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Self-Storage Tenant Background and Credit Checks

Terri and Ed Heil Comments

Most self-storage owner and operators shudder at the thought of conducting tenant background and credit checks. Perhaps it’s the fear of losing business. Hopefully, this article will put those fears to rest.
The Research
We were fortunate enough when we started researching this industry that we found Inside Self-Storage. Through the publication, it was suggested to us early on that we do background and credit checks to protect our business. Our first thought process was “Wow! Won’t that scare away our potential occupants?”

As we started doing research on companies offering background and credit checking, the fear of loosing business diminished. We then started looking for different services that could give us software appropriate for our facility, which offers RV and boat storage along with climate- and non-climate-controlled self-storage.

We reviewed a few companies and found one that seemed to be very RV/boat centric, making it a good fit for our needs. The software allowed us to have levels of access for our employees, restricting their viewing of other people’s credit and criminal history, information we felt should be restricted to management exclusively.
We also wanted to be able to adjust certain criteria, leading us to create categories: 

  • Approved
  • Denied
  • Manager’s review

Then we made a few simple decisions: Anyone with a felony criminal record would be denied, as would potential tenants in bankruptcy or collections.

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