Renters Running Background Checks On Landlords
CHARLOTTE, NC- A criminal past or financial trouble could put a landlord on a city's blacklist.
Charlotte doesn't have a list yet, but more renters are doing background checks on potential landlords.
"We've got a lot of landlords out there who are trying to get people into their homes, not because they want to be landlords... but because they can't pay their mortgages," said Kerestan.
Judi Kerestan manages over 100 properties in the Charlotte-area. She says more renters are asking personal questions about potential landlords and doing their own background checks for protection.
"When you're leasing a property, what rights do you really have? It's scary. You're giving someone your money every month and you don't know if they're paying their mortgage. These days, truthfully, a lot of people aren't," said Kerestan.
With the landlord’s full name and date of birth, a tenant can do their own background check and find out anything from the landlord’s criminal history to the property they own.
Those who want a very detailed background check hire a professional.
"You're going to get the criminal and civil history and maybe some assets they have," said Keith Hollen, owner of Eagle Eye Detective Agency.
Hollen does basic landlord background checks for under $200 dollars.
For an additional fee, Eagle Eye does the legwork for more detailed searches.
"Talk to neighbors. Do a canvass of the neighborhood. Talk to them about the landlord. Talk to them about what goes on out there. Talk to police and see what activity goes on and any criminal activity and how many times they've called to that area," said Hollen.
Experts say it's worth the cost to use a professional to check out perspective landlords, because they'll also be checking you out.
Starting in January, charlotte will require all rental property owners to registers with the city.
The information helps police better respond to any crimes at a property