Top 5 Reasons Landlords Run Background Checks

The idea of someone scanning and looking into your personal history can come off as very intrusive or at the very least, a bit offputting. Perhaps it may be slightly relieving to know what kind of information landlords actually look for and why. Let's find out together!


When you own a property you want to make sure that the house will be rented out by honest tenants. Therefore, the landlord will do a security check to validate the basic information you have provided such as your name, age, address and other basic relevant information. On your application form you will need to list your previous address(es). The landlord will verify this information to see if you actually lived at the provided locations and what kind of a tenant you were during your stay.

The reason it's so important to validate the information provided is to make sure the potential tenant will not be a threat to the property, other tenants or most importantly the landlord. Taking these safety precautions in mind, the landlord will also check for a criminal history.


In general, requiring a background check is the right thing for a landlord to do. The aim is to do a check thorough enough to know as much valuable information as possible. A landlord is must more than someone who provides you with a home and in some cases is responsible for fixing/maintaining the property. In actuality, the landlord is liable for many thing, and if something goes wrong a landlord could be sued for negligence. This is why so many landlords find is imparitive to make sure to pay attention to every detail of the renting process.

Another major inconvenience for a landlord is tenant evictions. The hassle and headache that is required to evict a tenant is a pain in the butt,  but don't make any mistakes about it, a landlord will not hesitate to evict and charge a tenant that deserves it. Doing thorough investigations before the move in gives a landlord security, stability, and cuts down on headache tenant evictions.

Employment History

Knowing whether you have a stable job and understanding your job history determines whether or not you can afford to pay for the home. On your rental application you will have to list out your current and previous employers, the term of your employment and position. This information may be verified by the landlord by contacting your employer directly. In addition to your employment history, your monthly income will also need to be proven through bank statements or other proof of a steady income. Your credit score may also be taken into consideration if your landlord specifically requests it but most probably would not be included in a general background check. If the information provided regarding your employment details and bank statements leaves the landlord doubtful he may request to see your credit score to see if there are any outstanding debts.

Rental History

The ideal tenant is a stable renter with a good rental history. When your rental history is under spotlight, the landlord will look for things such as payment history, whether you've had scuffles with landlords or other tenants, etc. In other words your rental history can tell if you are a problematic individual or not. Major red flags that could have your application thrown out fast include late rental payments or being evicted. This information may be validated by a quick call from your potential landlord to previous landlords. If former landlords provide you with a good reference your application will definitely be considered and set apart from others.

Reduce Tenant Turnover

From a landlords point of view, requiring a tenant background check conveys to prospective tenants that they have a rigorous screening process. This means that only serious tenants who are expecting to meet specific criterias would apply. This improves a landlord's chance of finding a tenant who is likely to stay long term.

Overall tenant background checks are both beneficial to the landlord, other tenants and the property as well. The process reduces legal risks and improves the statistics of having an easy landlord tenant relationship.

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