Recommendations for using the Online Application and Background Screening Feature

Please see below for more information and the recommended steps regarding the customizable online applications and tenant background/credit/eviction screenings we provide through our service:
1. Pricing: There is no cost for the online applications and the background screening through TransUnion SmartMove is $30, discounted $5 for our customers.  The applicant pays the $30 directly to TransUnion SmartMove when completing the background check.
2. Use Both?: You do not have to use both features together as you can use just the online applications or just the background screening if you prefer.
3. Background Screening: The background screening is the Plus version as this includes:
  • Full credit report
  • National criminal background check
  • ResidentScore
  • Leasing recommendation
  • Eviction report.  
Our customers receive a discount of $5 as the report is normally $35 when purchased directly through TransUnion SmartMove.  Since the applicant pays the screening fee directly to TransUnion SmartMove you have the option to not collect an application fee.
4. Private Notes: For both the applications and background screening records you can enter private notes within our system to track any activity, such as if you called a former landlord, verified income, etc.  The notes are only visible to you as the applicant will not be able to view them.  
Suggested Steps:
The suggested steps to use the features are:
  • Online Application: You will send the online application to prospective tenants that would like to apply for your property.  You will not send applications to your existing tenants as the online applications are only for prospective tenants that you want to gather additional information from, such as prior residence history, employment, etc.  There is no cost for the online application so the prospective tenants can apply for free.  
  • Background Screening: Of the applicants that pass your initial criteria you will then request the background screening from them to view their credit, criminal, and eviction history.  These are only the applicants that you are considering accepting and signing a lease with and you can decide whether you request the background screening from the first qualified applicant only or multiple applicants at once.  Please check your local and state laws regarding whether you must consider the applicants in the same order they apply.  The applicant will pay the background screening fee directly to TransUnion SmartMove.
  •  Make Decision:  You will then review the applications and screening records and make a decision on the applicant that you have selected.  You can record your decision and notes within the screening record.  You will notify the applicants of your decision outside of the service.
  • Send Registration Steps: Once you sign a lease with the new tenant you will send them the Renter Registration Steps email or have them complete our Automatic Authorization form so they can begin submitting their rental payments through the service.  You can also collect your deposit payments through the service if you are not collecting those outside the service, such as through a cashier's check.  
Configuring your profile for online applications and background screen:
1. Application Template: First, create the application template as this will consist of the questions you want the applicant to answer.  Go to Applications and select the Application/Screening Config section.  You can select either Create New Default Template, which is a template with basic questions already populated, or select Create New Blank Template to start with a blank template.  Please click here for an article with additional information on setting up a template.
If you are using the background screening and not collecting an application fee, since the applicant will pay the background screening fee directly to TransUnion, you may want to add a required check box on the template to indicate there will be a fee involved to ensure only serious applicants apply.  An example of the text could read "I authorize $30 screening fee" or something similar even though you won't be collecting the fee with the application.
2. Background Screening Configuration: On the same Application/Screening Config page select the Configure Property in the Screening Configuration area if you have not already configured the property you will be requesting screening records for.  You will populate the information for the property and answer a few questions regarding the property so the screening can provide a recommendation.
3. Send Application: You have two ways to share the application as you can send the application directly to an applicant or post the application link, such as to a rental listing ad, by following these steps:
  • Go to Applications and go to the Applications/Screenings section.
  • Select the Send Application option on the Application tab.
  • Select the property and template you will be sending the application for and select Continue.
  • On the next page you can either enter the Applicant's email to send the application directly to them or copy the Application Link if you are posting the link for anyone to apply.
4. Review Application: Once an application is submitted the status will be set to Submitted and you can review the application in the Applications/Screenings section on the Applications tab.  You can sort the applications, such as by Property, Date Received, Status, etc.  Select the View Application button to view the details of the application.  If the application meets your criteria you can leave the application in a Submitted status and select the option to request a background screening.
5. Request Background Screening: You can either request a background screening from an application or go to the Applications--Applications/Screenings section and select Request Screen/Credit Check on the Screenings tab.  You will enter the advertised rent amount, deposit, and lease term and populate the applicant's email.  Please be sure to check the rent amount and deposit amount as these are defaulted based on the property so they may be the old amounts.  
6. Review Background Screening:  Once the applicant completes the steps on the TransUnion SmartMove site to authorize the background screening you will be notified that the screening is ready for review.  You can go to the Applications--Applications/Screenings section and the record should be visible on the Screenings tab.  
7. Make Decision: Once you review the application or background screening you can set the decision to Approved or Rejected to track your decision regarding the applicant.  
8. Notify Applicant:  Please note we do not notify the applicant of any decisions selected for the application or the background screening record so you will need to notify the applicant outside of our service.  Please click here for an article with additional information and considerations when notifying the applicant.
9. Send Registration Steps: If you accept the applicant you can then send them the Renter Registration Steps so they can register for the service.  Please go to Properties then the Forms/Steps section to send them the necessary steps.