You’re about to rent an apartment. You’ve saved for your security deposit and lined up a moving truck. But have you checked your credit report? Landlords may, so you should too. If a landlord does a background check, here are some things to know about your rights.
Landlords can check your credit, criminal history, and even your rental history. They may ask your permission but they’re not required to. So, if you know you’ll be looking for a new place to live – or if you’re about to renew your lease – then here are a few things you can do:
- Go to annualcreditreport.com to check your credit. That way, you can fix any errors before a landlord sees them.
- Give the landlord your correct full name—first, middle, and last—and date of birth. This helps make sure the landlord gets information on the right person.
- If you have a criminal history or previous housing court actions, gather any paperwork showing how the action was resolved in case you need to fix errors.
Some landlords might say not to apply if you have a criminal record. That could be discrimination. If that happens to you or if you think that a landlord illegally discriminated against you for another reason, such as your race or gender, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
What if a landlord refuses to rent to you or charges you more because of something in a background check? Then you have rights:
- The landlord must give you notice of the action – orally, in writing or electronically.
- The notice must give you contact information for the company that supplied the report.
- The notice must tell you about your rights to correct inaccurate information and to get a free copy of the report if you ask for it within 60 days of the landlord’s decision.
You should obtain your free report, fix any errors, and have the company that supplied the report give the corrected report to the landlord. Tell the landlord about the mistake, too. For more information on background reports and your rights, check out the Summary of Rights.
If you think a landlord or property manager violated your rights – or anyone else’s – when using a background check, report it to the FTC. And if you’re a landlord who wants to do the right thing, check out Using Consumer Reports: What Landlords Need to Know.
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In reply to As the above shows, very by DaveK
In reply to As the above shows, very by DaveK
As per how money dictates a renter has no rights when looking for a home, all the rights goes where the big profits are flowing which is the land owners. In Utah a landlord can evict a tenant in 3 days for no reason, look it up.
In reply to I was approved for a lease by renter with question
In reply to Will a restraining order show by Me2
This FTC article has information about background checks, and the kind of questions an employer can ask you during the hiring process. You can read the article, and follow the links in the article to get more information related to employment.
For information about renting, you could look at state law about landlords and tenants, or contact your local housing agency to ask about tenants' rights.
In reply to You may want to file a by ctressler
in MN will traffic ticket with possession of weed stop me from renting?
In reply to I am a small company who by MommaG
In reply to I currently have an by Vickie
You might want to ask your city, county or state housing agency what a landlord can ask about when you apply for a lease, and what your rights are.
Some employers can check your background before they decide to hire you or keep you on a job. When they do that, you have certain rights under federal law. This FTC article explains your rights related to background check.
In reply to Hi I’ve been living in my by Jessica 1014
This article tells what landlords must know when they use consumer reports.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires landlords to take certain steps when they use consumer reports to make decisions about a tenant. A landlord could run a background check when it is looking at new applicants, or deciding whether to renew a current tenant’s lease.
If the landlord takes an adverse action against the tenant that is based partly or completely on information in the consumer report, the landlord must give the tenant a spoken, written or electronic notice about that.
In reply to I rented an apartment in Wny by Distressed in WNY
In reply to By law does an apartment by JeannieS
Landlords have to comply with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act when they use a consumer report to make decisions about a tenant. A consumer report could include a report from a background check company about your criminal history.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires a landlord to take certain steps before it can get a consumer report, and if it takes an adverse action against you because of what is in your consumer report. If a landlord denies your application because of what is in your consumer report, it has to give you a spoken, written or electronic notice about that. You have a right to see the the information being reported about you and to correct information that isn't correct.