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Know Your Rights: Before a Tenant Background Check

Article written by Librarily

If you’re about to apply for an apartment, you should be aware of how things may have changed since the last time you decided to search for a different place to live. One popular practice that has become a standard is for landlords to background check for tenants to make sure that they residents they are inviting into their space will help foster a safe community.

What Landlords are Going to See

When you agree to a tenant screening background check, you must make sure you carefully read the extent of what you’re agreeing to. That contract should outline the kind of background check you’re agreeing to subject yourself to, and what the landlord will be looking for.

In some cases, the landlord may be purchasing a package deal to get a cheaper price. Credit checks are frequently paired with criminal background checks, which is one reason why this practice has grown in popularity.

The standard check will include your criminal background, if any offenses exist, a credit check and some additional information. Along with the credit check, the landlord will be able to confirm past employers, and see any evictions that may exist on your record. None of these things automatically disqualify you, but you can think of these things as hazards that represent risk. You want to reduce those as much as you can by paying your bills on time, and making sure to avoid living a life of crime.

If You’re Rejected

You’ll receive a copy of the landlord credit check, along with any other information the landlord was able to find about you. In some states, a landlord must clearly state why your application was rejected. In others, you’re simply allowed to view the report the landlord saw.

You can spot the trouble zones by looking for delinquencies, evictions, bankruptcies, and long stretches of unemployment. You always have the opportunity to fix these trouble spots, with the exception of criminal convictions. Under those circumstances, you may need some roommate to handle your lease.

If you have to dispute a finding on any given report, there are several mechanisms to do so. The report you received from the landlord should have information on who to contact, or you can review the Federal Trade Commission website to find more information on how to proceed. Disputes can take time to process, but it’s important to file one as soon as you notice an error.
Tenant Screening Services, LLC has offered background checks for landlords for more than 30 years. For more information about background checks, visit Tenant Screening Services, LLC online.