When you’re ready to bring a new tenant into your rental property, you’ll want to make sure they are responsible and financially prepared to do so. You can do this by screening your applicant, giving you a better idea of who they are, what their background is like, and how likely they will be to pay the rent. 

Luckily, you don’t have to screen manually or suffer through complex screening tools. Many property management platforms include built-in screening tools, so you can receive applications and screen tenants all in one place. Now, you can make an informed decision for your rental property with just the touch of a few buttons. 

Why Use a Screening Service?

Not only are screening tools essential for helping you sift through applicants, they also ensure that you remain compliant with the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA), a federal law designed to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of the information found in a consumer report. 

Finding the Right Service

While there are plenty of screening services to choose from, it’s a good idea to select one that’s reliable, thorough, and easy to use—this way, you can screen tenants more effectively with little to no headaches. Many landlords prefer to use the screening tool associated with their property management software, as doing so can save a lot of time during the application process. 

But if you don't use any software or prefer a tool different from the one available to you, there are plenty of screening services available. But how do you choose the best one?

In this article, we’ll go over the top 9 tenant screening services currently trending this year (and in no particular order). So, if you're ready to find the screening service to help you land that perfect tenant, read on. 


Rentler is a free management software praised for its intuitive interface and ease of use, providing a straightforward platform that landlords can use to conduct tenant screenings, manage listings, and handle maintenance requests. While Rentler is considered a budget-friendly option to many, its large user base indicates dependable service and overall popularity. 

Rentler’s tenant screening tools are clear and simple while still being comprehensive, providing a detailed tenant credit report including credit score, eviction and payment history, bankruptcies, and state and national background checks. Landlords can sign up and use Rentler right away. Tenants can pay $45 for 30 days of use, which allows the landlord to request a credit and background check from the applicant. Landlords can choose to have the applicant pay for the screening or pay themselves. 


TenantCloud is known for all-in-one property handling, offering a range of features from tenant screening and online rent collection to financial reporting and maintenance requests. It's a comprehensive platform that caters to both landlords and tenants.

TenantCloud offers among the most thoroughly detailed tenant screenings in the market, providing three packages powered by TransUnion and TazWorks: Full Check ($39), Basic Background ($30), and Credit Check ($30). You can even add upgrades like in-depth county searches and income insights, which verify the tenant’s income information.

Plus, if you use TenantCloud to list and manage properties, you can screen applicants directly from their application in your account. 

TransUnion SmartMove

SmartMove provides reliable tenant background checks and credit checks, criminal background checks, and eviction records directly from TransUnion. It offers a fast and secure process, with the added advantage of giving tenants the ability to protect their personal information.

SmartMove is free to sign up and provides several reports to choose from, including SmartCheck Pro ($44), SmartCheck Plus ($40), and SmartCheck Basic ($25). Keep in mind that since SmartMove is not connected to property management software, more steps may be required to enter the tenant’s details into the screening service.


AppFolio is a robust management tool offering a wide range of features including tenant screening, online rent payments, maintenance requests, and accounting. It's designed for larger portfolios and offers a mobile app for on-the-go management.

AppFolio’s background check service includes credit scores, eviction and criminal history, rental history, and the options for income verification and online application processing. With two pricing packages to choose from, landlords can screen tenants starting at $20. If you’re already using AppFolio to manage properties, you may find it easy to navigate each step from application to screening.


RentRedi is another tenant screening and management tool that emphasizes user-friendliness and affordability. It offers mobile applications for both landlords and tenants, making communication and management tasks straightforward and efficient.

With RentRedi, landlords can conduct credit reports, criminal reports, eviction reports, and more. While RentRedi may offer fewer packages compared to other tenant screening services, they are partnered with TransUnion, and their screenings cost $39.99 each.


TurboTenant provides free tools for landlords, including tenant screening, reports that cover credit, criminal background, and evictions. It's known for its ease of use and efficiency in managing the rental process from listing to leasing.

Screening tenants through TurboTenant is easy, especially if you are currently using their software for property management. TurboTenant offers two packages: a standard report, which includes credit score, credit report, collections, nationwide criminal report, and evictions report ($55), and a premium search, which includes additional income insights for $99 a year.

Zillow Rental Manager

Zillow Rental Manager offers a comprehensive suite of online tools for landlords, including tenant screening services. It leverages Zillow's vast audience for listing exposure and provides detailed screening reports.

Currently, Zillow only offers a single service for tenant screening for $35. It’s basic but can get the job done depending on what you need.


Apartments.com is part of a large network of rental sites and provides a platform for listing and managing rental properties. Among their wide variety of rental tools includes a one-stop tenant screening service. This service gives landlords a glimpse at a tenant’s eviction, criminal, and credit history. You can request TransUnion credit reports and background checks for $24.99.


RentPrep provides credit and background checks for rental applicants in addition to a variety of property management services. They offer user-friendly applications and screenings, making it easy and enjoyable for landlords and tenants. 

A basic package includes identity verification, eviction check, bankruptcy check, and credit score details for $21. They also offer additional search services such as criminal and sex offender searches for $6, as well as more credit details for $11. RentPrep also offers a full credit report for $40, which includes a more in-depth background check and income check with optional income verification and liens add-ons. 

Benefits of Top Screening Services

Using top-notch tenant screening services can make a big difference in managing your rental properties, from making the application process easier to mitigating risk with future tenants. While it may take a few trial runs to determine which service gives you the best results, having a reliable screening service can be a game changer for your rental business. 

Here's how it can help:

  • Better Tenants: These services dig into potential renters' pasts, looking at things like how they've handled rent and bills before and if they've been good tenants elsewhere. A thorough tenant screening can help landlords find renters who are more likely to be reliable and treat their property well.
  • Less Risk: By spotting warning signs early, like past evictions or financial troubles, landlords can avoid renting to people who might cause problems later. This means fewer headaches and greater peace of mind.
  • Staying Legal: There are lots of rules about choosing tenants, especially around fairness and privacy, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) we mentioned earlier. Good screening services make sure everything is done right, keeping you out of legal trouble while you determine the right applicant.
  • Saving Time and Money: Checking out tenants can take a lot of effort and time. By having a tenant screening service that streamlines the process for you, you can fill vacancies faster and spend less time agonizing over your decision. This makes the rental process more profitable and guarantees you won’t be wasting your time shopping around for background checks.

So, using a good tenant screening service isn't just about avoiding bad renters; it's about making the whole rental experience smoother, more profitable, and legally compliant.


In summary, a good screening service offers a multitude of benefits, ensuring you secure higher quality tenants, reducing your risk as a landlord, maintaining your legal compliance, and saving time and money in the long run. Just another way that you, as a landlord, can continue enjoying a profitable, compliant, and stress-free rental business.