Background check can be performed in-house by your own staff or it can be outsourced to a tenant screening company. Most landlords and property managers do both: outsourcing the credit report to a tenant screening company and doing the verification process themselves.
When performing the Personal Background Check it is important to keep good notes and to treat every applicant the same. If you do a different type of background check on different applicants, you could find yourselves in trouble with Fair Housing law. Fair Housing is stern that when performing a background check that every applicant is treated using the same evaluation methods.
That said, it's critical to do your due diligence when reviewing a potential applicant who wants to rent your property. These days, identity theft is particularly a huge problem. People are stealing other people's social security numbers every day and using them to commit identity fraud. And it's not just about ordering merchandise on stolen credit cards, these people also use this information on rental applications so they can move in, without any intention of paying rent. Since you don't know who they really are, they figure they can just park themselves in your rental property and there's nothing you can do about it, except go through a long, expensive eviction process.
Don't let yourself be a victim of these people. Always do an extensive background check to protect yourself. It's cheap insurance to make sure this never happens to you.