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If you run a company or own a rental property, a background check can ensure potential employees, partners, or tenants are who they say they are. A background check is simply a way of screening your past for potential red flags. The screening will pull from various public records and databases to provide more information about a person.

At a fundamental level, a background check can simply verify the individual’s proper name and identification. More thorough vetting may expose disqualifying incidents.

Once you have found someone that you believe is a match for your open job or apartment, the background check is an essential step. After the background check is run, you will have more information on the other person. You can then use this information to make a more considered decision about whether to offer them the job or a lease.

Screening for past incidents or red flags helps protect your valuable investments. If you own a business, weeding out an unqualified applicant can prevent a disastrous hire. A new employee can sink productivity and morale, or even create costly accidents.

Similarly, if you are a landlord, screening during the rental application process can expose a poorly matched tenant who can affect the value of your property. They can cause extensive physical damage, require going to court to secure rental payments or eviction, and drive other tenants to leave a property.

Definition of a Background Check

Anytime you verify something about an individual’s past, you are running a background check. However, formal employment or tenant screening is a process that digs into three areas:

  • Criminal history
  • Employment history
  • Rental history (for landlords)

To run a full background check on a potential hire or tenant, you will need their consent. The other individual needs to provide basic information such as their full name, Social Security number or other government-issued ID, and previous address(es). Without a Social Security number, the amount of information you find on an applicant may be limited.

Once you have received consent, a background check service will scan through public information and databases to find any hits that match the person’s identification.

What Does a Background Check Show?

Pulling a background check on a potential employee or tenant will reveal information on their past. First, it will verify the name, Social Security number, date of birth, and other personally identifying information (PII) of the applicant. Without question, if the person submitting a job or rental application is not who they claim to be, they can be quickly disqualified.

After verifying the applicant’s PII, a background check will look for any criminal history.

Different states, including California, have begun to legally limit what questions an employer or landlord can ask about criminal history. Be aware of the legality of what you can and cannot ask during the application process.

Finally, the background check will proceed to more specific areas based on the reason you need screening. If you are preparing a lease agreement, you need to verify applicants’ income and check for past evictions.

However, if you are offering an employment contract, you likely have little interest in past rental history. But you are focused on prior employers and their relationship with the potential employee.

A background check is not a credit report, though they are often submitted at the same time.

What Does a Rental Background Check Include?

The following table breaks down what you can expect to see on a residential or employment background check.

Employment Background Check Tenant Background Check
Report Summary Yes Yes
PII Yes Yes
Social Security number Yes Yes
Contact Information Yes Yes
Criminal History Yes Yes
Sex Offender Status Yes Yes
Terrorist Watchlist Status Yes Yes
Employment History Yes No
Income Verification No Yes
Past Evictions No Yes

How Long Does a Background Check Take?

Most of the time, a background check can be returned within a few minutes. However, many background check services require not only the name, PII, and consent of the individual but also additional documents.

If a more thorough review is required, you may need to wait up to a day for results. Potential matches could require a manual review to verify they are legitimate, not just someone with a similar name or history.

Ensure your potential employee or tenant submits all the necessary paperwork as quickly as possible. The sooner all the documentation is uploaded, the sooner you will have results. Then, you can decide whether to extend an offer of a formal legal document to the applicant, like an employment contract or a lease agreement.

How To Get a Background Check

Once you have the information you need and the consent of the potential tenant or employee, you need to pay for a background check service. But a background check is only one part of the renting or hiring process. You can use LawDistrict to easily create a comprehensive rental application or employment contract to make sure you have all your bases covered.


All Legal Documents

Helpful Resources:
Consumer Information - Federal Trade Commission
Background Checks - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Background Check FAQs

  • How To Fail a Background Check?

    You cannot change your past. If you have a criminal record or an eviction history, a background check will likely expose it. One tip is to make sure any red flags in your past do not come as surprises to your potential employer or landlord. You may get points for honesty plus the chance to explain the context of an adverse incident.

    Additionally, check your state’s requirement for expunging criminal convictions or records. Formally expunging your record can make it so that background check services cannot find a record to flag.

  • How Far Back Does a Background Check Go?

    The background check service you use will determine the thoroughness of the records you receive. Most records are available for seven years after an incident, while convictions are theoretically available forever for criminal history. However, as noted above, expunged records may not be found by most services.

    Eviction history also should go back for as long as records are available. However, the older the record, the less likely it has been digitized into a searchable database.

    Ready to proceed with a background check on your potential new hire or tenant? Here at LawDistrict.com, we have all the resources you need to make an informed decision. Use our background check service to provide yourself peace of mind that your new employer or tenant will work out great!

If you run a company or own a rental property, a background check can ensure potential employees, partners, or tenants are who they say they are. A background check is simply a way of screening your past for potential red flags. The screening will pull from various public records and databases to provide more information about a person.

At a fundamental level, a background check can simply verify the individual’s proper name and identification. More thorough vetting may expose disqualifying incidents.

Once you have found someone that you believe is a match for your open job or apartment, the background check is an essential step. After the background check is run, you will have more information on the other person. You can then use this information to make a more considered decision about whether to offer them the job or a lease.

Screening for past incidents or red flags helps protect your valuable investments. If you own a business, weeding out an unqualified applicant can prevent a disastrous hire. A new employee can sink productivity and morale, or even create costly accidents.

Similarly, if you are a landlord, screening during the rental application process can expose a poorly matched tenant who can affect the value of your property. They can cause extensive physical damage, require going to court to secure rental payments or eviction, and drive other tenants to leave a property.

Definition of a Background Check

Anytime you verify something about an individual’s past, you are running a background check. However, formal employment or tenant screening is a process that digs into three areas:

  • Criminal history
  • Employment history
  • Rental history (for landlords)

To run a full background check on a potential hire or tenant, you will need their consent. The other individual needs to provide basic information such as their full name, Social Security number or other government-issued ID, and previous address(es). Without a Social Security number, the amount of information you find on an applicant may be limited.

Once you have received consent, a background check service will scan through public information and databases to find any hits that match the person’s identification.

What Does a Background Check Show?

Pulling a background check on a potential employee or tenant will reveal information on their past. First, it will verify the name, Social Security number, date of birth, and other personally identifying information (PII) of the applicant. Without question, if the person submitting a job or rental application is not who they claim to be, they can be quickly disqualified.

After verifying the applicant’s PII, a background check will look for any criminal history.

Different states, including California, have begun to legally limit what questions an employer or landlord can ask about criminal history. Be aware of the legality of what you can and cannot ask during the application process.

Finally, the background check will proceed to more specific areas based on the reason you need screening. If you are preparing a lease agreement, you need to verify applicants’ income and check for past evictions.

However, if you are offering an employment contract, you likely have little interest in past rental history. But you are focused on prior employers and their relationship with the potential employee.

A background check is not a credit report, though they are often submitted at the same time.

What Does a Rental Background Check Include?

The following table breaks down what you can expect to see on a residential or employment background check.

Employment Background Check Tenant Background Check
Report Summary Yes Yes
PII Yes Yes
Social Security number Yes Yes
Contact Information Yes Yes
Criminal History Yes Yes
Sex Offender Status Yes Yes
Terrorist Watchlist Status Yes Yes
Employment History Yes No
Income Verification No Yes
Past Evictions No Yes

How Long Does a Background Check Take?

Most of the time, a background check can be returned within a few minutes. However, many background check services require not only the name, PII, and consent of the individual but also additional documents.

If a more thorough review is required, you may need to wait up to a day for results. Potential matches could require a manual review to verify they are legitimate, not just someone with a similar name or history.

Ensure your potential employee or tenant submits all the necessary paperwork as quickly as possible. The sooner all the documentation is uploaded, the sooner you will have results. Then, you can decide whether to extend an offer of a formal legal document to the applicant, like an employment contract or a lease agreement.

How To Get a Background Check

Once you have the information you need and the consent of the potential tenant or employee, you need to pay for a background check service. But a background check is only one part of the renting or hiring process. You can use LawDistrict to easily create a comprehensive rental application or employment contract to make sure you have all your bases covered.


All Legal Documents

Helpful Resources:
Consumer Information - Federal Trade Commission
Background Checks - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Background Check FAQs

  • How To Fail a Background Check?

    You cannot change your past. If you have a criminal record or an eviction history, a background check will likely expose it. One tip is to make sure any red flags in your past do not come as surprises to your potential employer or landlord. You may get points for honesty plus the chance to explain the context of an adverse incident.

    Additionally, check your state’s requirement for expunging criminal convictions or records. Formally expunging your record can make it so that background check services cannot find a record to flag.

  • How Far Back Does a Background Check Go?

    The background check service you use will determine the thoroughness of the records you receive. Most records are available for seven years after an incident, while convictions are theoretically available forever for criminal history. However, as noted above, expunged records may not be found by most services.

    Eviction history also should go back for as long as records are available. However, the older the record, the less likely it has been digitized into a searchable database.

    Ready to proceed with a background check on your potential new hire or tenant? Here at LawDistrict.com, we have all the resources you need to make an informed decision. Use our background check service to provide yourself peace of mind that your new employer or tenant will work out great!