What Are Local County Screenings?

If you’re a landlord who wants to find the right candidate for your property, you can conduct a variety of background and credit checks with the software's screening tool. This feature allows you to gather information about your potential tenants so you can make informed decisions about your rental property. Among these background checks is an optional local county search, which is a specific criminal records search available at the local county level where most criminal records exist.

One major advantage of including a county search in your background check is that it typically shows crimes, such as felonies and misdemeanors, that do not always show up on a national search because they are usually tried at local jurisdictions. County searches are also more detailed than other criminal records and hold the most accurate information compared to other jurisdictions.

Depending on how in-depth the screening service is, a county search screens the applicant’s home county and often screens previous counties they have lived in. The information that shows up through a county search may include the following details:
Convictions and certain probation
Active warrants
Court cases that are currently pending
Criminal offenses
Sentences received

Please note!
Screening reports can be requested for US residents only.


County search vs. National: What’s the difference?

While National database searches pull from records across thousands of jurisdictions and allow users to search more areas at once, they can also be less detailed and give users general information for further investigation.

Local county searches are more informative as they are tied to geographic location and checked more thoroughly. Most felony and misdemeanor cases are filed in county courts, which might not submit the related information to the National database, so they have the most current and accurate records in local registries. County checks can provide more comprehensive information than a national database records search, including the candidate’s complete identifying information and the final outcome of their case.


Why is it important?

If you’d like to find a candidate who meets your rental criteria and will be more likely to take care of the rental property, a county search is the best option. When the background check is complete, both the requestor and the applicant can view the details for 30 days and save for later use.


How long will it take?

Conducting a county search usually takes 2-3 business days to ensure accuracy and properly process the information in real time. The screening processors review each file manually to ensure the information is valid and correct.

In rare cases, the county search might take longer to process. Typically, this happens when the screening provider requests access to court records. If you face such a delay on a screening report, please contact our Support Team to get more details on your particular case.


How do I add a County Search to a screening?

Our platform offers two options for county searches:
Essential County Search: One real-time county criminal search in the county the applicant currently resides in.
Premium County Search: An unlimited county search in real-time in every county the applicant has ever resided in.

You can add a county search when you first select a screening package:

This might be helpful:
What do the Background Check, Credit Check and Full Check reports look like?
Can I request a screening from an applicant after they submitted an application?


Last updated: 
May 14, 2024