Frequently Asked Questions

Background Screening

Getting Started

How do I sign up with Tenant Score?

We would be happy to speak with you about our different background check package options. Call us at (800) 262-7301.  To complete the sign up, you will need to submit the New Customer Packet. The paperwork can be found online on the Getting Started page.

Where can I download forms, policies, compliance information, and other resources?

All of this information can be found on our website on the Getting Started page, or Download Forms here.

After we sign up, how does my rental organization implement Tenant Score’s screening program?

Tenant Score makes getting started easy—once you’ve talked with one of our background screening experts to determine what kind of background check solution is best for you, we’ll send you our new client setup forms. Once these documents are completed and returned, your account will be active and ready to order within 24 hours. We’ll provide you with an easy-to-use ordering guide as well as any one-on-one or group training you may need.

How does Tenant Score achieve a more comprehensive yet cost-effective background check process compared to other screening providers?

Many tenant screening providers rely on a nationwide/multi-state criminal database search to provide instant background check results, however these databases tend to be incomplete and out-of-date. Tenant Score uses a national criminal check as one piece of the overall process, but we validate all criminal hits found in the database at the primary source—the county courthouse. This ensures that the information we report to you is accurate, and isn’t subject to the same false-positives and missing records that other screening providers run into.

 

The Background Check Process

How much will the background check cost?

Background check costs will vary based on the location and depth of the search, but we are here to help keep your program cost-effective and predictable. Starting at just $25.00 per search, our screening tools are tailored to the unique needs of rental organizations to keep prices low without sacrificing quality. Click here to review our discount pricing options or call us at (800) 262-7301 for a customized quote.

What is the turnaround time?

Background check turnaround times can vary quite a bit due to challenges that arise when sourcing information from county-level courthouses across the country, but fortunately Tenant score has years of experience navigating these challenges to deliver quality reports as quickly as possible. Tenant Score  utilizes a combination of sophisticated automated tools and in-house criminal record experts to achieve some of the lowest turnaround times in the industry. We complete nearly 75% of our background checks in just one day, and complete nearly all of them in less than 72 hours.

Why is my background check taking longer than expected?

Generally speaking, a good background check could take up to 48 hours to complete, though most will be completed within 24 hours. From time to time, background checks results could be delayed by any one of a number of factors, such as needing additional research to verify criminal records, waiting for court clerks in counties with no public access to manually pull files, waiting for schools/previous employers to provide verification information, or sometimes courts will be closed due to holiday observance or inclement weather. If such a delay occurs, Tenant Score will notify you and provide an estimated time frame for the background check to be completed.

How do I submit a background check online?

You may set up your account so that your organization’s staff will enter the background check requests, or you can have your tenant candidates enter their own information. You can also choose whether the tenant will pay for their background check or whether your rental organization will pay. For rental organizations: To submit a background check online, sign on to the True Hire website. Go to the requests tab. Enter in the applicant information and submit. Depending on the type of background check package your organization runs, you may also be directed to a second screen to enter additional information (Ex: drivers’ license, education history information). Review the box with the FCRA compliance information and check-mark the box. Submit the request. You will get a message that says “Thank you for your order!” indicating that the request has been sent.

Do tenant applicants receive a copy of their background check results?

Yes, the tenant applicant is able to request a copy of their background check report from Tenant Score.  If applicants are denied tenancy per FCRA guidelines, they are to be sent a copy of their background check report along with an Adverse Action Letter.  If you would like, Tenant Score can provide this service for you to ensure compliance.

What is done with the obtained background check information after the screening is complete?

The information is kept on our secure server.

Will any type of arrest or conviction disqualify a tenant applicant from being able to live at a rental property?

Tenant Score does not make the decision if an applicant is or is not able to live at a rental property. That decision is up to the rental organization/property owner.

Do tenants currently living in my rental property need recurring background checks?

This is a great program that Tenant Score offers. We would suggest that in order to promote safety to the rental property and other tenants living in the rental property that a background check is ran on a yearly basis.

What if a tenant applicant refuses to submit a background check and complete the necessary paperwork?

Tenant Score is not able to perform the background check.

Can a background check be completed without a social security number? The tenant applicant does not want to provide this information.

We need the social security number to complete the social security trace. This allows us to verify that the information the tenant applicant has supplied is correct. The tenant applicant can provide the social security number over the phone to Tenant Score directly if they would prefer. Should the tenant applicant absolutely refuse to give their social security number, Tenant Score can run a partial background check.

Who reviews the background check results and decides if a tenant applicant is eligible or ineligible to reside at my rental property?

The decision of whether a tenant applicant is eligible or not eligible to live at the rental property is up to the rental organization/property owner.

How will I receive my results?

Results can be delivered a few different ways. The most popular and most convenient way is through our secure online access portal where each person who is granted access is given a specific user name and password. Tenant Score can also limit access per individual based on what their need is to see results. Results can also be emailed. How will I know if something is not clear on the background check? The results will detail any information located, such as criminal records. Anytime there is an alert on a background check, there will be a red dot online in the alert column. A clear result will show as a green dot in the alert column. See the question below on how to view a full report online.

How do I see the background check full report online?

To view the full report online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the results tab. Find the applicants name and on the right side of the screen select the word view. A full PDF report will open.  If a PDF does not open, determine if there is a pop-up blocker notification. If so, select allow pop-ups for this site. If no pop-up blocker message is showing, please sign out and try a different web browser.

Does a tenant applicant have to consent to a background check?

Yes. All tenant applicants must complete and sign all background release forms.

Do I receive the full credit report or FICO credit score?

Yes. We provide credit reports with the score for tenant screening.

Do I have to commit to a certain number of background checks or period of time?

Once the rental organization is signed up for Tenant Score’s services, there is no annual minimum number of background checks that need to be run, but Tenant Score does charge a yearly compliance fee of $25. Unless you specifically request for your account to be closed, the account will remain open and your rental organization may use it whenever needed.

What information do I need from a tenant applicant to begin the screening process?

The tenant applicant will need to complete the background check release forms. Download the forms here.

What information do you need from our rental organization?

Your rental organization will need to complete the New Client Paperwork, which you can download here. The paperwork includes the New Client Data Sheet, User Agreement and Credit Card Authorization.

 

Background Check Services & Products

What background check packages does Tenant Score offer?

Drawing on many years of experience working with rental organizations, Tenant Score has built a comprehensive screening program built to work at any price point to screen tenants at every level. Click here to review our Basic, Standard, and Expanded offerings or call us at (800) 262-7301 to speak with a screening expert who can help you determine which package is best for you.

Can I create a custom package/order services a la carte?

Absolutely! We recognize that our pre-built package options may not address the needs of every rental organization. We’re also proud to offer a vast array of industry-leading background check tools to our rental organization partners including everything from motor vehicle reports to professional license verifications to reference checks. Do you have a unique screening need that you don’t see addressed in one of our standard packages? Call us today at (800) 262-7301 to discuss a custom option!

What is the TrueCrim Search?

This search includes a National Multi-Jurisdiction Criminal Search and a 50 State Sex Offender Search. This database is an exclusive product that searches the largest repositories of criminal records, including sex offender registries for the entire country. Also included are known fugitive database, homeland security databases, and more than 130 million individual criminal records from national and state agencies.

Why is a Social Security Number (SSN) trace so important?

The Social Security Trace is important to run because it lets us know who is using the Social Security Number and in which residences they are using it. By running a Social Security Trace, we are able to see other names and spellings an applicant may be going by. If the client runs AKA’s, we will use these other names and spelling to look for criminal records. For example, a tenant candidate may apply with the name of Tom McGuire. Let’s say this client runs a Social Security Trace and we find the applicant actually uses the name Thomas. If the client runs AKA’s we would add the name Thomas. The Social Security Trace is also used for middle names and/or middle initials because if we find criminal records, a middle name/initial can help us determine if it is our applicant or not.  For example, Robert Smith is a very common name, so knowing the middle name/initial can help us accurately identity the applicant.

Does Tenant Score offer Abuse Registries and/or fingerprinting?

Tenant Score offers a wide range of screening services to fit any organization’s needs―if you need a service you don’t see listed, just give us a call at (800) 262-7301 or contact us here.

Do I need to search alias names as part of my background check?

Alias names (AKA’s) can be a critical part of the screening process. Since criminal records are stored by name, records stored under an applicant’s alias will likely only be found if that alias name is included in the search. One common example of this is when someone has a married/maiden name, though hyphenated names or alternate first names could also result in an alias that needs to be searched.

What searches are recommended for an accurate, thorough tenant background check?

A good tenant background check will always center around a countywide criminal record search and a social security number trace. Many “instant background check” products available on the web involve a simple name database search. These tools are known to be spotty and have lots of holes in their data, resulting in both false positive and missed records. Tenant Score always validates data found in a database search at the primary source―the county courthouse. Other essential searches for tenant screening include TenantScore, Credit Report, and Eviction Report.

What does a typical background check consist of?

Most good tenant background checks start with a social security number trace to verify the correct information is being searched. Next, criminal searches will be conducted using any number of search tools based on the client’s needs, with records always being validated at the primary source. Typical add-ons beyond a basic criminal search could include TenantScore, Credit Report, Eviction Report, Employment Verification, or Former Landlord Reference.

How should we determine which background check package is right for our rental organization?

Tenant Score’s tenant screening program is built on years of experience serving rental organizations. Our three standard package options provide all the necessary screening tools for the vast majority of rental organizations we work with, but we understand there will always be exceptions. If one of our package options doesn’t quite have what you’re looking for, call us today at (800) 262-7301 for a custom screening quote or contact us here.

I would like to “renew” my tenant background checks each year. Am I able to do this through Tenant Score?

Absolutely. Tenant Score recommends re-screening tenants on an annual basis and provides tools to make this quick and easy. Contact our client services team today to discuss rescreening options.

 

Security

What type of security does Tenant Score utilize?

We have a secure system from the time of entry and also for processing the background checks.  Our client portal is an https site which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. The applicant can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if they feel more comfortable providing the information over the phone. If the rental organization would like more in-depth information about our security policy, they are able to request a copy of the True Hire Data Security Policy.

 

Legal

How do I ensure my tenant background checks are legal?

Tenant Score requires that a Background Check Release be filled out by the tenant applicant before we begin the background check.  The release we provide is compliant with FCRA guidelines. Tenant Score is always in compliance with the latest legal changes.

 

Client Web Portal

Does Tenant Score provide training on using the web portal?

We can provide web training for your organization. Please contact us at info@tenant-score.com or call (800) 262-7301 to set up a training session. We also have a web user guide that can be used as a reference. Click here to down the web user guide.

How do I submit a background check request?

Requests can be submitted online through our secure web portal.

How do I view results on the web portal?

To view the full report online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the results tab. Find the applicants name and on the right side of the screen select the word view. A full PDF report will open. If a PDF does not open, determine if there is a pop-up blocker notification. If so, select allow pop-ups for this site. If no pop-up blocker message is showing, please sign out and try a different web browser.

I got locked out of my online account. How do I get this reset?

Please email clientservices@true-hire.com or call (800) 262-7301. We will need to know your name and the organization you are with. We will reset your web log in and send you this information.

 

Billing

How often am I invoiced?

We bill twice a month; on the 15th and 30th of each month for the background checks you have requested.

How will I receive my invoice?

Invoices will be sent by email and also posted to the secure web portal. To see the invoice online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the administration tab, then select the billing/invoices tab. We can also mail out an invoice upon request.

What payment methods do you accept?

A credit card can be kept on file for your organization. We accept the following credit cards; Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept checks, money orders, and purchase orders.   What if my rental organization requires a purchase order? We accept purchase orders as a method of payment.

 

Tenant Applicants

What are my rights when a background check is being performed on me?

When running a background check on you, Tenant Score is required to comply with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

What information will I be asked to provide?

First, middle and last name; date of birth; Social Security Number; Address. You may also need to provide you phone number and email address so that if Tenant Score would have any questions we could reach out to you directly.

What is done with the personal information I provide?

The information is stored on our secure system.

Does Tenant Score sell my information to 3rd parties?

No. Tenant Score never sells any of your information to 3rd parties.

Can I receive a copy of my background check results?

Yes, you may request a copy of your background report from Tenant Score.  If you are denied tenancy, you are sent a copy of your background check report along with an Adverse Action Letter.

What happens if I do not give consent to have a background check performed on me?

Tenant Score is not able to proceed with running the background check.

How secure is the website used to collection my personal information that will be used for the background check?

We have a secure system from the time of entry and also for processing your background check. Our client portal is an https site which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. You can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if you feel more comfortable providing your information over the phone.

 

Who can I contact if I have a question not listed on this FAQ page? 

Please reach out to us by using one of the forms on the Contact Us page.

Background Screening

Getting Started

We would be happy to speak with you about our different background check package options. Call Tenant Score at (800) 262-7301.  To complete the sign up, you will need to submit the New Client Paperwork. The paperwork can be found online on the Getting Started page. 

All of this information can be found on our website on the Getting Started page, or Download Forms here.

Tenant Score makes getting started easy—once you’ve talked with one of our background screening experts to determine what kind of background check solution is best for you, we’ll send you our new client setup forms. Once these documents are completed and returned, your account will be active and ready to order within 24 hours. We’ll provide you with an easy-to-use ordering guide as well as any one-on-one or group training you may need

Many tenant screening providers rely on a nationwide/multi-state criminal database search to provide instant background check results, however these databases tend to be incomplete and out-of-date. Tenant Score uses a national criminal check as one piece of the overall process, but we validate all criminal hits found in the database at the primary source—the county courthouse. This ensures that the information we report to you is accurate, and isn’t subject to the same false-positives and missing records that other screening providers run into.

The Background Check Process

Background check costs will vary based on the location and depth of the search, but Tenant Score is here to help keep your program cost-effective and predictable. Starting at just $25.00 per search, our screening tools are tailored to the unique needs of rental organizations to keep prices low without sacrificing quality. Click here to review our discount pricing options or call us at (800) 262-7301 for a customized quote.

Background check turnaround times can vary quite a bit due to challenges that arise when sourcing information from county-level courthouses across the country, but fortunately Tenant Score has years of experience navigating these challenges to deliver quality reports as quickly as possible. Tenant Score utilizes a combination of sophisticated automated tools and in-house criminal record experts to achieve some of the lowest turnaround times in the industry. We complete nearly 75% of our background checks in just one day, and complete nearly all of them in less than 72 hours.

Generally speaking, a good background check could take up to 48 hours to complete, though most will be completed within 24 hours. From time to time, background checks results could be delayed by any one of a number of factors, such as needing additional research to verify criminal records, waiting for court clerks in counties with no public access to manually pull files, waiting for schools/previous employers to provide verification information, or sometimes courts will be closed due to holiday observance or inclement weather. If such a delay occurs, Tenant Score will notify you and provide an estimated time frame for the background check to be completed.

You may set up your account so that your organization’s staff will enter the background check requests or you can have your tenant candidates enter their own information. You can also choose whether the tenant will pay for their background check or whether your rental organization will pay. For rental organizations: To submit a background check online, sign on to the www.true-hire.com site. Go to the requests tab. Enter in the applicant information and submit. Depending on the type of background check package your organization runs, you may also be directed to a second screen to enter additional information (Ex: drivers’ license, education history information). Review the box with the FCRA compliance information and checkmark the box. Submit the request. You will get a message that says “Thank you for your order!” indicating that the request has been sent.

Yes, the tenant applicant is able to request a copy of their background check report from Tenant Score.  If the applicant is denied tenancy per FCRA guidelines they are to be sent a copy of their background check report along with an Adverse Action Letter.  If you would like, Tenant Score can provide this service for you to ensure compliance.

Tenant Score does not make the decision if an applicant is or is not able to live at a rental property. That decision is up to the rental organization/property owner.

This is a great program that Tenant Score offers. We would suggest that in order to promote safety to the rental property and other tenants living in the rental property that a background check is ran on a yearly basis.

We need the social security number to complete the social security trace. This allows us to verify that the information the tenant applicant has supplied is correct. The tenant applicant can provide the social security number over the phone to Tenant Score directly if they would prefer. Should the tenant applicant absolutely refuse to give their social security number, Tenant Score can run a partial background check.

The decision of whether a tenant applicant is eligible or not eligible to live at the rental property is up to the rental organization/property owner.

Results can be delivered a few different ways. The most popular and most convenient way is through our secure online access portal where each person who is granted access is given a specific user name and password. Tenant Score can also limit access per individual based on what their need is to see results. Results can also be emailed.

The results will detail any information located, such as criminal records. Anytime there is an alert on a background check, there will be a red dot online in the alert column. A clear result will show as a green dot in the alert column. See the question below on how to view a full report online.

To view the full report online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the results tab. Find the applicants name and on the right side of the screen select the word view. A full PDF report will open.  If a PDF does not open, determine if there is a pop-up blocker notification. If so, select allow pop-ups for this site. If no pop-up blocker message is showing, please sign out and try a different web browser.

Yes. All tenant applicants must complete and sign all background release forms.

Yes. We provide credit reports with the score for tenant screening.

Once the rental organization is signed up for Tenant Score’s services, there is no annual minimum number of background checks that need to be run, but Tenant Score does charge a yearly compliance fee of $25. Unless you specifically request for your account to be closed, the account will remain open and your rental organization may use it whenever needed.

The tenant applicant will need to complete the background check release forms. Download the forms here.

Your rental organization will need to complete the New Client Paperwork, which you can download here. The paperwork includes the New Client Data Sheet, User Agreement and Credit Card Authorization.

Background Check Services & Products

Drawing on many years of experience working with rental organizations, Tenant Score has built a comprehensive screening program built to work at any price point to screen tenants at every level. Click here to review our Basic, Standard, and Expanded offerings or call us at (800) 262-7301 to speak with a screening expert who can help you determine which package is best for you.

Absolutely! We recognize that our pre-built package options may not address the needs of every rental organization. We’re also proud to offer a vast array of industry-leading background check tools to our rental organization partners including everything from motor vehicle reports to professional license verifications to reference checks. Do you have a unique screening need that you don’t see addressed in one of our standard packages? Call us today at (800) 262-7301 to discuss a custom option!

This search includes a National Multi-Jurisdiction Criminal Search and a 50 State Sex Offender Search. This database is an exclusive product that searches the largest repositories of criminal records, including sex offender registries for the entire country. Also included are known fugitive database, homeland security databases, and more than 130 million individual criminal records from national and state agencies.

The Social Security Trace is important to run because it lets us know who is using the Social Security Number and in which residences they are using it. By running a Social Security Trace, we are able to see other names and spellings an applicant may be going by. If the client runs AKA’s, we will use these other names and spelling to look for criminal records. For example, a tenant candidate may apply with the name of Tom McGuire. Let’s say this client runs a Social Security Trace and we find the applicant actually uses the name Thomas. If the client runs AKA’s we would add the name Thomas. The Social Security Trace is also used for middle names and/or middle initials because if we find criminal records, a middle name/initial can help us determine if it is our applicant or not.  For example, Robert Smith is a very common name, so knowing the middle name/initial can help us accurately identity the applicant. 

Tenant Score offers a wide range of screening services to fit any organization’s needs―if you need a service you don’t see listed, just give us a call at (800) 262-7301 or contact us here.

Alias names (AKA’s) can be a critical part of the screening process. Since criminal records are stored by name, records stored under an applicant’s alias will likely only be found if that alias name is included in the search. One common example of this is when someone has a married/maiden name, though hyphenated names or alternate first names could also result in an alias that needs to be searched.

A good tenant background check will always center around a countywide criminal record search and a social security number trace. Many “instant background check” products available on the web involve a simple name database search. These tools are known to be spotty and have lots of holes in their data, resulting in both false positive and missed records. Tenant Score always validates data found in a database search at the primary source―the county courthouse. Other essential searches for tenant screening include TenantScore, Credit Report, and Eviction Report.

Most good tenant background checks start with a social security number trace to verify the correct information is being searched. Next, criminal searches will be conducted using any number of search tools based on the client’s needs, with records always being validated at the primary source. Typical add-ons beyond a basic criminal search could include TenantScore, Credit Report, Eviction Report, Employment Verification, or Former Landlord Reference.

Tenant Score’s tenant screening program is built on years of experience serving rental organizations. Our three standard package options provide all the necessary screening tools for the vast majority of rental organizations we work with, but we understand there will always be exceptions. If one of our package options doesn’t quite have what you’re looking for, call us today at (800) 262-7301 for a custom screening quote or contact us here.

Absolutely. Tenant Score recommends re-screening tenants on an annual basis and provides tools to make this quick and easy. Contact our client services team today to discuss rescreening options.

Security

We have a secure system from the time of entry and also for processing the background checks.  Our client portal is an https site which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. The applicant can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if they feel more comfortable providing the information over the phone. If the rental organization would like more in-depth information about our security policy, they are able to request a copy of the True Hire Data Security Policy.

Legal

Tenant Score requires that a Background Check Release be filled out by the tenant applicant before we begin the background check.  The release we provide is compliant with FCRA guidelines. Tenant Score is always in compliance with the latest legal changes.

Client Web Portal

We can provide web training for your organization. Please contact us at info@tenant-score.com or call (800) 262-7301 to set up a training session. We also have a web user guide that can be used as a reference. Click here to down the web user guide.

Requests can be submitted online through our secure web portal.

To view the full report online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the results tab. Find the applicants name and on the right side of the screen select the word view. A full PDF report will open. If a PDF does not open, determine if there is a pop-up blocker notification. If so, select allow pop-ups for this site. If no pop-up blocker message is showing, please sign out and try a different web browser.

Please email clientservices@true-hire.com or call (800) 262-7301. We will need to know your name and the organization you are with. We will reset your web log in and send you this information.

Billing

We bill twice a month; on the 15th and 30th of each month for the background checks you have requested.

Invoices will be sent by email and also posted to the secure web portal. To see the invoice online, sign onto the True Hire website. Go to the administration tab, then select the billing/invoices tab. We can also mail out an invoice upon request.

A credit card can be kept on file for your organization. We accept the following credit cards; Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept checks, money orders, and purchase orders. 

We accept purchase orders as a method of payment.

Tenant Applicants

When running a background check on you, Tenant Score is required to comply with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

First, middle and last name; date of birth; Social Security Number; Address. You may also need to provide you phone number and email address so that if Tenant Score would have any questions we could reach out to you directly. 

The information is stored on our secure system.

No. Tenant Score never sells any of your information to 3rd parties.

Yes, you may request a copy of your background report from Tenant Score.  If you are denied tenancy, you are sent a copy of your background check report along with an Adverse Action Letter.

Tenant Score is not able to proceed with running the background check.

We have a secure system from the time of entry and also for processing your background check. Our client portal is an https site which indicates it is secure. The information comes directly to us. It is processed in our internal system that cannot be accessed remotely. You can also call us at (800) 262-7301 if you feel more comfortable providing your information over the phone.

Who can I contact if I have a question not listed on this FAQ page? 

Please reach out to us by using one of the forms on the Contact Us page.