2023Criminal Records

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is offering guidance for landlords, property managers, and other housing providers who may run background checks on prospective tenants that can include rental and eviction history, credit history, criminal records, and more in a blog titled “Tenant background check reports” on the FTC website.

The blog written by Attorney Amanda Koulousias of the FTC Division of Privacy and Identity Protection explains how tenant background checks from Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are consumer reports and that landlords “have certain responsibilities” when using them under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

“What if the information in a consumer report leads you to deny housing to the applicant or require them to pay a deposit you wouldn’t make other applicants pay? Under the FCRA, you must inform applicants in what’s called an adverse action notice. That’s true even if the report was only a minor factor in your decision,” the blog states.

“An adverse action notice tells people about their rights to see information being reported about them and to dispute inaccurate information. It’s a best practice to provide that adverse action notice in writing because it benefits both you and the applicant. Written notices give you proof of compliance with the law,” the blog states.

Adverse action notices also enable applicants to assert their rights to request a copy of the report from the CRA and to dispute any mistakes. The FCRA specifies the information to be included in an adverse action notice and details other responsibilities for using consumer reports. To learn more, visit the FTC’s resource for landlords.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service offering of ClearStar, a leading Human Resources technology company that specializes in background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screening. ClearStar offers tenant background checks that help landlords comply with the FCRA. To learn more, contact ClearStar.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2023 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – A Service Offering of ClearStar – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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