Tenant Screening FAQ
How can you screen a tenant with only their name and email address? How does the process work?
A request is emailed to the applicant using the email address you provided. Credit bureau Transunion will verify their identity asking questions only they can answer (see the next question), and then the applicant will view your request and will approve or decline it. If they decline it, you will not be charged, and if they approve it, your credit card will be charged at that time.
What kind of identity verification questions will the applicant have to answer?
The applicant will have to enter identifying information including their social security number and date of birth. They will also have to answer a few questions about their credit history to confirm their identity, such as previous addresses, monthly payment amounts on car loans, etc.
When will the reports be available, after I submit the request?
When you submit the screening request, we instantly email the applicant with a link. The applicant clicks this link in the email, verifies their identity and then chooses to approve or decline your request – once they accept, the screening reports will be available on our website to view immediately.
For instant results, submit the request while the applicant is present in person to immediately approve it.
When will my credit card be charged for the screening reports?
A "pending" authorization hold will be placed on your card when the tenant screening request is sent but the card will not be charged until the applicant has accepted the request.
My applicant never received the email asking them to approve my request – what happened, and what should I do?
There are several possible causes. The most common is that the email went into the applicant’s spam folder, so have them check there first. Another possibility is that the email address itself was mis-entered: click on the Tenant Screening tab on the menu bar and then click the “View My Reports” link. Select the request in question and verify the email address with the applicant.
If no rational explanation is apparent, generally the cause is an over-aggressive email filter stopping the email before it even got to the applicant’s mailbox. In this case, have your tenant visit www.mysmartmove.com
and create an account using the email they provided you. Once logged into this account, they will see your request and can approve it.
Do I need a completed rental application form, to run the reports?
No, but you should collect one anyway – see the next question.
Are the screening reports and identity verification a substitute for collecting a rental application and verifying employment, income and rental history?
No. Collecting a completed rental application from the applicant is the first step, and in many cases you can disqualify applicants immediately based on the information in it. Critical information includes their employment history and income (which should both be verified by calling employers), their rental history (which should also be verified by calling ex-landlords), pet ownership and assets that may be worth pursuing later if they default (such as cars).
I did not enter the applicant’s email address correctly – how do I edit/re-enter it?
For security reasons, once a request email has gone out, the email address can’t be edited as part of the same request. You can cancel the request from the View My Reports page (and of course will not be charged for it), and submit a new request using the correct email address.
How do I view the reports, once the applicant approves them?
You’ll receive an email, alerting you that the applicants have approved your request, and the reports are available to view. Click the Tenant Screening tab on the menu bar, and click the View My Reports link to view the various tenant screening requests you’ve submitted and the associated credit & criminal reports.
What should I do if my tenant doesn’t have an email address?
The easiest approach is to meet with the applicant in person, have them create a throw-away email address, and run the reports with them approving it on the spot.