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If your multifamily property uses an instant tenant screening service, there’s no guarantee the results will be perfect. In fact, far from it.

When you use a service like this, corners often get cut. As such, you could encounter a false positive.

While these might seem like minor problems on the surface (especially in one-off instances), you have to face a harsh reality.

False positives on tenant background checks actually have several serious implications – for your profit margin and for the safety of your tenants.

A false positive could mean you:

  1. Turn away a high-quality applicant.
  2. Fall prey to a renter scam, subsequently losing money.
  3. Create a compliance issue for your property.

That doesn’t sound ideal, right? Really, false positives are best avoided.

Landlord tenant checks should always be as comprehensive and detailed… with no expense spared.

Combatting false positives on tenant checks.

What is a false positive on a tenant check?

A “false positive” happens when your tenant screening service incorrectly matches an applicant to a record. This might mean their application is either incorrectly denied or approved (when it definitely shouldn’t have been).

When this happens, landlords risk bringing in a tenant who is unable to pay rent. Or, when the opposite happens and a false positive on a tenant check is produced unfairly…

There is a good chance that you could be turning away a high-quality prospect. Instances like these could result in your property failing to comply with the Fair Housing Act.

What a disaster.

A recent court ruling found that fair housing laws are applicable to all screening services, and, in some cases, the provider “did not go far enough in preventing the disparity impact on housing”.

In these instances, you’ll be the one to pay.

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