If you are a homeowner looking to rent your house, there are a lot of things you need to be careful about to make sure you don’t make the wrong choice.
To make sure that you choose the right tenant, you need to make research about them.
This research aims to find out if they had any previous problems in the apartments they rented or if they can keep up with their rents and pay on time.
However, doing this research manually and on your own is a painstaking process that takes a lot of time.
There are tenant screening services in the market helping you to do everything under one service easily and efficiently.
Rentprep and Smartmove are two of the most popular tenant screening services you can choose that allow you to do these checks altogether.
We will look at these two services and show you which is the best.
|Pricing||Full Credit Report – $40.00/screening Background Check – $21.00/screening||Premium – $41.99/screening Plus – $39.99/screening Basic – $24.99/screening|
|Reports||Credit report, criminal report, sex offender search, eviction history, bankruptcies, address history, judgment and liens, income verification||Criminal, Credit, Eviction reports, Income Insights, sex offenses, bankruptcies, court judgments, tax liens|
|Payment Method||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover||Visa, Mastercard, American Express|
|Features||Applicant can pay, detailed resources||Report clarification, mobile-friendly website|
|Customer Support||Phone, email, physical location, message||Email, on-call, Twitter, Facebook|
Why Choose Rentprep?
Rentprep has been in service since 2007 and has served its users over two million background checks and screenings.
They are a community-driven tenant screening service that helps landlords to come together on their Facebook group.
In addition, their website also offers podcasts, blog posts, and videos to help their users.
They offer different tools and background checks to help rental owners and property managers get information on potential tenants easily.
Rentprep gives you a full-fledged report with the tenant’s credit score, eviction past, bankruptcy filings, and other related issues, along with SSN verification.
The differentiator with Rentprep is that you can give the option for your tenant to pay for it and not you.1
Also Read: Spokeo Vs. Instant Checkmate 2023
Why Choose Smartmove?
SmartMove is a product of TransUnion, and they specialize in providing tenant-screening reports quickly and reliably.
Their reports are backed by one of the top three major U.S. credit bureaus and use their years of expertise to give you thorough research.
On top of their professional services, they are also very easy to use and straightforward without having to commit to a long-term subscription.
The biggest differentiator of Smartmove is that you can’t make a search by people’s names or addresses.
Instead, you need to send a request for screening to the applicant, which is generally the renter.
You do this by getting the tenant’s email address and verifying their email to avoid any errors in identifying the identity. It helps Smartmove to give you the most accurate results possible. 2
Comparison & Winner Based On:
Rentprep offers background checks with many detailed reports, including credit scores, bankruptcies, eviction history, and many others.
You can also do income verification to see the applicant’s net income. They also have enterprise level where enterprise clients with over 50 units can use.
Smartmove mostly offers similar features as Rentprep in their background check reports. However, the biggest differentiator feature of Smartmove is identity verification before you make a search.
The landlord has to verify the identity of the tenant to start the screening to ensure that Smartmove can get you the most accurate results.
Landlords can also get to choose who will pay for the four different types of reports you get after the screening is done.
Winner – Smartmove. On top of the comprehensive reports they present, they also offer options that Rentprep is missing, such as identity verification and the option to choose who will pay for the service.
Rentprep’s website is modern, robust, and right down to the bat. You can get anything you want within just a few clicks, whether you need screening or to find an answer to your question.
Like Rentprep, Smartmove offers an extremely modern and easy-to-use website.
You can sign up, log in, make your screening, or find an answer to your question on their detailed FAQ page within just minutes.
Winner – Draw. Both services have high usability making their website extremely easy to use. You can easily find what you are looking for with just a few clicks and nothing more.
Sign Up Process
Signing up to Rentprep is as easy as it gets. When you enter the website, you must click on “get started,” which is on the top right of the page, and then you will be redirected to the signup page. There, you enter your information, confirm your email, and then it will be finalized.
Same as Rentprep, Smartmove also offers an extremely easy way to sign up. When you enter Smartmove’s website, you will see a “signup” button in the top right corner.
After clicking on that, you have to enter your email and whether you are a landlord or a tenant and sign up.
Winner – Draw. Both offer almost the exact same ease of use with their signup process. On top of that, the process is also extremely similar, without any difference.
Rentprep doesn’t have any subscription model, fee-based user system, or anything similar. You only order one report and pay that with your account.
That’s why there is no official opt-out process, as there are no ongoing fees or anything.
Like Rentprep, Smartmove also doesn’t have any subscription model or account fees. This means that you don’t have to opt out of the system as you only pay for reports you want to get. You can opt out of their newsletters and emails through their website or by calling them.
Winner – Draw. Both services do not need you to opt out from their user system because there is no subscription or other fees. You only pay for each report and nothing else.
Ease Of Use
When you enter Rentprep’s website, you see a bunch of information on the first page about them, how to use the service and their prices. You can easily register and get started from the same place.
However, it needs some wandering around on the website to find what you’re looking for. Otherwise, it’s definitely easy to use, and you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for.
Smartmove’s website is not the most smooth website you will experience as it has some complicated design.
However, you just need to spend some time to get used to it, and afterward, it becomes way easier.
You can easily sign up, find answers to your questions, and move around the website. They don’t have a mobile app which is a huge missing mark, but their website is mobile-friendly.
Winner – Rentprep. Both don’t have the smoothest design, but Rentprep is one step easier to use overall and requires fewer clicks around the website to get started.
Rentprep states that they are an accurate service via using detailed screening methods. Some texts on their website also state that real humans do the checks, not the robots, to ensure the most accurate results.
Some reviews by real users also say that the reports they received were mostly accurate.
SmartMove is owned by TransUnion, one of the biggest credit bureaus in the US. They have one of the most extensive consumer information and eviction history collection.
That’s why all the reports you get will have the most accurate results possible. On top of that, you can’t do a background check on the wrong person with Smartmove. Because the tenant must verify their identity before you go on with the check.
Winner – Smartmove. Both services offer extremely highly accurate results with different methods. One uses real humans, and the other uses one of the most extensive databases to search through. However, Smartmove’s system is more thorough as they use a very big database, and also they need to confirm the tenant’s identity before moving forward.
|TransUnion Full Credit Report||$40 per screening|
|RentPrep Background Check||$21 per screening|
Rentprep offers two levels of pricing, one at $40/screening and the other at $21/screening.
|Premium||$41.99 a month|
|Plus||$39.99 a month|
|Basic||$24.99 a month|
Smartmove offers three levels of pricing per screening at $41.99 (Premium), $39.99 (Plus), and $24.99 (Basic).
Winner – Rentprep. Even though Smartmove offers three levels, Rentprep has both the cheapest and the most expensive options, leaving the choice to the user.
Rentprep has a thorough FAQ page to read through the most common problems. In addition, you can also send them a message through their website, and they reply to you back within 24 hours.
If you want, you can also give them a call on weekdays between 9 AM-5PM or on Sundays between 10 AM-3PM. You have the option to send them an email, too, or just visit their office in New York.
Smartmove’s FAQ and blog posts are extremely thorough, but if you can’t find your answer there, there are other options.
You can call them on workdays between 7AM and 6PM and on weekends from 9PM to 5PM or send them a message on Facebook or Twitter.
If you are a paying user, you also have the option to send an email where you get a response within 24 hours.
Winner – Draw. They both don’t offer live chat or 7/24 help. Both have other options. Most reviews state that if you send them a mail or a message, you can get a response within 24 hours, but you can also get an instant response if you call them during their work hours.
Both Rentprep and Smartmove are legitimate services that have been providing their service to their members for years.
However, they are not for the same type of landlords because one offers an extremely extensive service with an extra layer of accuracy protection while the other is doing most of the work manually.
Smartmove is the parent company of one of the biggest credit bureaus in the US and can provide to every landlord of every size.
While Rentprep doesn’t rely on a database, it uses the community’s power to provide results.
Are Rentprep and Smartmove the only two tenant screening services?
No, there are many other tenant screening services out there for landlords to use.
Rentprep and Smartmove are just the two most popular ones with a high amount of security and success.
Can Rentprep and Smartmove be 100% accurate in their results?
Even though both use credible services to provide their results, and they do give you results close to 100% accuracy, they can’t be 100% true all the time. There is sometimes misinformation or just outdated ones.
Is there any risk in using either of these services?
These services use public information or information available to credible credit bureaus.
This means that they are not doing anything illegal or unethical, so they are safe and have no risks.
Shefali Jain is a Content Writer & Editor at USWorkforce.org
After completing her graduation in hospitality, Shefali decided to follow her passion and started writing. Shefali has been writing for two years now and contributes to our website as a skilled editor and content writer with strong research skills. Writing product and service reviews, biographies, and book reviews are some of her key areas, among many others in which she specializes. In her time at the organization, she has written and edited content on a range of topics, including employment law, human resources, and business management.
The US Workforce has a policy of producing high-quality content that follows industry standards by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data, alongside original reporting from reputable publishers. We also follow an editorial style where appropriate information about the topic can be found with due credit given when applicable.