Why Landlords Background Check: What Are They Looking For?
When you first encounter a prospective landlord that runs background screenings, you may or may not wonder why landlords background check at all. Of course, it should be fairly obvious that every step taken by a landlord prior to you moving in to their property is to protect that property and themselves. This can mean landlords background check to protect themselves from physical harm, from financial harm or simply from the inconvenience of other tenants complaining to them. This is the most basic reason that landlords background check.
But delving a little further into the process, what is it that landlord’s are looking for when they decide to run a background check?
- A Criminal Record
Most landlords are concerned with finding out the criminal history of their prospective tenants when they decide to run a background screening. This does not mean traffic violations or unpaid parking tickets (because honestly, how would anyone get an apartment if that were the case) but actual criminal convictions.
Most often, landlords are concerned with those criminal actions that would put them, their current tenants, or their property at risk. This may include drug dealing, violent tendencies or other predatory behavior. If you have one of these types of crimes in your background, you may have difficulty passing a landlords background check.
- Sex Offender Registry
Hand in hand with a criminal record, a landlord is often looking for whether or not a prospective tenant is registered as a sex offender. This may go beyond protecting his current tenants and into the legal issues surrounding this since in many states, registered sex offenders are required to live a certain distance from schools, playgrounds and other places that children congregate.
- Rental Specific Incidents
If you do not have a serious violent past and are not a registered sex offender, landlord background check in order to determine if you have had any legal issues specific to renting in your past. This may include but is not limited to evictions. To a landlord, a history of bad rental behavior can be a very good reason not to rent to a prospective tenant since there is no telling when that kind of behavior may resurface. It may be difficult to find a rental unit when you have been evicted or have had other troubles in your past that were specifically related to you being a renter.
- Your Credit
A credit check is separate from a background check, but landlord background check and also credit check in most instances. Again, a credit check will indicate a history of evictions, late payment or other irresponsible financial behavior.
If you have a checkered past, it is true that it will be more difficult to find an appropriate rental, particularly with a landlord who background checks. However, when you know what they are looking for, it will be a less surprising and therefore less painful process.