Tenant Screening, powered by TransUnion

Tenant Screening is one of two processes Buildium provides to perform a credit and background check on an applicant. Powered by TransUnion, Tenant Screening makes running credit and background checks on applicants easy.

About Tenant Screening

Tenant Screening is available to use from the minute properties are added into Buildium. In order to get started, you'll just need to make sure that your account information (including company email address) is completely filled out before you can order your first screen. If you haven't checked your information on the Account and Billing page recently, we recommend reviewing that now to make sure you're all set.

When you order a Tenant Screening, an email is sent to the applicant to begin the process. The applicant must consent to having their credit, criminal, and eviction history checked, and will have to verify their identity. The applicant is subject to a soft credit check—this will not affect the applicant’s credit history.

Tenant Screening requires the applicant’s involvement.

With Tenant Screening, you have the option to have the Applicant pay for the Screening themselves, or to cover the cost of the Screening and have it billed to your Buildium account.

  • If you choose to have the Applicant pay, the applicant will be charged $30 per screening. If you choose this option, the screening will be no cost to you.
  • If you choose to cover the cost, you will be charged a discounted rate of $15 per screening as a Buildium customer.

Each credit and background check includes a full credit report with TransUnion ResidentScore, a complete background check with identity verification, and an eviction history report, all linked to the Applicant's rental application.

  • The credit report provided by TransUnion includes payment accounts, past due amounts, and a TransUnion ResidentScore credit score—including the factors affecting the score.

  • The background check and identity verification checks the Most Wanted databases, National Sex Offender Registry, US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), and criminal records by state.

Tenant Screening is only available for applicants with a valid Social Security Number. Other identification numbers such as an ITIN number for work/tax purposes cannot be used to run a tenant screening.

Order a Tenant Screening

    1. To start the Tenant Screening process, first navigate to Leasing, and then select Applicants.
      • If the applicant has not submitted a rental application through Buildium, choose the option to Run Tenant Screening on the Applicants page. This will allow you to initiate the tenant screening for someone you have not entered into the system yet, and will also create that person as an Applicant.
      • If the applicant has already submitted a rental application that is in your system, find and select on the name of the applicant on the Applicants page, then select the Screening tab from the Applicant Summary page. Click Run a Tenant Screening.
    2. On the Run credit check order page, enter the rent amount, deposit amount, and lease term.
    3. Indicate how you want to pay for a Tenant Screening. There are two options:
      • Charge applicants after they approve credit, eviction, and background checks
        • Selecting this option will prompt the Applicant to submit payment before completing their Tenant Screening request. They can pay either a credit or debit card, or by linking their bank account for electronic transfer.
          • NOTE: payment must be collected before the report request can be completed. 
      • Charge my Buildium account
        • Selecting this option will have Buildium charge your account. The $15 fee for the screening request will appear along with any other monthly charges on the Account and Billing page.
          • You will only be charged for completed requests, so if a tenant abandons the screening mid-way through the process and never releases the reports, you don’t have to worry about paying for information you didn’t receive.
    4. Verify that the applicant's email is correct, and add a cosigner if applicable. Running a screening on a cosigner will result in an additional screening charge.
      • NOTE: If the Applicant has already created an Applicant Center account when they submitted their Rental Application, this email MUST be the same as the one they used for Applicant Center. Changing the email address for the Tenant Screening order will also change the Applicant Center email address.
      • NOTE: A Tenant Screening cannot be run without an email address. Each applicant screened with Tenant Screening must have a unique email address.
    5. When ready to proceed, click Review order. Review the information and submit the screening request.
    6. After clicking Place order, Buildium will send an email request to the Applicant to complete the Tenant Screening.
      • Once submitted, changes cannot be made without canceling and resubmitting the application.bts3.png
    7. Applicants should then be on the lookout for the email request, which will be sent from a donotreply email address and will look like this:
    8. To track the status of the Tenant Screening request, return to the Applicant page and click the Screening tab.
      • Here, you will be able clearly track the current status of the Tenant Screening request, including timestamps for status changes, any issues that need to be addressed, and actions to take to continue the process if necessary.
    9. Reports will appear on this page once generated.

Send a reminder to Applicants to complete the Tenant Screening 

The time it takes to receive Tenant Screening reports depends on how long it takes for an applicant to complete the process. As soon as the order is placed, Buildium will notify the Applicant by email. From time to time, applicants might need a little extra nudge.

If the Applicant has not yet completed their Tenant Screening request, Buildium will automatically send a reminder email 3 days and 7 days after the process begins.

Send a reminder to Applicants to complete the process

    1. Navigate to Leasing > Applicants, then find and select the Applicant.
    2. From the Applicant Summary page, click Screening, then click Resend email.

Canceling a Tenant Screening request

If there is a problem with a Tenant Screening, such as an applicant withdrawing their application or a typo in an email address, you can cancel the screening request.

  1. To cancel a Tenant Screening request, navigate to Leasing > Applicants, and then find and select the Applicant.
  2. From the Applicant Summary page, select the Screening tab.
  3. Click Cancel request to cancel the screening.
    • NOTE: You will not be charged for canceled tenant screenings if the process is not yet completed. 

Once canceled, Buildium will replace the Cancel request button with a new option to Order another screening. If you decide to run another credit check on the same applicant, you can make edits to the email address before initiating the new screening.

How an Applicant completes a Tenant Screening request 

In order for an Applicant to complete a Tenant Screening request, they must have an Applicant Center account

  1. After you order a Tenant Screening for the Applicant, they will receive an email with a link to Applicant Center. Clicking this link will prompt them to log in to their account, and they will be brought to the start page of Applicant Center.
  2. Below their completed rental application will be a Screening request. Your Applicant should click Start.
  3. The first step in the process will prompt the Applicant to consent to the Screening process. Your Applicant should click Yes, I agree, and then check to acknowledge TransUnion's Terms of Service.
  4. Next, Applicants fill in their personal information. They will be required to input their social security number in order to proceed. On the next screen, they will confirm that they entered everything correctly. 
  5. After confirming their personal information, they will be brought to the Identity Verification page which has a short list of questions that TransUnion will use to help match applicants to their records.
    • NOTE: This identity verification page expires after 5 minutes if not submitted and applicants will have to restart the process. 
    • NOTE: If an applicant selects the wrong answer, they have an option of retrying their answers.
      • If an applicant is unsuccessful at verifying their identity after 3 attempts, they may be required to complete a manual verification with TransUnion. You will be notified of any identity verification failures in the Screening Details page and the phone number for the Applicant to call will be visible to both you and the Applicant.
  6. If you chose to charge the Tenant Screening to your Buildium account, the Applicant is now all set! Otherwise, Applicants will be taken to the Payment page to finish up the Screening request.
    • If the Applicant is responsible for paying the Screening fee, they can do so with either a credit or debit card or by linking their bank account for electronic funds transfer.
    • Once they’ve made their payment, their Tenant Screening will be complete and will show as completed under their Application Information page in Buildium.

Review reports 

Buildium will notify you when a tenant screening is complete.

For security purposes, screening reports are only available in your Buildium account for 60 days.

To access completed screening reports:

    1. Navigate to Leasing > Applicants. If reports are ready, it will be indicated on the far right of the applicant's name.
    2. Click on Screening, where you will be able to view a credit report, criminal report and eviction proceedings report.
    3. Click into each report to review the report summary and more details. 

Inform tenants of an application decision

Once you've reviewed reports and made your decision on whether or not to approve the applicant, you can let them know.


Article #: 112600


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