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Credit / Background screening cost

We will be advertising our first rental soon, and plan to be thorough in credit and background checks on potential tenants, but wondering how this part is handled.  If making the (potential) tenant pay for this, we can only order the check on someone who is the selected tenant provided it comes back good, is that correct?     Otherwise, it would seem that it put us in the position of having wasted someone's money if we order checks on two or more people.....  it seems it would be very unfair to someone who paid for this, had a clean report come back, and then is told we are going with someone else.

Suggest to potential tenants to sign up with a credit agency. Once they fill out their info all they have to do is give the agency your email address. You will be notified by the agency how to review the applicant credit history at no cost to you. The applicant only pays a one time fee for this service and can give authorization to as many landlords as they need to. Check this out:
The best way to avoid this from my view, is process applications and credit checks in order that they come in.  Have the applicant pay for the credit and background check directly, then if they qualify based on your standards (score, background, etc.) they are approved.  That way you avoid any potential problems differing treatment.  If they do not qualify, then turn down immediately, notify and move on to next applicant with same sequence and process.  It is very important to have minimal standards that you apply for each and every applicant.  ie: credit score minimum, etc.  Personally, I no not like to get involved with the payment of the credit report.  I let the applicant pay directly to the agency.  If they do not pay within 24 hours of sending the request, I notify and cancel the application process and notify them.
By the way, you can use EzLandlord forms process for credit and background check.  There is an option where you send the applicants link to authorized the check and then pay for it directly via their own credit card.  You then get the reports to use.  This also keeps your accounting process simple, as you do not have to record an expense or revenue if you collect the fee from the applicant.  If they do not want to pay for the check, move on quickly.
Thanks to both of you, we will investigate the link to the agency but they both sound like good practices that are fair.
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