What is a background check?
A background check is a comprehensive review of an individual's criminal, financial, and personal history. Landlords typically use this information to evaluate a tenant's rental application and determine whether they are a suitable candidate for renting their property.
What information is included in a background check?
A background check typically includes information such as:
- Criminal history
- Credit history
- Employment history
- Rental history
- Education history
- Social media profiles
Do landlords legally have to perform background checks?
There is no federal law that requires landlords to perform background checks on their potential tenants. However, some states and cities do have laws that require landlords to conduct certain types of background checks, such as criminal history checks.
Why do landlords perform background checks?
Landlords perform background checks to protect their property and their tenants. By conducting a background check, a landlord can screen for potential red flags, such as a criminal history or poor credit score. This can help them make an informed decision on whether to rent to a potential tenant.
What are some common red flags that landlords look for?
Some common red flags that landlords look for during a background check include:
- Criminal history, such as violent crimes or drug-related offenses
- Poor credit history or bankruptcy
- Previous evictions or landlord-tenant disputes
- Inconsistent employment history
- How do landlords perform background checks?
Landlords can perform background checks by using a variety of methods, such as:
- Online background check services
- Contacting previous landlords or employers
- Checking credit reports
- Reviewing public records
In summary, the majority of landlords do perform some form of background check before renting out their property. Background checks can include criminal history, credit history, employment history, and more. While there is no federal law requiring landlords to perform background checks, it is a common practice used to protect their property and tenants. By being aware of the information included in a background check and the common red flags that landlords look for, potential tenants can be better prepared for the application process.