Tenant Background Checks


Tenant background checks are meant to assure landlords that you will most likely pay rent consistently, treat their units respectfully, and won’t be a liability to the community.

Who orders these checks?

Tenant background checks can be ordered by anyone with an interest in the property, typically the landlord or a property management service.

What do these checks say about me?

As long as they consistently ask the same information of every tenant, landlords or property managers have discretion about the kind of information they wish to check. Typical areas of interest include:

·   Credit History

·   Rental History

·   Criminal Records

·   Employment & Income

·   Evictions



Tenants do have rights, so there are limits to what a prospective landlord can ask. It’s illegal to base rental decisions on questions related to:

·         Race

·         Color

·         Religion

·         Marital Status

·         Sexual Orientation

·         National origin

·         Familial status (children)

·         Age


Who provides this information?

The answer to this question varies, depending on the type of background check ordered. Some landlords do a quick check themselves, which may include the use of an online background check service or may include simply calling the references provided by you.

If you are asked for a Social Security Number and background processing fee, then the landlord is paying for some kind of search to be performed. It is illegal for landlords to profit from the background fees by charging you more than the background check costs.

Can I obtain my own background check?

There is no one consolidated database on US citizens, but you have access to the same resources as the property owner. Your credit, criminal and employment histories are often the most important to prospective landlords. Not only can you access these records from the appropriate agencies, doing so periodically is a very good idea. Mistakes do happen, and pre-checking your online history allows you to clear up errors before they can have a negative impact.

What if I find an error on my report?

If you find an error, contact the source agency and follow their dispute resolution process.





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