Chapter 4

The Criminal History Check

You are reading our guide

The Tenant Screening Process

It is not against fair housing laws to decline renting to a convicted felon. In fact, in some cases, if you rent to a violent criminal or sex offender and they commit a crime against your neighbors, you could be considered liable. This is true whether you did a criminal background check or not. If you could have reasonably found out that your prospective tenant had a violent history, then you could be at risk. We recommend always performing a nationwide criminal history search on each applicant.

Although each state has its own database  for criminal records, there are services such as ours, that collect the data across all states to provide a national view. With each report, you’ll be able to see the type of crime that was committed, the state it occurred in and the sentencing. You’ll be able to determine if there’s a pattern or recurring problem. If there have been recent convictions or there looks to be a continued pattern of crime and violence, you’re well within your rights to decline the application.

 JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Get new landlord content direct to your inbox monthly.