Monday, October 31, 2011

Renter Screening Advice from a Private Investigator's Perspective

A friend of mine recently decided to rent out his home and he asked me what information he should consider looking for a renter.  I gave him some quick suggestions in a text and carried on with my day.  I thought about it more the following morning. It occurred to me it was an important topic to explore.  The previous article I posted regarding free searches is a great place to being your screening when looking for potential tenants. 
Important information for future tenants may be the following (but not limited to):
1.)    Credit report
2.)    Landlord referrals
3.)    Employment verification
4.)    Criminal record
5.)    Previous evictions
6.)    Social Media (Facebook, Myspace)
7.)    The accuracy of information provided on an application
8.)    Pets
9,)   Residence History

The more you know about your tenants, the better you will feel with them renting your home.

There are many existing website services that are more than capable of taking care of your needs with tenant screening. These services can cost anywhere between 20 dollars and 40 dollars per person screened.  While these are very useful, it might be in your best interest to screen the tenants as much as possible before doing final checks. Doing this will save you some money.
Credit reports can be done by you, however you need the prospective tenant to agree to it in writing as well as indicating  what the credit report is for.  You could also have a company like do it for you.

Landlord referrals are a great way to determine the type of tenant someone might be.  However take what they say at face value.  Positive feedback from a previous landlord does not indicate the tenant will be good for you.

Conduct employment verification.  You need to make sure your tenants have money coming in to pay the rent. 

Criminal records should also be checked not only for yourself but your neighbors.  Check court records online in the counties an applicant has lived in.  In Washington State I search names at  Previous evictions would also be found in court records along with Bankruptcies.

SOCIAL MEDIA- I can’t say it enough.  Search social media.  There is always something to be learned about the character of an individual in social media. 

Residence History is important as this may determine whether someone has a history of staying in places for a short time.  If you are looking for a long term lease, someone with a stable residence history might be the right tenant for you.

I do not claim to be an expert landlord but I felt these were some helpful suggestions if you plan on renting your home future. 
Some other companies I located that appeared to be one stop shops for tenant screening were the following:
1.)    E-Renter
2.)    Tenant Verification Services
3.)    Land Lord Station

I cannot vouch for these services nor do I endorse them.  They are listed to show the varying services that are out there to help you.  Also search for Landlord and Tenant laws in your state to stay informed of your rights as well as your tenants rights. 

As always you can find more information about me at Fortified Investigative Services

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FREE Searches #2

So after my first blog you are probably thinking my information is pretty much common knowledge.  This is true but I would make the point that different avenues of searching is not common knowledge.
So let’s move on to some more sites with a little bit more power.  Again it is important to understand that these sources typically don’t point directly to information you are looking for but many times is just one piece that leads to another.

A very broad search engine is Zabasearch,  You can search names, find out how many people have search your name and conduct reverse searches of phone numbers. 

A great website that I use every day is PIPL, The website searches the deep web for people or businesses that you are looking for.  You can search for people by name, city, state and country.  It has been quite effective for me.  Search your name and see how much information is out there about you.
The last one I use is KGB PEOPLE,  KGB searches broadly across the United States for the name you are looking for in social networks and search engines.  It shows photos and any personal information located as well. I have had some luck with this site. 

As always I can be found at Fortified Investigative Services,             

Or find me on Facebook at Fortified Investigative Services

Thanks for reading,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where to find quality information without paying for it

There are many reasons people want to find information information on a individual.  It may be because we just started dating someone new or maybe you want to learn more about an individual.  Many times we call upon a private investigator to use special resources that are unavailable to the everyday public. But when we don't have the money for a private investigator where can you look for information?

I have compiled some information that I use on a daily basis when searching for information. This information is free.

When searching these sites you must remember that not all information is up to date and maybe old however it is a good place to start your research.  

When searching for an individual through a directory assistance service I begin my search through two basic webistes: and . I have found to be of help when fails me.  You can search names, phone numbers,  addresses and business information.  Have you ever received a phone call and you didn't recognize the number? Just jump on to one of those websites and it may help you figure out who is calling you.

If you are not having any luck with those sites you can always search and address or phone number in Google.  Many times the phone number or address is associated with an individual or the address has been on the market.  

Social media has grown so rapidly that you can most likely find the person you are looking for through or  If you search a name though facebook and do not get the results you are looking for try searching for an associate of the that person (friend, sister, mother, etc..).  Once you find the associate, search their friends for the person you are looking for.  I have found many individuals by piecing information together about known associates.

Myspace in opinion is no longer a forum that is used as much as Facebook but it is always worth a look.  After searching for a name you can always narrow down your results by age, city, and gender.  Even if people don't use their account anymore there is still old information present that may be useful.  

These people searching techniques are to be used in a responsible manner. 

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