Websites geared towards landlords, such as LandlordStation.com, offer background check and credit check forms used to check a tenant's credit. You can also initiate a tenant credit check by utilizing the online tenant credit check form on Experian's official website.
To run a credit check on a prospective tenant, you must provide the individual's name, address and Social Security number, which is typical information on a rental application. The application should also provide a section for the applicant to authorize a credit check, which is required by law. The legal resource website Nolo.com publishes sample Consent to Background Check forms used for tenants to consent to landlords checking their credit reports.
A credit report contains information that is helpful for a landlord, including whether the applicant has a history of bankruptcy, late bill payment, delinquent rent or a history of criminal activity. You may also find out if the applicant has undergone previous evictions in his rental history. The information on a credit report goes back seven to 10 years. It is not possible to order a credit report directly from the three credit-reporting bureaus, as you need to work through a credit reporting agency or a tenant screening service for background and criminal record checks.