What does a Tenant Background Check Show?

What does a Tenant Background Check Show?

Landlords and property management companies often conduct background checks on potential tenants to verify their identity and check for any potential issues, such as a history of evictions. The scope of these checks can vary, but typically they include information such as past rental history. Wondering exactly what does a tenant background check show? Read on for the details.

Identity Verification

Most tenant background checks will include a preliminary stage where the applicant will need to verify their identity. This may include providing personal information such as their birth date and social security number, or uploading copies of their government issued ID cards.

Criminal Record Check

A check of criminal records at the county or state level may be included in a tenant background check. A criminal record alone does not necessarily disqualify an applicant from renting an apartment – the decision is at the discretion of the landlord. If a landlord denies an application due to the results of a background check, they are required to provide written explanation and a copy of the report to the applicant.

Sex Offender Registry Check

Laws regarding discrimination against convicted sex offenders vary by state. In some states, such as California, landlords are prohibited from denying housing based on this information. In other states, it may be permitted. It is important to check the laws in your state. In states where it is allowed, landlords may use a tool to search for sex offender offenses by name or location during the tenant screening process.

Credit Report

A credit report is commonly used by landlords as a way to evaluate a potential tenant’s financial responsibility. While the landlord may not see the tenant’s credit score, they will have access to information such as outstanding loans, accounts in collections, bankruptcies, and any past legal actions related to non-payment of rent.

Eviction History

Eviction reports are a compilation of court records from various sources, including public court records and data reported directly to TransUnion. These reports include information on legal actions related to eviction such as:

  • Tenant judgments for possession and money
  • Unlawful detainers
  • Tenant judgments for rent
  • Failure to pay rent
  • Writs and warrants of eviction

Income Verification

ScreenRenter’s Income Insights is a proprietary model from TransUnion that verifies the applicant’s self-reported income using data from the credit report and historical income data collected by independent third parties. The model analyzes credit behavior such as balance payments, spending, and types of balances, in relation to the applicant’s self-reported income to determine if additional income verification is recommended. The tool can be used to analyze the income of anyone with a credit report, and considers non-work related sources of income such as child support and alimony.

A tenant background check is a standard process used by landlords and property management companies to verify the identity and assess the potential risks of a tenant.

What does a Tenant Background Check Show?

A typical tenant background check includes a credit report which shows the tenant’s personal identifying information, credit history, public records, credit score and inquiries. Additionally, landlords may conduct a criminal background check which includes a check of criminal records at the county or state level, a check of eviction history and a check of sex offender registry. Such background check can reveal a tenant’s outstanding loans, accounts in collections, bankruptcies, any past legal actions related to non-payment of rent, eviction records and any criminal records. It is important to note that laws regarding discrimination against certain types of criminal records vary by state.

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