Tenant screening

Tenant screening has made our jobs so much easier. We do everything within the software, reports come back right away, and the format is easy to understand.

Susie Hall
365 REAL Property Management

Screen so you don't have to evict

Eviction-related expenses average around $3,500 and can run as high as $10,000.

Fill vacancies faster

Each screening requires just a few steps, and premium tenant screening reports can be delivered in 30 seconds.

Pick an option that works for you

You can choose basic or premium tenant screening, depending on your needs.

Do it all in one place

You can request a criminal and background check every time an application appears in Buildium, and all reports will be stored in Buildium.


Q. What’s the difference between basic tenant screening and premium tenant screening?

A. With basic tenant screening, you simply request a criminal and credit background check within Buildium. Buildium emails the applicant, who has to approve and fill in the necessary information online. You can choose to have the applicant cover the cost of the background check (each background check costs $15) or you can cover it yourself. Within a few days, the credit and background check appears in your account.

Premium tenant screening is recommended for property managers with 100 units or more. You’ll need to go through a one-time application process (more details on this later in the FAQs), which costs $99. Once approved, you can initiate background checks that include criminal, credit and eviction reports, as well as customizable approval thresholds. Reports usually come back within seconds, and they cost $18 per background check.

Here’s a chart that gives an overview of the difference between the two screening options:

Features Basic Tenant Screening Premium Tenant Screening
Ideal for companies with 99 units or less
Ideal for companies with 100 units or more
Includes criminal reports
Includes credit reports
Includes eviction reports
Includes one simple accept/reject recommendation
Allows for customized thresholds on recommendations when necessary. *You can set different standards for luxury properties and affordable housing.
Property manager can initiate screening without action by applicant
Reports delivered in seconds
Requires property manager to be accredited
Cost No setup fee
$15 per screening
$99 setup fee
$18 per screening

Q. Do the credit, criminal, and eviction reports cover activity outside of the United States?

A. No. At this time, the reports only search for credit, criminal, and eviction activity within the United States.

Q. What’s involved in the accreditation process for premium tenant screening?

A. The first step is to complete an online application and upload the required documents. If you’ve collected the documents ahead of time, this process should take about 30 minutes. The information you need to have on hand includes:
  • Tax ID #
  • A recent bank statement
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Business license (if applicable)
  • Client, customer, or trade references
  • Proof of address for your business
Following the completion of the online application, you’ll be contacted by a TransUnion representative who’ll work with you to coordinate an on-site visit to your office. During the on-site visit, they’ll be looking for the following items:
  • Filing cabinets that lock
  • Signage with the company name
  • A paper shredder
  • Password protected computers

Q. How long does it take to get accredited for premium tenant screening?

A. You can get approved for premium tenant screening within a couple of weeks given that all required documentation is provided at the time of submission. To help minimize delays in the approval process, follow these easy steps:
  • Complete the on-line application thoroughly and provide all required documentation.
  • Respond quickly to any additional information needed to complete your membership.
  • Provide all the required business references.

Q. With premium tenant screening, can I charge the applicant for the screening?

A. Yes. You can cover the cost of the screening by charging your applicants an application fee within Buildium. Click here to learn more about collecting rental application fees with Buildium.

Q. What does the basic tenant screening experience look like for applicants?

A. You can view a demo of the process on TransUnion’s website. Just remember, the demo shows the renter paying for the application. With Buildium, you have this option or you can opt to pay for the application yourself.