How to Pass a Background Check for an Apartment


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Background checks are an anxiety-inducing, but necessary, part of life. When applying for an apartment, you will often be asked to provide your background check report. This is so landlords or rental agencies can check for items such as credit problems, rental history, and criminal background.

It's important to pass your background check if you want to secure an apartment, but many individuals may be overwhelmed by this. Our article helps you understand what rental agencies or landlords may be looking for when they check your background report before approving you for an apartment.


Why Do Landlords Conduct Background Checks?

Background checks are an essential step in the rental process, and landlords or rental agencies request background checks as a way to ensure potential tenants are a good fit for the property.

By evaluating a person's rental history, checking for evictions, and confirming credit history, landlords can make sure that any person living in their apartment complex won't cause problems. Apartment rental agencies conduct background checks to protect themselves, their properties, and the other individuals living in the apartment complex.


Types of Background Checks You May Need to Pass

There are a few different types of background checks that you may need to pass before you are granted an apartment. In most cases, a generalized background check will provide all of this information, but rental agencies or landlords may ask for specific, more in-depth background checks.


Criminal Background Checks

One of the most important types of background checks for individuals wishing to rent is the criminal background check. These reports show any felonies, violent crimes, and sex offenses, many of which may raise red flags when it comes to being approved for an apartment.

However, some states are making efforts to increase opportunities for those with criminal records and decrease discrimination. It's important to research state laws to see which parts of your criminal record are disclosed to a rental agency or landlord.


Credit Background Checks

Credit background checks are essential for renting apartments. Having a good credit record and overall financial standing help show rental agencies that you are responsible with money, loans, and credit cards. This shows that you are responsible enough to rent an apartment without issue.


Eviction and Rental Records

If you are applying for an apartment, you should expect that your eviction and rental records will be reviewed as a part of your background check report.

Landlords and rental agencies care about their property and interests. So, an individual with lots of evictions and rental issues might have a harder time obtaining an apartment than others without this record.


Income and Finance Checks

Almost every individual applying for an apartment will need to provide proof of income or finances to rent the apartment, and this income will be verified as part of the background check. Rental agencies do this to ensure that once you move into the apartment, you can afford rent each month. This is done to prevent future rental payment issues and the need for future evictions.


How to Pass Your Apartment Background Check

Passing your apartment background check is easy once you understand which aspects of this personal report a landlord or rental agency might be looking for. Our tips below help you ensure you pass a background check for an apartment.


Stay Informed of Your Background Check Report

Ensuring that you understand what is on your background check report is an essential step, as it helps you know what a landlord might see. You can review your own report to ensure that there are no issues with it ahead of time, and if there are issues, you can make a note on how to provide context.

Online search tools, like this one from Information, will help you review any publicly available information about you that a landlord or rental agency might see on your official background check report.


Manage Your Background Information

After you have reviewed your background information, you should take steps to ensure that your report is correct and up to date.

Correct issues such as the report not listing the correct information about you, criminal convictions that don't belong to you, or outdated financial and credit histories. Doing this allows you to ensure everything is correct on your report and improves your chances of approval for an apartment.


Speak With Your Landlord

If you know your background check will show items that might be red flags, take steps to be upfront with the person running the background check report. Provide context for the item, discuss your situation, and figure out if certain items on your background check report will impact your apartment application.

Most of the time, there are workarounds or alternatives that will help you be approved for an apartment regardless of a few unfortunate items on your background check report.


Obtaining Your Desired Apartment

Applying for an apartment might be nerve-wracking, and you no doubt want to make sure you pass the background check report so you can be approved.

Review our tips for making sure you pass your background check for an apartment. Check that your report is completely up to date and that you are upfront with any issue a landlord or rental agency might notice. Following these steps helps increase your chances of apartment approval for your desired home.