New TransUnion SmartMove® survey finds landlords are utilizing rental screening solutions to make smarter decisions about prospective renters

As the first quarter of 2017 wound down, property managers indicated it was easier to find qualified renters and that resident turnover had declined compared to the same time last year. A new survey from TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) SmartMove also found that six in 10 landlords said it is more profitable and attractive to be a landlord now than it was five years ago.

TransUnion SmartMove provides tenant screening solutions, such as credit, criminal and eviction reports, leasing recommendations and resident scoring, to millions of independent landlords and small property managers in the U.S., primarily those with a few properties to rent. SmartMove provides consumers with a secure and fast online process that protects sensitive information such as Social Security numbers.

Compared to last year, landlords found it less difficult or about the same to find qualified renters. Only two in 10 (21%) landlords found it more difficult to find qualified renters, but SmartMove data show that more landlords utilized rental screening solutions to evaluate prospective tenants in the past year.

Six in 10 landlords reported that renters are remaining in their units for longer than they were a year ago. To help ensure these residents are good prospects, the majority of landlords (90%) conduct credit checks and criminal background checks on all of their potential renters. Approximately 85% of landlords review eviction reports for all applicants. A previous TransUnion analysis found that prior evictions and rental-related collection records are highly predictive of future evictions.

Landlords who did not conduct tenant screening on their residents said they saw no red flags about the applicant (39%), trusted their gut (36%) or did not know about tenant screening as an option (21%).

Landlords who use tenant screening solutions saw value in the solutions. Nearly all (96%) landlords said tenant screening enabled them to rent to higher quality tenants. “Tenant screening is valuable for both landlords and consumers. During the application process, tenants often hand over sensitive information such as a Social Security number to their new landlord. Using screening solutions such as SmartMove, tenants can feel more comfortable knowing their private information is safe and secure,” added Norton.

Source: TransUnion Press Release