21 percent of DIY landlords sometimes or never conduct background checks on their prospective tenants. The survey also revealed these disturbing findings about DIY landlords:
-Only 44 percent conduct sex offender checks
-Only 51 percent conduct criminal background checks
-23 percent sometimes or never conduct credit checks
-Only 51 percent contact past landlords for references
Why are background checks so important for neighborhoods? Without thorough screening, criminals – who are likely to commit crimes again in the future – can easily move in next door, potentially putting families at risk. Rates of recidivism, or the act of criminals committing another crime, are high, according to a study from The Bureau of Justice Statistics published in 2014 that tracked 404,638 prisoners from 30 states who were released from prison in 2005. That study found 76.6 percent of the tracked criminals were re-arrested within five years.
In comparison, Real Property Management, the nationwide leader in managing rental homes, has policies in place for franchise offices to conduct rigorous background screenings on behalf of their property-owning customers, which includes credit, employment, rental history, criminal and sexual offender checks. All franchise offices follow local and state rental regulations.
I understand conducting a thorough background check can be time consuming and in many cases expensive. As a DIY landlord, what background process do you normally complete AND how effective have you been in preventing problem tenants at your property?
For more information on the benefits of professional property management, visit Real Property Management.