Everything You Need to Know About Tenant Background Checks
Tenancy screening, like employment background checks are becoming standard practice for landlords. For the layperson, a background check can seem invasive, but in actuality it’s not that big of a deal.
There are some details that you’ll have to disclose to your landlord anyway, which is why a tenancy screening is just for reassurance. Let’s look at what a tenancy background check entails.
Why Landlords Need Background Checks
Put yourself in the landlord’s shoes. As a person who’s renting out a piece of their property, especially as a community landlord, they need to ensure that they aren’t making a bad choice. However, that also needs to be balanced with your right to privacy and equality as an American citizen.
Landlords need background checks to learn the facts about you as a tenant and a law-abiding citizen — which can be done without violating any laws.
What Goes into Tenancy Checks?
A tenancy check is a little different from an employment background check. A tenancy check includes the usual criminal history check using your public record information, as well as a credit check to ensure that you’re in good financial position. This helps landlord establish that you will make payments regularly as well as be a good tenant.
Renters may also verify your employment and check your rental history or record with evictions using references from past landlords. After receiving all of this information, your landlord will make their final decision.
What Are Your Rights Here?
It can be hard to think of all this information ending up in a landlord’s hands, but at the end of the day, if you’re up front about the facts you shouldn’t be dealing with an unforeseen unpleasant surprise.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires all reporting agencies including background check agencies to ensure information is accurate. Therefore, you have the right to ask for an inaccurate background check report to be changed.
Landlords are also required to tell you if adverse action was taken because of your background check, as well as give you the details of the agency and a summary of your right to dispute.
What Action You Can Take
You can correspond with the landlord to let them know that the information is inaccurate and that you will be disputing it. It’s best to get a background check error lawyer help you with communicating this to the landlord in question.
A background check mistakes service offered by a lawyer like me can help file disputes, follow up on them and ensure that the final record reflects the facts. In some cases where the correction gets delayed, you may even be able to file an incorrect background check lawsuit for damages.
Reach out to me and I can assess the details of your case to help you figure out how to deal with a tenancy screening gone wrong. I can also provide legal assistance for debt harassment, credit report inaccuracies and bankruptcy errors in St. Louis and Chicago.
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.