Hey, I do not think any service providers will offer tenant screening completely free. Otherwise, they will not be in the business. That said, however, if you are looking for a service that is free for landlord but directly charges tenant, I can recommend a few. I believe that TransUnion's SmartMove does directly pass the cost to tenant. Another good example is Tenantify (https://tenantify.com). Landlord can send unlimited employment and income verification requests for free; tenants will foot the bill if they want to be verified.
Hey, I am the founder of Tenantify, so I might be biased in my answer, but for a good reason. Overall, there are 4 ways to screen a tenant: credit report, criminal history, eviction report, and employment/income verification. Typically landlords pull data from national/state database to get credit report, criminal history and eviction report. TransUnion's Smartmove is a great product in this category. Many other screening services are essentially different packaging of the same service. They might even use TransUnion as their data source. In contrast, employment/income verification is often under-appreciated. I cannot stress how important it is - it directly assess the tenant's ability to pay currently and in the near future. None of the other screening methods can provide such insights. However, it is difficult to do effectively. Employers typically are unwilling to verify it for you, and bank statement / paystub can both be faked. Tenantify is developed to solve the problem in a more scalable way. We empower landlord's decisioning by verify tenant employment and income. The service can be used as a one-time inquiry, or be used as your regular screening tool. It is free for landlord and tenant pays $10-15 for each verification.
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