Update: This post has been updated with new scoring and winners based on changes or upgrades to some of the products and services. We have also included new products that have come to our attention since the last update. In order to learn more please read on to see our winners for the best tenant screening service for 2022:
Undeniably, reviewing screening reports for each applicant is one of several important tools landlords and property managers have in deciding who to accept as tenants. (Checking references is another, which we’ve written about here.) In this article we’re evaluating online property management products in order to help landlords choose the best tenant screening service for their needs.
Which Property Management Software Offers the Best Tenant Screening Service?
In short, here are our winners for the best tenant screening service. Read below for complete criteria and scores:
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Best Overall Tenant Screening Service
RentPrep ONLY provides tenant screening services, and really delivers for landlords by offering both custom-designed in-house products as well as TransUnion SmartMove reporting. Moreover, RentPrep gives customers great flexibility to order the information and format they want most. Without a doubt, for credit, criminal, identity, and eviction reporting, RentPrep digs deep for in-depth information on rental applicants. In fact we believe they are the easy choice for best tenant screening service if accessing affordable background information is your main concern.
- An industry leader in tenant screening, RentPrep offers a selection of reports starting at $21. Get started by setting up your free RentPrep Account.
- Strength: Tenant Screening
Best Tenant Screening Service: Simplicity
For this purpose, ApplyConnect is the easy winner for best tenant screening service if you want to screen tenants in the simplest, fastest way possible. In fact they ONLY do screening, and getting reports is a simple as sending an invitation to your applicants. They pay $29.95 directly, which is very inexpensive by comparison, and you have their comprehensive background in seconds.
- Tenant screening solution perfect for independent landlords. Screen tenants, market your vacancies, and take applications for free.
- Strength: Tenant Screening
Best Screening with Full Property Management Features
Avail offers a full complement of property management features in addition to tenant screening. In fact, each step in managing small-medium sized portfolios is streamlined in a simple and comprehensive package.
- Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.
- Strength: Complete Solution
Honorable Mention: “Virtual” Rental Management Services
Given that it’s a new and unrecognized phrase, you’ll probably look at our header here and wonder what “virtual property management” is. You won’t be the only one, as the rental real estate industry is still trying to figure out what to call this category of services. In short these companies take some or all showing, screening, and maintenance coordination duties off your hands.
Each company has different options, which allows you to choose which tasks you want to keep and which you want to outsource. Marble finds and screens tenants, coordinates maintenance, but doesn’t handle rent collection or leasing. Hemlane will help you DIY manage, or take take-on full management duties. RentRedi is a property management software product for landlords that also offers maintenance coordination.
These companies offer an interesting approach for those who want to step back from property management, or live away from their rentals, but still want to stay engaged.
We considered the following rental property management software products in our search for the best tenant screening service:
Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords. Read Review >
Whether you manage five doors or five thousand, Buildium provides a simple but sophisticated property management platform to help you grow and improve your business. Read Review >
Hemlane is a next-gen property management tool that helps property owners manage their rentals. More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full service property management. Read Review >
Marble offers landlords a simple, secure, and cost-effective way to strike a happy medium between DIY management and hiring a professional property manager. Read Review >
Designed to address the needs of DIY landlords as well as property management companies, Rentec Direct includes all the tools necessary to manage and rent your properties. Read Review >
RentRedi is an all-inclusive landlord-tenant app. Manage vacancies, screening, and rent collection from wherever you are, on any device. Read Review >
Property management software including online rent collection, expense tracking and ledgers, communications with renters, photo and document storage, and more. Read Review >
End-to-end property management solution. Receive payments online, advertise properties and screen potential tenants. Robust accounting and maintenance features. Read Review >
Accounting and property management tools to save time and money while managing your rentals. Track income and expenses, screen tenants, collect rent, and more. Read Review >
Clear & comprehensive reports including TransUnion credit records, criminal and eviction history, sex offender search, and terrorist watch list results. All for $30, paid by the tenant. Read Review >
With a range of free rental applications and lease templates, landlords can easily create legally binding documents in minutes using EZ Landlord Forms. Read Review >
An industry leader in tenant screening, RentPrep offers a selection of reports starting at $21. Get started by setting up your free RentPrep Account. Read Review >
With no subscription plan and a simple pricing structure, PayRent helps property owners and managers collect rent online safely, reliably and automatically. Read Review >
Evaluation Criteria: Scoring the best tenant screening services
We graded each of the software providers on 5 key tenant screening factors, on a 10 point scale, plus a bonus feature. By comparison, here’s how they stack up:
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Landlord Gurus Takeaway
In reality, each landlord or property manager has a different approach to choosing the best tenants for their properties. Now more than ever landlords have a variety of tools to help them make this important choice. Unquestionably, we believe finding the best tenant screening service is crucial to easily, quickly, and affordably accessing background information on rental applicants. With this in mind, we certainly hope this evaluation helps you find the service that’s the best fit for you!
We have also reviewed how property management software products compare on other features. See our other winners here:
- Best Online Rent Payment Service for Small Landlords
- Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent
- Best Accounting Software for Landlords
- Best Free Property Management Software for Small Landlords
- Residential Lease Agreements: Best Software for Small Landlords
- Best Property Management Software for Managing Maintenance on Rental Property
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.
Photo Credit: Two Paddles Axe & Leather