SmartMove Review – A Tenant Screening Service

A tenant screening service is just what you need if you want to rent out your space to trustworthy candidates.

Imagine if a dependable source carried out this process; you would save a lot of time and hassle. And you will also feel confident about your safety concerns.

SmartMove is one such platform that can seize the day for you! And in this article, we will tell you exactly why.


GuideSmartMove Review
Established 1968
Based in Chicago, Illinois
Parent CompanyTransUnion
Service provided Tenant screening service

What Is SmartMove?

What Is SmartMove?
What Is SmartMove?

SmartMove is a Tenant screening service that is a part of one of the three major credit bureaus, ‘TransUnion.’

If you are a landlord looking for a tenant, you must need to know about their background or screening as well. In this case, SmartMove comes in handy.

TransUnion has credit records available with them as it is; they thought, why not use it to create a tenant screening service.

So they came up with SmartMove and relying on their data is naturally a good choice.

Now that you have a little idea as to what they do, let’s dig a little deeper now to know about its features, pros and cons, and any other thing that you should know of.


Why Choose SmartMove?

Why Choose SmartMove?
Why Choose SmartMove?

SmartMove is the perfect choice for you if you decide to rent your space based on only their credit report.

The report generated by SmartMove is accurate and fast. You can sign up for it free of cost, and it also gives you the option to pay per report.

Some other reasons for you to choose SmartMove include:

  • Best for tenants who wants to approve sensitive information about themselves.
  • If you are a landlord managing a small number of properties.
  • Small property management companies or Real estate agents.

These might be a few factors for you to consider SmartMove.

Having said that, the report generated requires the tenant’s cooperation and approval.

This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the person reading.

We are here to give you an honest overview and not sell the service. Hence, this is one crucial factor that you should consider.


Read: RentPrep Review – Why Choose?

Also Read: Accio Data Review

What Should The Tenants Know?

While using such services, you are required to submit sensitive information like your credit score or your social security number.

SmartMove gives you the authority to approve or disapprove the request of accessing this information.

And not only this, you can sign-up for free, and you would just need to pay for the report pulled out on you.

You can pay the amount securely on the app itself, which makes things easier for you.

Features That Only SmartMove Rental Screening Offers

Features Of SmartMove


This feature is specially designed by TransUnion for tenant screening. ResidentScore is built on more than half a million actual resident records analyses.

It provides 15% better eviction prediction and 19% more skips than other scores.

Identity Verification

This feature uses tenants’ social security numbers to verify their identity. And the best part is, that this info is never revealed to any third party or landlords.

Leasing Recommendation

SmartMove recommends you whether you should lease to a particular tenant or not. This recommendation is based on the tenant’s financial and credit information algorithm.

Income Insights

SmartMove offers a custom income insight report that tells the landlord which applicants need additional income verification.

Using this feature, you can save time and effort during screening and can help in avoiding the risk of renter payment issues.

Choice of Who Pays

SmartMove offers flexibility to landlords to choose whether they want to pay for the tenant screening or not.

And the best part is SmartMove is free to sign-up and there is not any fee to request tenant screening.

SmartMove Other Features

Time to Get ResultsImmediate
Data SourceTransunion
Who PaysOptions for either landlord or tenant
Type of ApplicationOnline through their portal
Hard InquiryNo
Nationwide Criminal & Eviction CheckYes
Felonies & MisdemeanorsYes
SSN Fraud CheckYes
Terrorist CheckNo
Sex Offender CheckYes
Income VerificationYes


Pros And Cons Of SmartMove

  • No monthly fees
  • Tenants can pay for the report
  • Reputable company
  • Pay for individual report
  • Full Credit Report with Score
  • Tenant Involvement
  • Identity authentication process
  • A Credit report does not mean it is a background check
  • Instant reports might not be 100% accurate

Apart from these, it must be noted that SmartMove does not provide criminal background searches in Colorado, Massachusetts, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Delaware.

How Does It Work?

Although SmartMove processes information very quickly, the final report that you will get might take some time due to the tenant’s involvement.

If you are curious to know how does the whole process of tenant screening works, then have a look at the below-mentioned steps:

  • The interested candidate will send you their email address.
  • Once you have it, you are required to send a renter screening link through your SmartMove account.
  • Now the tenant will receive the link, and they can choose to accept or decline the background screening check.
  • Once the tenant accepts the invitation, a report pertaining to the tenant’s criminal record and other essential things will be sent to the landlord. This report may include information like past records, eviction notices, credit scores, etc.
  • Once the landlord is satisfied with their applicants, report they can approve or reject them as per their preference.

In these simple steps, you can carry out the whole tenant screening process. And note that you cannot get the report without the approval of your tenant.

What Can You Find On SmartMove?

Types Of Checks on SmartMove
What Can You Find On SmartMove?

On SmartMove, you can find:

  • Credit Report
  • ResidentScore
  • Eviction Report
  • Criminal Report
  • Custom Tenant Recommendation
  • Income Insights Report

Why TransUnion SmartMove Tenant Credit Check is Great For Tenants Too?

SmartMove is loved by both landlords and tenants. SmartMove allows applicants to share their rental history while also protecting their sensitive information.

Renters can simply submit needed documents to Transunion directly without sharing their sensitive information, such as SSN ID, to landlords.

So ultimately, SmartMove offers a comfortable platform for tenants, which is the reason why tenants love it too.

Pricing And Plans Of SmartMove

SmartMove offers three plans. These are, SmartCheck Premium, SmartCheck Plus, SmartCheck Basic.

SmartCheck Premium ($41.99
per screening)
SmartCheck Plus ($39.99
per screening)
SmartCheck Basic ($24.99
per screening)
Credit-Based ResidentScoreCredit-Based ResidentScoreCredit-Based ResidentScore
Full Credit ReportFull Credit ReportNational Criminal
Background Report
National Criminal
Background Report
National Criminal
Background Report
National Eviction Related ReportNational Eviction Related Report*
Income Insights

Also, the landlord can choose to direct the bill of the above-listed plans to the tenant instead of paying it themselves.

Also Read: 10 Best Advanced Background Check

SmartMove Income Insights 

Income Insights is a new product of SmartMove that was launched in 2018. This product offers the following features:

  • An estimate if the applicant’s credit behavior aligns with the reported income by him/her.
  • A suggestion is if you should request any additional proof of income from the candidate or not.
  • Estimated variance between the candidate’s income insights estimates and his self-reported income.

This feature will cost you an additional $2, and it might be helpful to you.

However, you should note that these are just estimates and are based on the candidate’s credit history largely.

How To Sign-Up?

You can sign up on SmartMove by following two simple steps.

1. Go to the SmartMove and click on the “Sign-up” option on the top right corner of the screen.

How To Sign-Up on SmartMove

2. Now enter your email, accept the agreement after reading it, and click on start screening.

3. After this, you will be asked to provide your personal and payment details in three steps. Once you complete the three steps, your account will be created.
sign up process

How to Unsubscribe or Cancel SmartMove?

If you are hoping to cancel or unsubscribe from your SmartMove account, then you can do so by contacting their customer service.

For this, you can give them a call at 1-866-775-0961. 

Customer Service

SmartMove has active customer service available. If you have a complicated query, you can fill a support request.

You will need to provide your contact information and describe your issue in the comment section. A customer associate will get in touch with you ASAP.

Also, if you have a general query, you are suggested to go through the FAQ section available on their website.

Does SmartMove Notify the Person?

In order to run a tenant background check on SmartMove, you need the tenant’s permission.

The way TransUnion SmartMove screening process works is that first, you have to provide the tenant’s email address.

Then, the tenant is sent a screening request, which he/she needs to accept in order for the screening to start. If the applicant denies this request, then their screening process gets canceled, and their information goes nowhere.

Is SmartMove Anonymous?

No, SmartMove is not anonymous. As mentioned above, you, the landlord, cannot use SmartMove to screen candidates without the permission of your potential tenant.

And this is not just the case with SmartMove. Any tenant background check that you need to perform requires the consent of the candidate.

These rules are formed by the FCRA, and voilating this could get you in serious trouble.

Is SmartMove Trustworthy & Reliable?

SmartMove is a TransUnion company that is among one of the three biggest reporting agencies, and the reports it offers are completely trustworthy and reliable.

Additionally, when you do a background check on SmartMove, it results in a soft pull inquiry on the candidate and does not damage their credit score.

See What Customers Are Saying About SmartMove

Customer Ratings And Reviews
SmartMove Customer Rating And Review
Customer Rating And Review

SmartMove has a rating of 4.3 stars given by a total of 249 people on Google, which is quite good.

You can too check online reviews to know how good a company is from the perspective of a real-time user.

USW SmartMove Ratings

Customer Service3.5/5
Ease of use4.3/5
Features & Services4/5

Also Read RentPrep Review

SmartMove vs. MyRental Comparison:

Starting price$25.00 /applicant.$24.99 /applicant.
Eviction history
National criminal background check
Credit report
Previous address historyx
Income insightsx
National sex offender check
Terrorist alertx

SmartMove vs. RentPrep Comparison:

Starting price$25.00 /applicant.$21.00 /applicant.
Eviction history
Credit report
National criminal background check
Previous address historyx
Income insights
Terrorist alertx
Judgments and liensx

Our Experience

We used SmartMove to find a suitable tenant for one of our properties. Using SmartMove was actually quite easy.

We got a number of tenant requests, got their background checks done, and sent them the background check payment request using SmartMove, so we didn’t even need to pay for some tenants.

Also, the reports we got were quite useful for making a sensible renting decision.

What Differentiates It?

We love how SmartMove offers a full credit report in less time without compromising on accuracy.

Also, the feature where we can request the tenant to pay is quite useful. And lastly, we love that it does not charge any monthly fees.

We just need to pay for the background check reports, which we can do individually too.

How We Review Background Check Companies?

We analyze a few important factors to review these companies. These factors are:

  • Information offered.
  • Price and plans offered.
  • Customer reviews and ratings.
  • Turn-around time of the reports.
  • Features and services.
  • Reliability of information.
  • Safety and security of your data.
  • Accreditation.

SmartMove Alternatives

Here are some alternatives of SmartMove that are worth considering:


RentPrep is a great alternative to SmartMove. You can create a free account on the platform and place an order each time you want to run a tenant background check.

Just like on SmartMove, you do not have to purchase a plan for using RentPrep. You simply pay for each individual report you want.

The best part about using RentPrep is that it offers coupons to first-time users and even has FCRA-certified screeners to ensure your reports are accurate.


Rentberry is a platform that you can use not only to screen tenants but also to find properties online without leaving your house. The site features thousands of properties with descriptions, images, prices, etc.

The best part is that you can use advanced filters to narrow down options and carry out the renting, screening, and maintenance process online.

Final Verdict

Our final verdict is that when it comes to instant reports and credit reports, SmartMove can be a perfect choice.

However, the tenant’s involvement and accuracy of quick reports may be something you might want to consider.

We hope you enjoyed reading the article and got the comprehensive information you needed.


Is SmartMove safe?

Yes, it is completely safe. It gives you the option to screen your tenant’s information, and SmartMove makes sure it is protected.

How does SmartMove verify the tenant's income?

SmartMove analyzes the tenant’s self-reported income by using data from the credit report, including an analysis of the amount of money they spend, types of balances they carry, etc.

How much SmartMove charges a month?

SmartMove charges $25 per check for basic screening.

Does SmartMove provide the option where I can ask the tenant to pay for his/her report?

Yes, you can put a payment request to the tenant using SmartMove.

Is SmartMove legit?

Yes, SmartMove is legit and is used by thousands of people.

Does SmartMove Cost money?

Yes, SmartMove costs money, and their plans start at $25.00 /applicant.

Does SmartMove have a Free Trial?

No, SmartMove does not offer free trials. However, it offers a pay-as-you-go membership, where you only pay for the tenant screening reports you need.

USW Overall Rating

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