If you are a small business owner, you are well aware of how challenging it is to run your own company. There is no room for error and one wrong move can make the difference between keeping your head above water or sinking to the bottom. This is especially true for small landlords who unlike large property management companies do not have the luxury of choosing the wrong tenants.
RentPrep was born out of necessity to provide the same quality of service to those small landlords as for their much bigger counterparts. It delivers comprehensive and accurate tenant screening services by employing FCRA certified screeners who use real-live intelligence to help protect its clients’ interests.
In addition, RentPrep partnered up with groups and associations like The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), Concerned CRAs (Credit Reporting Agencies), The National Apartment Association (NAA), and TransUnion to provide the most accurate data while using ethical practices and maintaining a high level of professionalism when dealing with its users’ requests.
To find out how RentPrep can help your small business, keep reading our thorough RentPrep review.
How Does RentPrep Work?
Like we previously mentioned in this RentPrep review, this company was founded in order to provide high-quality services to small landlords who do not have access to advanced tenant screening methods like big companies. It originated from Fidelis Screening Solutions, a company established back in 2007 by former marine Steve White that supplies tenant reports and employee screenings for big employers and property management companies. In 2019, all tenant background check services were transferred to RentPrep, which has since catered to tens of thousands of landlords and performed over 30,000 tenant screenings.
RentPrep is not a data company that produces instant reports. Instead, it hires, trains, and employs only FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) certified screeners whose mission is to deliver comprehensive reports using high-level screening practices.
The way RentPrep works is quite easy, all you need to do to order a report is to sign up for a free account, choose a package, and pay. One thing that makes RentPrep stand out from other tenant screening companies is its “No Fee Guarantee” policy, which means you will not be charged any sign-up, monthly ar annual fees and you will not be required to sign any contracts. You only pay for the reports you order.
RentPrep offers two types of reports, including SmartMove Full Credit Report and RentPrep Background Check, which cover everything from background checks to full credit reports.
The Background Check does not require a tenant’s involvement and includes information like SSN verification/address history, nationwide evictions, bankruptcies, and judgments and liens. For an extra fee, it provides add-ons like nationwide criminal & sex offender search and credit decision report.
The SmartMove Full Credit Report is a more comprehensive report that includes a full credit report, a resident’s core, and a rental background check. You can order a judgments and liens report for an additional fee.
For landlords whose portfolio contains 50+ units, RentPrep offers its Enterprise Solutions, a high volume tenant screening package available for clients who have 50 or more rental units, company stationery and signage, and a business office in a commercial setting.
The turnaround time for receiving your report is usually within 1 hour, but the Platinum report requires one business day for the verification calls while you may access the SmartMove report as soon as you complete the requirements on your part.
Besides the mentioned products, RentPrep offers its Tenant Screening API platform, a system that allows landlords and renters to assist in the process of screening and being screened. The Tenant Screening API has two available services: RentPrep API and TransUnion SmartMove API.
RentPrep takes the security and privacy of its users very seriously and works together with one of the best names in the Internet security industry to make sure your information remains safe. Information like e-mail address, mailing address, phone number, credit card information or social security number is collected once you decide to register on the site, place an order, subscribe to the newsletter or fill out a form. It is important to keep in mind that you can also choose to visit the site anonymously.
The information collected from you may be used to personalize your experience, improve the site in general, improve customer support, process transactions, and send periodic emails.
All your private information is sent via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and encrypted into the payment gateway provider’s database to be accessed only by those authorized to enter the system. Once the transaction is finished, your personal information will not be stored on RentPrep’s servers.
RentPrep will not sell, trade or share your personal information with any third parties other than those who assist in maintaining the site, conduct business with the company or service you. Your information will be shared if demanded by law or the site’s policies or in cases of rights, property, and security violations.
In addition to its high regard for customer safety, RentPrep offers other benefits for users, including an active blog featuring useful rental-related content, a rich podcast, a dedicated customer support team, a constantly-expanding Facebook community, a sustainable knowledge base for any product, service or company-related questions, and a landlord forms section where you can download all the forms every landlord needs.
While the company does not have a refund policy, there is a discount in the form of promotional codes you receive once you subscribe to the monthly newsletter and a volume discount available for larger corporate clients.
RentPrep Screening Services
Depending on your requirements, you can choose between RentPrep’s products and packages. There are two available options for tenant screening, including SmartMove Full Credit Report and RentPrep Background Check.
The SmartMove Full Credit Report is an extensive report that includes:
- A full credit report
- A resident score
- A rental background check
With this report, the tenant can pay for his or her screening. Also, the applicant must respond to en email in order to receive the results. The results cover the following: full credit report with resident score, SSN verification/address history, nationwide criminal & sex offender search, nationwide evictions, bankruptcies, and applicant pay option.
Judgments and liens information is available as an add-on.
RentPrep Background Check offers a thorough rental background check that does not require the tenant’s involvement and includes SSN verification/address history, nationwide evictions, bankruptcies, and judgments and liens. The data obtained from this report lets you decide on a pass or fail verdict depending on the credit standard you select. It shows a score range (but not the exact FICO score) and provides summary codes from the credit report in the event the applicant fails. Add-ons available with this report include nationwide criminal & sex offender search and a credit decision report.
RentPrep tenant screening products include:
Tenant Background Check ensures hand-compiled reports by a team of FCRA certified screeners who personally check every piece of information included in the report, unlike other companies that generate automated reports derived from databases that are often filled with faulty information. Tenant Background Check is available through both RentPrep Background Checks and SmartMove Credit Reports packages and includes the following information:
- SSN Verification, which verifies a social security number provided by the applicant
- Address History, which provides recent addresses you can compare with addresses provided by the applicant
- Judgments & Liens Search, which searches nationwide databases to provide all reportable bankruptcies on the applicant
- National Eviction Search, which searches several databases to obtain the applicant’s eviction history
- National U.S. Criminal Search, which accesses all 50 states with the RentPrep report and 44 with the SmartMove package excluding DE, CO, MA, WY, NC, and SD
- U.S. Sex Offender Search. which searches the national sex offender registry database for information about the applicant
- Global Homeland Search aka “Global Homeland Security Background Check” or “Terrorist Watch List Search,” which checks if the applicant is involved in any terrorist activity, money laundering, illegal imports, fraud against government agencies, violations of federal banking regulations or drug trafficking
- Credit Check or Tenant Credit Check, which is an add-on to any background report that functions based on the pass/fail metric established by your criteria. It is a star rating system going from 0-5. A 4-star rating means the applicant must have a 650+ FICO score. If the applicant scores above 650, you will receive an additional report telling you he or she is approved. In case the applicant scores below 650, you will receive a “DECLINED” report with the list of reasons he or she did not pass. Those reasons will be presented through codes providing an insight into the negative factors contributing to the applicant’s credit score. Tenant Credit Check does not provide the actual credit score. Instead, you are shown a range that gives you an approximated score. Since the information regarding the applicant’s credit score is sensitive by nature, it includes a one-time credentialing process that involves you providing the following information:
- A copy of your driver’s license
- A copy of the signed rental application
- Proof that you own or manage the property, like a mortgage statement, deed, county assessment, homeowners insurance policy, management agreement or anything that identifies you as the owner/manager
After ordering the Tenant Credit Checks report, you will receive:
- A “Pass” decision if the tenant meets your minimum FICO score criteria
- A “Fail” decision if the tenant’s FICO score is below your criteria
- A list of reasons why the tenant failed including explanations direct from the credit report like “serious delinquency” or “amount owed on balances is too high“
The report also includes FICO Classic 04 codes that contain a list of codes along with their explanations.
Enterprise Solutions is a high-volume tenant screening package for clients whose portfolio includes 50+ units. Even though property managers are more likely to become Enterprise clients, landlords can still qualify if they have:
- 50+ units in their portfolio
- Company stationery and signage
- Business office in a commercial setting
You are allowed to have a home office, but it must pass an onsite inspection that requires you to have a separate entryway and security measures in place necessary for handling sensitive data. To start with your Enterprise Solutions, all you need to do is:
- Get a custom quote provided by RentPrep to fit your requirements
- Complete an onsite inspection by learning what it takes for you to meet FCRA’s rules and regulations.
- Start ordering your reports with no extra charge except for the price of the report.
For any assistance and questions you may have, there is a team of FCRA certified screeners available via live chat, phone, and email or you can directly contact RentPrep’s business development manager Richard Fronczak, who is in charge of handling all Enterprise clients.
Tenant Screening API is a tenant screening API platform designed to assist landlords and renters in the process of screening and being screened by allowing their sites to integrate with RentPrep’s services. There are two types of API services available:
- RentPrep API allows your platform to produce hand-compiled tenant background checks.
- TransUnion SmartMove API enables landlords or property managers to display a full credit report backed by TransUnion by using their own platforms.
API services are designed to allow for a simple integration process while still providing high-quality background screening reports. Reports are delivered in PDF forms and require no additional formating.
RentPrep Plans & Pricing
As mentioned at the beginning of our RentPrep review, this company does not offer monthly or any other kind of subscriptions. Joining the site and creating an account is free. Once you sign up, you can choose between RentPrep Background Check or SmartMove Full Credit Report.
The SmartMove Full Credit Report costs $35. The judgment and liens add-on costs $4.95.
RentPrep Background Check is available for $18.95. Additional add-ons include:
- Nationwide criminal & sex offender search for $4
- Credit decision report or tenant credit check for $9.95
Enterprise Solutions’ price is customized according to each client’s requirements.
With landlord forms, you can choose between two packages:
- Starter kit documents package free of charge
- Form bundle package that gives you access to 60+ forms for $14.95