New Tool for Screening Tenants (Reading, PA)

By
Home Inspector with Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

New Tool for Screening Tenants (Reading, PA)boy thinking

 


As a home inspector for real estate investors in Reading, PA and Pottstown and Philadelphia, I often hear my real estate investor clients ask, "Why isn't there a website we can go to that lists the bad tenants out there?"  It looks like someone in New York was thinking the same thing and decided to do something about it.


Zahar Hilkevich, creator of www.iscreentenants.com, recently launched this website as a new tool for screening tenants.  It's meant to help landlords from being victimized by a tenant who didn't pay his rent or vandalized his apartment.  If you are a landlord, you know how valuable information is in the business of evaluating a potential tenant. 


blind justiceI'm not only a home inspector in Reading, PA, but a landlord as well.  I know all too well about screening potential tenants and trying to decipher if their application is truthful or not. 

Sometimes you feel blind and sometimes you discover the unexpected.  I can't tell you how many times I discovered the landlord on the application wasn't a landlord at all, but a family friend or relative.  I run their credit and background, check social media sites, but sometimes that isn't enough.  This new tool for screening tenants at www.iscreentenants.com might really come in handy once word spreads and landlords start using the website. 


You might ask- "Is it legal to report my bad tenants?  Am I protected from being pulled into court for defamation?"  According to the website: 

"The truth is an absolute defense to defamation.  Any person could be pulled into the court for a reason or without such; therefore, nobody can guarantee that an upset tenant won't try to go this way; winning in court, however, is a different matter."  The website continues and says that they do not expose the names of the people who report their tenants. 


It works simply: 

A landlord logs on and lists his problem tenants by name and address and recounts what the issues were. 

You get an applicant for one of your rentals and can log onto the website, search the name and see what he did to a previous landlord and can reject the applicant accordingly.

 

This new tool for screening tenants is still in the works and it remains to be seen if it will catch on and become useful. It will require participation from as many landlords as possible in order to work effectively.

 

david the home inspectorDavid Artigliere with ARTI Home Inspections LLC is a home inspector in Reading, Pottstown, Norristown & Surrounding. 

You can call (610) 662-6116 or visit his website at www.artihomeinspections.com

 

Posted by

david the home inspectorDavid Artigliere, owner of ARTI Home Inspections LLC, is a home inspector in Pottstown, Reading, Norristown, Royersford and surrounding areas. 

He is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 610-220-1907.

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 12/12/2011 11:01 AM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 01/02/2012 04:18 AM
  3. Michelle Cooks 02/11/2013 05:22 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Pennsylvania Berks County
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Berks County PA Homes for sale and info
Investing in Real Estate
New Jersey & Pennsylvania -- Realtors/Loan Officers/Title Clerks/Real Estate Lawyers
Pennsylvania Realtors
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Tags:
tenant selection
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Rainmaker
583,774
David Popoff
Realtor & Property Manager, Fairfield County, Ct.
DMK Real Estate & Property Mgmt

Actually a good idea, I hope it catches on, all it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

December 08, 2011 11:57 AM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Thanks David.. will be interesting to see what happens!

 

December 08, 2011 01:46 PM
Rainmaker
1,375,339
Joan Cox
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373

David, this is a great tip, and will keep this written down for future use.   Many times home owners are not able to sell, due to being under water and renting is their only option if they want to purchase a different property.

December 09, 2011 09:45 AM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Joan, we are seeing an oversupply of rentals here in PA for that very reason!

December 09, 2011 09:46 AM
Rainmaker
1,327,120
Charles Stallions
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services

Someone was told me you could be sued for doing something like this so I never persued it now I wonder I think it is a good idea.

December 10, 2011 10:10 AM
Rainmaker
397,835
Kathryn Acciari
Realtor - CDPE, CIAS, Sturbridge MA Real Estate
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury

Very interesting.  It does seem to have some potential for liability, but I can see why property owners would find this useful. 

December 11, 2011 08:32 PM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Charles- yes, my real estate investor group refused to get involved with anything like this for years due to potential liability.  The fact is... if landlord's names are not listed, can't an angry ex post something about you to make housing possibilities difficult? 

Kathryn- as a property owner, I would use this as a small part of my application process.  If anything, this service will just bring up more things to investigate.. which is good!

December 12, 2011 01:40 PM
Anonymous #8
Anonymous
Zahar Hilkevich

Before starting the site I have consulted with my attorney - read the FAQ section (http://iscreentenants.com/Faq.aspx) on the site to see what she said. In reality, there a few competitor sites who are accepting bad tenants reports for a many years - the only catch - they don't provide their services for FREE - they also have the legal aspect of the reporting answered on their web sites. In any case, the first thing an angry tenant may do is to request a dispute. Taking you to a court is never the first step as your name is not exposed.

Good luck investing and please spread the word!

 

December 12, 2011 01:48 PM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Thanks for clarifying, Zahar.  That does make sense since it's a free service.  I hope it catches on and becomes a successful tool for landlords out there!

December 12, 2011 03:05 PM
Rainer
87,545
Merv Edinger & Associates
Remax Nova

We have a privacy act in Canada that doesn't allow such things.

December 16, 2011 01:09 PM
Rainer
18,998
Deven teaches Investing for Realtors. Up to 42X your commission with less work
Real Estate Faster

Do you know how many people are actually using this service? It might be hard to get value from such a service unless the majority of people are using it.

December 17, 2011 12:37 PM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Merv- that's interesting about your privacy act in Canada.  Good to know!

Deven- I'm not sure of the numbers.  It's a newer site, so most of the users will be "contributors" at this point and hoping for good use later on.

December 17, 2011 08:30 PM
Rainmaker
109,676
Don Hess
RE/MAX Associates Of Lancaster

Wow! As a landlord I think its a great idea. Even though the landlord's name isn't mentioned, the tennant could probably figure out who reported on him. I would throw in that this is the United States and anyone can sue anyone else at anytime for any reason, flaky or not. But if what has been reported is the truth I can't see that you would have much to fear. I'll be interested to see how this shakes out.

December 23, 2011 04:28 PM
Rainer
80,932
Dominic Kirchner II
www.FlippingSmart.com - Dominic Kirchner
Hampden Homebuyers

This is a great idea.  I have dealt with a couple bad tenants and I feel bad for the next landlord that got them.  It would have been nice to have some additional info.  Of course you can't rely on the info provided solely but it can be used in conjuction with your other reseach into potential tenants.

Thanks for spreading the word.

Dominic Kirchner II

www.HampdenHomebuyers.com

www.FlippingSmart.com

 

December 26, 2011 03:43 PM
Rainer
83,450
David Artigliere
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

Don, So true!  Truth is your greatest defense in this case. 

Dominic, that's exactly right... you shouldn't rely solely on the information on this site, but it sure would serve as a great aid in raising some red flags and warranting additional research.

December 26, 2011 10:55 PM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
Tim Zuleger

I believe you really are on to something here.I love this idea and would love to help tweek this idea a bit inorder to stay with legal limit especially here in Wisconsin.THEY the tenants, good or bad, can win a lawsuit if what you is based on factual information and not based on opinion.If you gear questiuons that a landlord would either yes or no it eliminates opinion Like would you re-rent? Did the tenant pay late? Were the police every called. I have a list of questions a lanlord and tenant agency gave me during a seminar that has these very question.Please contact me by email and we can exchange phone numbers.I have encouraged landlords in Central Wisconsin through FB to use your database

December 28, 2012 09:17 PM
Anonymous
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Rainer
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David Artigliere

ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
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