The United States is one of the few countries with open public records that anyone can access. Originally, these records were made available to keep citizens safe. Centuries ago, governments and powerful rulers could simply “disappear” people they didn’t like or steal property they wanted. Such corruption, however, became much harder when arrest and property records were available for anyone to access. But do public records have a place in the modern world? What reasons might you have to do a public records search?
Check up on a piece of property
If you’re hoping to buy a property, a search of public records can tell you a lot about it. You might find out something that the seller hasn’t disclosed, either on purpose or through oversight. You can also make sure that the seller really has the right to sell the property you’re interested in.
Through your search, you’ll find out how many times the property you’re considering has been put up on the market and withdrawn, which can help you decide if the asking price is reasonable. You’ll also be able to tell if the owner has made changes or improvements without the proper authorization.
It’s also crucial to know whether the owner of a property might be involved in a civil or court case. If they are, the property in consideration might be liable in some way.
Vet a potential renter
If you are a landlord, you know how important it is that any renter you consider be reliable, financially stable, and willing to take good care of your property. Yet it’s also crucial that your property not stand open longer than necessary.
A public records search can help you vet a potential renter. You’ll be able to find out if someone applying to live in your property has any concerning criminal record. You can also learn if they’ve ever filed for bankruptcy or been involved in a civil suit relative to property or their role as a renter.
Through a records search, you could also learn whether a possible renter has ever lived under an alias, has a concerning driving record, or is on the sex offender registry.
Consider someone for employment
If you have a small business, you’re probably operating on narrow margins and can’t afford a problematic employee. Thankfully, a background check of public records can help you flag up issues before you make a hiring decision.
Here again, a criminal history can be key. If someone is on the sex offender registry or has multiple DUIs, you need to know before you hire them. You can also make sure the person applying for a job is really who they claim to be.
Perhaps even more importantly, you’ll have done your due diligence to protect your company, employees, and your customers and clients. That way, if any employee does cause an issue, you won’t be held liable.
Be safe on a date
We all want love and companionship, and the internet has made dating easier than ever. In some ways, that’s good and allows you to connect with people you may not have otherwise. But what about when you’re ready to move beyond texts and emails and meet in person? Wouldn’t you like some peace of mind knowing that the person you’re considering for a date is trustworthy?
Whether you met your potential date online, at school, or even at your favorite local liquor store, performing a public records search isn’t at all intrusive. If anything, it makes good sense. It’s a way to keep yourself safe and have peace of mind about someone you might be inviting into your home and possibly introducing to your whole family.
A background check can offer you a feeling of security, and the wonderful news is that it has never been easier to perform one. A background check can save you from a problematic employee, a bad tenant, and even a dangerous date.