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  • Background Checks For Online Rentals?

    So I had a thought bouncing around in my head this morning as our site began taking online rentals. I've had two now, back-to-back, that reserve/book a unit only to learn that they are seriously bad people. Gun charges, aggravated assault, and several other charges that might make some people upset to look at. In any case, I'm worried about my coworkers safety when I'm not around, so I wanted to know: Do you guys have a CSO/Crime Check built into your website, or a box that looks something like this?

    ☐ "By clicking this box, I consent to a background check to ensure the safety of all tenants & staff of {FACILITY_NAME}

    Or do you think it's "Too forward", or too big a deterrent to a potential client that would be great, just reserved as far as personal information being put out to the world-wide-web? Looking forward to your opinions!

  • #2
    No, and it's why I meet them before they have access to the facility. My Spidey senses are pretty good, though I am human and fallible.
    You're going to eventually get a bad apple and only by being on the ball, alert and paying attention to who is on the facility grounds, can mitigate the damage. (It's how I knew exactly who my thief was as soon as I checked the cameras/access).
    Be snoopy.
    Terminating leases (document, document, document) and denying access are powerful tools, but if you are sincerely worried (so so neighborhood, and/or high crime stats) then let your employees conceal carry.
    Check out your contract-how much time do you need to terminate a lease? See if there is a minimum time limit determined by your state, or can you remove them right away. If it's not spelled out, change the wording to 24 hours or whatever you need.
    All that being said, I do spot check on country records occasionally if my spidey senses go off.
    Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

    WA State

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    • #3
      Also, you mentioned a 'blacklist' in the other thread. We have one as well, shared between our 20+ facilities. If someone has bolluxed up and were terminated then we all know it and won't rent to them. Doesn't matter where in the state they were put on the list, if they come to my facility they won't be a tenant of mine.
      Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

      WA State

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      • #4
        Face to face only

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        • #5
          I figure if they got a credit card or debit card in their name, and a valid cell phone #, then that's good enough for me. But I live in a rural area with very low crime.

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          • #6
            Thank you everyone for your replies! I figured it was just one of those things - it's really hard to judge a character without a face-to-face, and I haven't been able to find a third party system to integrate to our online rental application

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            • #7
              Honestly, I think that's overstepping big time. I wouldn't submit to a background check to rent a storage unit. Is your competition doing that?

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              • #8
                not a chance i would allow this. Honestly why do managers feel a need to look up every tenant. I agree with spidey senses for sure... but if my staff have enough time in their day to google every customer, then we arent renting enough units lol.

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                • #9
                  Honestly, a background check will only reveal if they've ever been caught doing something before; it would also deter me from renting from that facility. My record is clean, but it's an overstep...especially for storage. Face-to-face is our way to go.

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                  • #10
                    We found that requiring a drivers license + a CC to keep on file has done a great job. No CSO check needed!

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                    • #11
                      My units are not seen at the web site unless I allow them to be seen. This is only after I have talked to the prospective tenant at least on the phone. I have a script I follow and ask lots of questions. If they duck/dodge my questions, talk in circles, speak in generalities when I am asking for details or I just get a bad vibe...........I don't have any units at that time but will offer to go on the waiting list and then they don't go on that list.
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SpaceCadet View Post
                        We found that requiring a drivers license + a CC to keep on file has done a great job. No CSO check needed!
                        Be cautious requiring a DL only, they could take it as discrimination. Example: A tenant may be epileptic and cannot possess a DL and only an ID.

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                        • #13
                          I always say I need a "current picture I.D. like a driver's license or state I.D." I will even take a current passport. That way they have a choice. If they drive in and only hand me a state I.D., I will not rent to them. That is because if they are willing to break the law and drive without a license, then they will likely be willing to not follow facility rules/regulations/policies.
                          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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