As a landlord, you want your experience in renting out your property to run smoothly. A big part of making that happen is finding a trustworthy tenant and a Transunion SmartMove Resident Score can help with that. Neither you nor (in the case of an agent) your client wants to have to deal with payment problems, and protecting rental property income is likely to be at the top of your wish list. After all, the cost of evicting a non-paying renter can reach sums of as much as $10,000 plus time and stress, so it is worth doing your due diligence when you’re asking tenant screening questions and conducting a tenant evaluation.
You want to minimize the financial risk when selecting a renter, and that is exactly what the SmartMove Resident Score is engineered to do. You can see with a simple number score an assessment of the risk -- or lack thereof -- that a particular applicant poses should you rent your property to them.
Data shows that a Resident Score identifies a higher number of evictions, and more candidates who skip out on their rent, than a traditional credit score, and focuses on weeding out prospective tenants who are an eviction risk. The Transunion SmartMove report is all about minimizing risk to the landlord using an industry-specific model that zeros in on the precise information you need.
Traditional Credit History
A typical credit score is a number that lets you predict how likely that person is to repay their debt. A lender uses it to understand the risk of lending to a candidate and they use that to establish suitable terms for a loan, there are also a variety of credit score products on the market to choose from.
The two central factors used to calculate a credit score are a person’s payment history and the amount of money that they currently owe. Together these things give a good idea of the type of financial behavior a lender is likely to see. You will be able to see whether a prospective tenant pays their debts late and whether this happens often. You will also get an idea of how much money the renter owes overall which can help in deciding whether the rent you are asking for your property will be manageable for them in the long term.
It is also useful to see the Income Insights section of the tenant screening report. The TransUnion SmartMove report helps property managers and landlords identify potential payment problems by allowing them to easily evaluate an applicant’s income. You always need to follow up on employment references too, so that you get the 360-degree picture of their finances.
Tenant Screening Reports
It’s not just the finances you need to consider; a critical part of tenant evaluation is the background and criminal records check. TransUnion SmartMove combs in excess of 195 million criminal records, from state and national databases. They make checks of the Most Wanted databases, and other national resources to ensure that you don’t run into problems down the line. After all, your priority is keeping the rental journey smooth and we don’t want any unexpected bumps in the road.
Past behaviors are likely to predict future events, so you definitely need an Eviction Report. When you get an eviction report from SmartMove you will also see whether there have been other issues such as tenant judgments, or failure to pay rent in the past.
You will make use of a range of information about the tenant to help make a decision on who to rent to, including the credit history, their background check, their eviction history, and income information and history. But it’s also hugely useful to have an assessment matrix that is specific to the rental market in the form of the Transunion SmartMove Resident Score.
What is a Resident Score?
First and foremost it is designed to consider the positive or negative outcome of leasing using a specific Transunion formula which is comprised of data from more than 3.7 rental results across the USA to provide a statistic based model that predicts eviction risk.
You don’t want to risk an eviction or skip from the property; it’s a headache, it’s expensive, and it’s time-consuming. You have to use all the tools at your disposal to ensure that the prospective tenant is as low risk as possible and the Resident Score is part of that toolkit. Transunion looks at an average lease of a year, and predicts, using a scoring range between 350 and 850, where 850 is the lowest risk, which tenants are at risk of being evicted, paying the rent late more than three times, and having insufficient funds.
Having a numerical Resident Score in addition to the other tenant screening reports helps give you peace of mind. Identifying the right prospective tenant for a property can be a tough job, and Transunion SmartMove is tailored to giving you comprehensive, easy-to-understand information to help make a decision. When you look at the tenant’s references and job, their background history, financial and credit reports along with the Resident Score you will form a big-picture overview of whether they are a good match for the property.
A traditional credit score is a great way to evaluate a tenant’s financial behavior, but if you’re looking to reduce risk as much as you can when selecting a tenant then you need a rental-industry specific product. The TransUnion Resident Score gives an accurate assessment of the risk of evictions and similarly poor rental outcomes and, when used in conjunction with the other tenant screen tools available, allows you to make an informed decision on who to rent your property to.