We recently launched a brand new Tenant Screening platform that makes screening Applicants easier than ever and can help Landlords drastically reduce the likelihood of bad rental outcomes. The entire process only takes Landlords about five minutes and provides them with access to all of the reports and information they need to make an informed decision when selecting Tenants.
The new screening process includes a dashboard that makes it EZ to review information about Applicants and identify any red flags. One of the most helpful aspects of this dashboard for Landlords is ResidentScore, which is assigned to each Applicant screened. ResidentScore is a number that’s focused solely on predicting the likelihood of a bad rental outcome. Here’s what you need to know about how to use ResidentScore to start using it effectively today.
What is ResidentScore?
ResidentScore is part of TransUnion’s proprietary screening model and is a number that is used to predict rental performance. Like a credit score, it’s assigned on a scale of 350-850. But, while it might look like a credit score, there are a few key differences.
Credit scores are focused on determining the likelihood that an individual will repay a loan. In contrast, ResidentScore is concerned only with anticipating rental outcomes. To do this, it looks at credit history and rental industry data, including factors like payment history, credit utilization, credit availability, and credit inquiries. Using this formula, ResidentScore essentially translates an Applicant’s credit history into rental payment performance.
“By using a model specifically intended to predict rental industry outcomes, you will be more likely to identify good Tenants than using a typical credit score,” explains Ryan Nichols, a Senior Analyst at TransUnion. In fact, according to TransUnion’s data, ResidentScore identifies 15% more evictions and 19% more skips than a typical credit score does.
The formula and data involved in ResidentScore might be complex, but the result is pretty simple. It’s an easy-to-use tool for Landlords that is proven to help predict bad rental outcomes and rental performance.
How Do Landlords Use ResidentScore?
ResidentScore is intended to be used in two primary ways by Landlords: to provide a rental recommendation and in conjunction with other reports. The idea is that Landlords start with a recommendation based on ResidentScore and then make a final decision based on additional information provided by the credit report, background report, and eviction history.
While all Landlords have different selection criteria and each property has unique requirements, we offer Landlords some rental recommendations based on ResidentScore:
- 560-850: Accept Applicant
- 538-559: Low acceptance window
- 524-537: Conditional acceptance
- 350-523: Decline
These recommendations can serve as a helpful and objective first step in the screening process. And, to make the process EZier, the results in our dashboard are color-coded. This means that you can tell from a glance which category each Applicant is in.
Used in Conjunction With Other Screening Reports
That said, ResidentScore is not intended to be a stand-alone screening tool. Once you’ve gotten a ResidentScore, you’ll have a good idea of which category an Applicant falls in – yes, no, or maybe. From there, it’s important to look at the complete picture of the Applicant by gathering other key screening information, including:
- Credit Report: the credit report provides Landlords with a detailed account of an Applicant’s payment history. Landlords can see whether Applicants have a history of paying bills on time, how often they’re late with payments, and how much debt they have. This is vital because past behavior is one of the best ways to predict future behavior.
- Criminal History Background Report: knowing about any relevant criminal history is important for protecting all residents and ensuring you’re only renting to people that will be reliable and responsible Tenants. To do this, you’ll want to review a nationwide criminal background report, including the most wanted databases and the National Sex Offender Registry.
- Eviction History Report: if an Applicant has been evicted in the past, you want to know about it! This report provides Landlords with information about any unlawful detainers, failure to pay rent, and Tenant judgments for rent or possession.
All of this information is consolidated into one view in our dashboard. This means on one screen you’ll see ResidentScore as well as any red flags from other reports. It’s just one more way to make the process as EZ as possible for Landlords.
Once you’ve reviewed all of this information, you’ll be prepared to make an informed decision about each Applicant. Plus, you’ll substantially reduce the likelihood of bad rental outcomes and Landlord headaches.
Start Screening Applicants Today
Screening Tenants doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. At ezLandlordForms, we’ve partnered with TransUnion to offer Landlords a one-step process for thoroughly screening Tenants.
All Landlords need to do is send Applicants a screening request. The Applicant will then be prompted to complete an Application and provide some information and authorizations. Once the Applicant has done this, the Landlord will receive an EZ to interpret ResidentScore as well as the additional reports and information needed to make an informed decision about the Applicant.
It only takes about 5 minutes and provides Landlords with a complete picture of each Applicant. Learn more or send a Screening Request today.
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After you’ve purchased your first rental property, the next steps are to start creating a great Lease Agreement. Visit ezLandlordForms.com to learn everything you need to know and to create a Lease Agreement that protects your investment.
Emily Koelsch, ezLandlordForms Contributing Writer
Emily Koelsch is a freelance writer and blogger, who primarily writes about business, real estate, and technology.