Best Tenant Background Check For 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Whether you’re a veteran in the business or you’re just starting out, everyone knows that there’s nothing more critical than vetting your tenants thoroughly before signing a lease with them. 

Like most people, the chances are that you’re looking for a platform that can get the job done quickly, accurately, and without eating too much into your budget. Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place! 

Best Tenant Background Check Comparison Table

CompanyFeaturesWebsite
BEST PICK
  • Clean, sleek-looking site
  • Provides reports of comprehensive public information
  • Finds hidden information
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  • The report includes criminal record, marriage and divorce history, bankruptcies, liens, and lawsuits
  • Works on smartphones and desktops
  • Quick results
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  • Comes with a handy mobile app for iOS and Android
  • You get unlimited searches with a membership
  • Provides comprehensive information
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  • Includes lots of information in their background checks including criminal records, possible relatives, age, address history, photos, divorce records, sex offender information, social media profiles, and more
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Conducts VIN and unclaimed money searches
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  • Generates user-friendly reports
  • All reports are accurate
  • Affordable subscription plans (although they do have some expensive ones)
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  • Unlimited searches
  • Comes with a mobile app for on-the-go checking
  • Clear payment plan
  • Fast results
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  • Searches the federal and state criminal database
  • Searches the sex offender register
  • Good customer service
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In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best tenant background check tools available on the market today. To top it all off, we’ll even show you our top pick among the bunch and why it’s the best for you. 

Let’s get to it.

Our Best Tenant Background Check Reviews and Comparisons

1. Instant Checkmate

With a name like ‘Instant Checkmate’, you immediately get the sense that this company prides itself on its speed and accuracy. Upon digging a little deeper, we found that they do indeed live up to both of those values.

For starters, Instant Checkmate offers the essential features that all other services do as well. This includes things like people search, criminal records search, bankruptcy information, and so much more. But where this company truly excels is when it comes to its criminal records search.

Instant Checkmate provides you with criminal records like arrest records, warrants, and court records. Still, the service goes far above and beyond all of that by providing information like mugshots and inmate records, too! That’s probably one of the most thorough criminal records searches we’ve ever seen!

That’s not the only edge that Instant Checkmate has over its competition. By now, you’ve seen that only a few background search services offer dark web scanning and sex offender checking services. Instant Checkmate doesn’t just provide one or the other, they offer both! 

Simply put, if criminal records and activities are your primary concern when conducting background checks, Instant Checkmate has plenty of value to offer you.

Features

  • People search, criminal records, and more.
  • Social media and email checks.
  • Dark web scanning.
  • Sex offender checks. 

What We Like About Instant Checkmate

Background checks cover many aspects, but it’s clear that Instant Checkmate performs exceptionally well in gathering criminal records in particular. Given that we’re looking at things from a landlord’s perspective, we also appreciate that the service includes a sex offender watch.

After all, no one wants a tenant with a record that’ll make their neighbors feel unsafe. 

Besides that, Instant Checkmate also scores high points with us for offering dark web scanning. As we’ve seen before, that’s not a feature that all background check services provide, so why is it such a big deal?

Well, it’s simple. Plenty of identity theft and related crimes happen on the dark web. Having a service that monitors that space allows us to ensure that our potential tenants aren’t using someone else’s identity to rent from us.

What We Don’t Like About Instant Checkmate

We’ve said a lot of good things about Instant Checkmate, but there is one significant drawback. All of that excellent value and functionality comes with a price, putting Instant Checkmate on the higher-end of that membership price spectrum.

Some interested users may also find it difficult to get precise information about the pricing. Sadly, their pricing information isn’t displayed upfront and clearly on their website, which means you may need to contact them directly to find out how much it’ll cost for you.

Besides that, the subscription doesn’t necessarily cover everything. You may have to make additional payments for features that aren’t part of the subscription plan. 

PROS

  • Highly-detailed reports with PDF copies.
  • Outstanding criminal records checks.
  • Dark web and sex offender checks.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable customer service agents.

CONS

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Some extra features need to be paid for.
  • Pricing information is somewhat vague.

 2.Intelius

Product Highlights

To kick-off this list, let’s look at one of the longest-running background check services around – Intelius. This company has been around since 2003 and offers a web-based solution for performing background checks. 

You’ll appreciate how the web interface is quite attractive and easy to navigate, especially if you’re using it daily. Besides being easy on the eyes, there’s also a minimal learning curve involved with getting the hang of using each of the features offered by Intelius. 

Better yet, they’ve kept up with the times and now offer mobile apps as well. That means you can take the functionality with you on-the-go no matter where you are. Besides, their mobile apps have most of the available functionality on the website, so the odds are that you can do most of your tasks on your phone. 

Intelius gets its information from a combination of public and private sources, giving you a holistic data set with every background check. Those sources include public records at the county, state, and federal levels, plus information from financial institutions, lawsuit filings, and so much more.

Overall, Intelius is well-known for performing some of the most thorough background checks at subscription rates that are very competitive. 

Features 

  • People Search, to find details like employment and education histories.
  • Background Check, to find arrest records, warrants, and so on.
  • Address and phone number reverse lookups.
  • Phone directory lookup to find numbers and addresses.
  • Identity theft protection (though at an additional cost). 

What We Like About Intelius 

Without a doubt, there’s plenty to like about Intelius. Firstly, we love that you can generate an unlimited number of reports no matter what kind of subscription you have. That’s going to come in handy for users who need to continually run background checks daily. 

Equally impressive is that Intelius seems to have invested a lot of effort into making their website visually pleasing. That’s going to go a long way in keeping users comfortable, especially if they have to use it day-in and day-out.  

Plus, new users won’t need much time to get the hang of using the platform, which is excellent as it minimizes the need for training and guidance.

However, suppose users do need guidance on how to use any of the features. In that case, Intelius offers some pretty excellent customer service hours. At the time of writing, their customer service numbers run from 7 am to 5 pm on weekdays, which is ideal for those using it during business hours.

What We Don’t Like About Intelius 

There are some minor downsides to Intelius, though. We don’t like that the pricing information isn’t as transparent as one might hope. Sure, that pricing is competitive, but providing that information up front would make it much easier for potential subscribers to make their decision.

Besides that, there seems to be an overlap when it comes to Intelius’ features. This might be more of a User Interface or User Experience issue. Still, it looks like some of Intelius’ functionality could be bundled together rather than positioned as different options.

For example, the phone directory and reverse address or phone lookups are features that could be seamlessly bundled as one, rather than being three different features. 

That’s just our opinion, though!

PROS

  • Unlimited reports with a subscription.
  • Highly-accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Variety of public and private sources at the county, state, and federal levels.
  • Android and iOs mobile apps with almost all the same functions as the website.

CONS

  • Pricing information is somewhat hidden.
  • The user interface could be simplified by combining some functions.

3. Been Verified

Product Highlights

Next, we have another powerful tool for performing background checks on tenants: Been Verified. The company has come a long way since it was founded in New York around 2007, earning a stellar reputation as one of the top background check services around.

Like many other top background services, Been Verified has evolved to include a lot of the modern features that users expect these days. That includes online usernames and reverse email lookups so you can check their digital footprint. Best of all, the company has well-built mobile apps that let you use them while on-the-move.

These days, one background check feature that many landlords appreciate is the social media lookup. Been Verified offers that feature as well, and that might come in handy to help you avoid nightmare tenants.

Of course, all of the standard features that you’d expect from a background check service are available as well. Been Verified collects data from public and private sources so you can find information on things like criminal histories, court and tax records, contact details, and so much more.

Seeing as how you’re vetting potential tenants, you’ll probably be glad to know that Been Verified also checks for sex offender information and provides you with available photos to help you verify their identities before renting out to them.

Features

  • Reverse phone, email, username, and address lookups.
  • Criminal and sex offender history information.
  • Android, iOs, and Apple Watch mobile apps with a complete set of features.
  • Customer support is open 7 days a week.

What We Like About Been Verified

One of the first things we like about Been Verified is that they seem in touch with the needs of tech-savvy users. Beyond just providing for Android and iOs mobile apps, they also cater to Apple Watch users, something that not many companies do. To top it all off, those mobile apps carry the same functionality as the website version.

Like all of the best background check services, Been Verified offers all of the traditional information you’d expect. That includes data like court records and criminal histories. But better than that, the reports are also made more valuable with checks on things like sex offender information. That allows for a much more thorough vetting of any potential tenants.

Last but not least, we also like that the customer service that Been Verified offers is available seven days a week and not just on weekdays. That means users can get help pretty much whenever they need it without having to wait for the next business day.

What We Don’t Like About Been Verified

With all the positives, there are a few areas where Been Verified can improve. For starters, Been Verified doesn’t offer a free trial for users (at the time of this writing) which is going to put some interested users in a tough spot. The platform is quite promising, but they’d have to put some money down to discover it first hand.

Besides that, some searches can take much longer than others. That might not be a problem if you’re an occasional user, but for those who have to perform several background checks back-to-back, that can slow down their work a fair bit.

Lastly, there’s an issue with the accuracy of the information provided. While the service does offer a wide selection of information gathered from public and private sources, not all of them are up-to-date or accurate. That makes it necessary for users to verify or cross-check the information before using it in any meaningful way.

PROS

  • Generates all-around, highly detailed reports.
  • Offers additional information like sex offender and vehicle identification number info.
  • Customer service is available seven days a week.
  • Well-built mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Apple Watch.

CONS

  • Some reports take longer to report than others.
  • No way for interested users to get a free trial.
  • Occasional lack of accuracy in reports.

4. PeopleFinders

Product Highlights

Here’s another service that’s been around for quite some time, since 1998 to be exact. PeopleFinders, based out of California, is well known for the abundant amount of information they can provide to subscribers. Equally important is that they provide highly-accurate information and great value for money.

Here’s the thing about PeopleFinders that gives it an edge over its competitors: you don’t necessarily require a membership to perform a background check. That’s excellent news for landlords who only need to perform background checks occasionally and would prefer not to pay ongoing fees. 

Having been around for decades now, it comes as no surprise that PeopleFinders seems to have a good understanding of what people want when doing background checks on tenants. Both the website and mobile apps are straightforward and easy to use.

Prospective users can also test PeopleFinders before making a decision, thanks to the affordable trial membership. Better yet, you can choose between a regular trial membership that gives you a limited set of features to try out, or you can get access to all of them through the premium trial instead.  

In either case, you’ll be able to experience PeopleFinders first hand for three days using the trial.

Features

  • One-off searches without having to get a membership.
  • Clear and easy-to-understand reports.
  • Provides criminal, property, financial, and marriage information.
  • Claims to have more than 6,000 data sources for background checks.

What We Like About PeopleFinders

From the start, the first thing that we like about PeopleFinders is that you can use it to perform one-off background checks. Sure, membership will allow you to generate as many reports as you’d like. Still, many users don’t want to spend money on a membership that they won’t use all the time. 

Besides that, the reports’ quality and accuracy also make this a leading name on this list. The service offers all of the traditional background checks features you’d expect like criminal records, public records, and also reverse phone number lookups.

Of course, we also appreciate that PeopleFinders offers a two-tiered trial membership as well. Each of them lasts 3 days, and you can choose from a basic membership with limited features or go with the premium trial to enjoy all of them. That three-day trial will go a long way for users who want to explore what PeopleFinders has to offer before investing in a membership.

What We Don’t Like About PeopleFinders

Still, PeopleFinders has lots of catching up to do. The service does not offer social media checks, which might cause a significant blind spot. In this day and age, sometimes the most crucial bits of information for a background check is just sitting there on the person’s social media accounts.

Besides that, it’s also a little bit unfortunate that PeopleFinders charges a small fee to cancel your membership (assuming you opted for one). The cost isn’t high, but it’s still a little unpleasant to have to pay it just to stop using the service.

PROS

  • Can be used without a membership.
  • Reports are detailed, accurate, and easy to read.
  • Two-tiered trial memberships lasting three days.
  • The mobile app works fine. 

CONS

  • The service does not gather social media or email data.
  • Canceling a membership requires paying a small fee.

5. PeopleLooker

Product Highlights

PeopleLooker is undoubtedly one of the most accurate background check services on the market right now. The service provides all of the basic types of information you’d want from a background check, including criminal and education histories. However, that’s not what sets it apart from the rest. 

For the most part, background check services pull information from a variety of databases and other sources of information. However, PeopleLooker takes it a step further by sending a member of their staff to court to confirm the accuracy of any records. Sure, this ‘court runner’ service will cost a little bit extra, but the level of certainty that comes with it is worth the investment.

Another thing that PeopleLooker offers you is confidentiality when it comes to doing background searches. That provides you with the added peace of mind that the person you’re vetting will not know that you’re requesting a background check on them.

Features

  • Public records search, plus criminal, education, and traffic histories.
  • ‘Court runner’ service to verify the information.
  • The website is easy to navigate and use.
  • Confidentiality for users performing background checks.
  • Android and iOS mobile apps. 

What We Like About PeopleLooker

Of all the features that PeopleLooker has to offer, the court runner is by far the most impressive. While online background checks are convenient and helpful, nothing beats good old-fashioned legwork to confirm the accuracy of any information that users get.

Besides that, PeopleLooker subscriptions also offer you unlimited access to reports and information, ranging from background reports to phone and email lookups. That makes this an excellent solution to have if you need to perform background checks on a continual basis. 

As an added bonus, we also like how PeopleLooker offers help in removing any information about yourself. That’s right! You can use it to do a background check on yourself and get rid of anything that isn’t as accurate as it should be. 

What We Don’t Like About PeopleLooker

There are some drawbacks to PeopleLooker, though. For one, submitting a request and gathering information is somewhat slower than with other services reviewed on this list. As you might imagine, that can be frustrating for users who need to perform several searches, one after the other. 

Another area where PeopleLooker misses out on is its customer service. By comparing reviews online, it seems that PeopleLooker’s customer service has a reputation for not being as friendly or helpful as subscribers may hope. While that may not be a deal-breaker to many subscribers, those requiring help may not get what they’re hoping for.

PROS

  • Simplified registration process.
  • Attractive and straightforward web interface.
  • Highly-accurate information.
  • Android and iOS apps available. 

CONS

  • No dark web monitoring.
  • Customer service isn’t always helpful.

6. PublicSeek

Product Highlights

PublicSeek is an all-rounder solution for performing background checks on tenants. The company relies on robust search engine algorithms that help pull information from public sources based on the person’s details that you provide. You could use their name, of course, but even an email address or phone number could be enough to start the background check.

There are two of PublicSeek’s qualities that stand out the most. Firstly, they claim to update their information every 24 hours. And second, they have a reputation for providing friendly and helpful customer service. 

Both of those qualities are important for significant reasons. Updating every 24 hours means that the data you get in your report is as accurate as it can be, assuming the public records are accurate themselves. As for customer support, well, it’s always best to hear a friendly voice when you need help the most.

The website is easy enough to use, and the reports that they provide are as detailed as one might expect. Better yet, you can use PublicSeek to get an individual, standalone report without having to get a subscription. Naturally, a subscription would be worthwhile if you plan on doing plenty of background checks in the future.

Features 

  • General features include criminal records, job history, and financial information searches.
  • Also includes sex offender record searches, weapons permits, and control substances permit records.
  • Choice of a subscription or standalone report purchase.
  • Constant monitoring and updates of your report through the mobile app. 

What We Like About PublicSeek

What we like the most about PublicSeek is that it feels like the complete package. It ticks a lot of the right boxes when it comes to being a comprehensive option for performing background checks.

Besides that, the daily update (or every 24 hours) is also a plus. Users can rest assured that any information on the side of Public Seek is as accurate as can be with whatever’s available. Even on the companion app, reports are continuously monitored and updated in real-time. In that sense, the reports that you purchase are not static. 

One thing that’s a big plus is that PublicSeek also provides information on sex offenses. Some services still do not offer this as part of the information they provide, so it’s an excellent thing that this one does.

And as the cherry on top, PublicSeek has a strong reputation for providing users with helpful and friendly customer service. In simple terms, you truly get your money’s worth when it comes to this service. 

What We Don’t Like About PublicSeek

When we look at PublicSeek, one phrase comes to mind: “Jack of all trades, but master of none”. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in this case. PublicSeek provides useful quality information all around and even covers sex offender data as well. 

However, if you’re looking for specialized information, such as the best of the best in checking criminal records specifically, you may be better off with another service.

Besides that, the only thing missing from PublicSeek’s offering seems to be dark web monitoring. Again, this might not be a deal-breaker for most people, but having that would’ve made PublicSeek a more comprehensive background check option.

PROS

  • Detailed information that’s updated every 24 hours.
  • Sex offender records are also included.
  • A well-designed mobile app that provides real-time updates on reports.
  • Offers standalone report purchases if you don’t want to subscribe. 

CONS

  • No dark web monitoring.
  • The trial subscription is only for one day.

7. TruthFinder

Product Highlights 

No list about background checks would be complete without TruthFinder. This platform has one of the strongest reputations around, and it’s built on the accuracy and timeliness of the information that it provides.

Whether you’re looking for someone’s criminal, work, or education history, TruthFinder provides highly-accurate information. Plus, those reports also come with the person’s recent contact information which will come in very handy if you need to do any cross-referencing.

The platform provides social media-related information as part of their reports, and they also offer dark web monitoring as well. Top that off with their highly-functional smartphone app, and you really do have the complete package with TruthFinder.

Features

  • Detailed reports with most recent contact information.
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS.
  • Social media information included.
  • Dark web monitoring included, too. 

What We Like About TruthFinder

TruthFinder provides you with everything you need, including social media and dark web monitoring; both of which are critical in this day and age. By including those two items together, any background check that you perform will also encompass the person’s entire digital footprint, so that you get the full picture. 

It’s also incredibly helpful that TruthFinder makes it a point to provide the most recent contact information as part of their reports. That will go a very long way to ensuring that you’re getting the correct information about the right person. 

What We Don’t Like About TruthFinder 

TruthFinder provides you with a very comprehensive picture of the person you’re doing a background check on. The only thing it seems to be missing is sex offender records, which several other platforms do include. 

If they were to add that feature, then their reports would truly be well-rounded.

PROS

  • Membership comes with unlimited reports.
  • The most recent contact details are included in the report.
  • The mobile app is easy to use.
  • Social media info and dark web monitoring to cover complete digital footprint.

CONS

  • No sex offender record information.
  • PDF reports cost extra.

Final Verdict

All of the background check service providers mentioned here are among the best in the business. Still, for someone wanting to perform the best tenant background check possible, we would have to say that Instant Checkmate is the best among them.

Out of all the fantastic options covered in this list, we find that Instant Checkmate offers the most comprehensive background check anyone could ask for. Of course, they also provide the basics that you’d expect from such a service, including people searching, criminal records, employment records, and so much more.

But let’s talk about three things in particular: social media checking, dark web scanning, and sex offender records. As you’ve seen, most background check services only offer maybe one or two out of those three services. Instant Checkmate, however, provides all three! 

That means you’ll get the most comprehensive range of public records information on whoever you’re doing a background check on, plus the most important aspects of their digital footprint!

As mentioned before, one drawback of Instant Checkmate is its higher pricing range. However, as you can see, that price comes with plenty of added value to make every dollar worthwhile!

Background Hawk - Team

Background Hawk - Team

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