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Property Management Blog

The Best Tenant Screening Services for Landlords

Chris Barber - Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Property Management Blog

Did you know that evicting one tenant can cost a landlord up to $10,000? If you are a real estate owner or investor worried about dealing with late or non-payments, evictions, or property damage you need to keep reading for the best tenant screening services.

What Is Tenant Screening?

At its simplest, tenant screening is checking to see if a potential tenant will be a good fit for your property. It involves asking yourself will they pay on time? Will they take care of your property? Will they fit into this Vancouver, Washington community respectfully? You can do tenant screening yourself or have someone else take care of it.

Why Screen Potential Tenants?

Clark County isn't immune to less-than-ideal renters. Screening tenants is beneficial for both parties. You protect yourself from missed rent or property damage and the tenant finds the right place for themselves.

Not every potential tenant is going to be a match for your property or meet your expectations for timely payments. Screening potential tenants, give you peace of mind when it comes to your Vancouver, Washington rental property.

The Best Tenant Screening Services

Meeting and interviewing a potential tenant is always a good idea, but often doesn’t show the whole picture. Online screening services can give you behind-the-scenes information like credit and criminal histories. Not all tenant screening services are created equal. Here are a few of the best.

First Advantage

First Advantage Screening Service is a favorite among landlords and property managers. While some services provide only basic, credit score information, First Advantage delves deep. 

Within a matter of minutes, this service will provide not only a tenant’s full credit history from all three major credit bureaus, but also any cases of eviction, as well as criminal, employment, and driving history.

First Advantage is not automatic like some of the free services. This is because the information is verified by an actual human who you can contact via email, live chat, or phone. 


SmartMove edged out some of the other best tenant screening services due to its higher levels of protection and security for applicants. SmartMove works directly with Transunion Credit Bureau, therefore, eliminating any third parties.

SmartMove’s website is easy to use and gives landlords the option to pay for the screening themselves or have the potential tenant pay for it. SmartMove also includes a Resident Score which is 15% better at predicting evictions than just looking at a credit score.

Rent Prep

Rent prep is the go-to tenant screening service for landlords with over 50 properties. Rent Prep results are not instantaneous but they are extremely accurate, as the checks are run and verified by a team of highly-trained FCRA-certified screeners. 

Rent-prep screeners go out of their ways to simplify results and provide top-notch customer service. Although Rent Prep is a bit on the pricey side, the reviews speak for themselves.

Getting Started

If you are a property owner or investor in the Vancouver, WA area, you need to be screening your tenants. You can use one of these best tenant screening services or you can let our team at Invest West Managment find the right tenants for your properties. We'll handle all the hard work while you reap the benefits.

Invest West Management, LLC | 12503 SE Mill Plain Blvd. Suite 260 | Vancouver, WA 98684
Vancouver: (360) 254-5700 | Portland: (503) 221-0924

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