Can property managers use background checks?
Property managers can use background checks within certain parameters. Some background checks use consumer reports, which fall under the guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You are only allowed to obtain a consumer report under the FCRA if you have a “permissible purpose.” Landlords are permitted to obtain such reports on tenants renewing a lease or on new rental applicants. The report requestor is also required to certify to the company conducting the background check that any results will only be used in housing decisions. Results cannot be used or shared in any other manner. It’s important to review the FCRA guidelines before making any decisions about housing applications. For instance, it may not be legal to deny applicants solely on the basis of certain criminal records. These regulations are subject to change and vary by jurisdiction, so be sure to speak with your background investigation provider for additional information.