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Agencies want to hear from you about bad experiences with tenant background checks

For Rent old-door-gacb08fb58_640Most landlords and property managers use tenant background checks to decide whether to rent to someone.

Two federal agencies want to hear about your experiences with background checks used to screen tenants.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission have received thousands of complaints about the background checks including people being rejected for housing because someone else’s negative information, such as a criminal record or eviction, incorrectly appeared in their report.

Other complaints have reported it’s difficult to have tenant screening companies fix errors. And, people complain they can’t find out what information is used to determine the “risk scores” used to deny them rental housing.

The agencies want to hear from renters, landlords, property managers, advocacy organizations, tenant screening companies, and researchers about tenant background checks, including:

  • Information for landlords and renters on what goes into background checks and where that information comes from, including for risk scores.
  • Accuracy of information in background checks, especially criminal and eviction records.
  • Whether and how renters know if they’ve been denied housing or charged more in rent because of a background check

You can share your experiences by submitting a public comment with the FTC on .

The FTC and CFPB agencies are working with other federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Department of Agriculture, to address problematic practices by tenant screening companies.

If you think your rights have been violated by a tenant screening company, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB online.


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