How do Employers and Landlords get a background search?
- Employers and landlords follow the Fair Credit Report Act.
2. Get written permission from the candidate to run a background search.
3. Use an accredited Consumer Reporting Agency.
4. Purchase a background search.
5. Make the decision about employing or renting to the candidate.
6. If the decision is no, candidates must be informed about negative info and where it was found.
A background search or check is a review of an individuals’ (or organizations) criminal, financial, or commercial records. This process is normally completed by businesses who are hiring new staff, or by landlords looking to rent out their property to new tenants. It can also be completed by private citizens for personal reasons, like on a new roommate or babysitter. In both situations, there are laws and regulation that determine how you can get a background search on someone, and what you can do with that information.
Running a background search as an employer or landlord
The first step of performing a background search as a potential employer or landlord is to inform your candidate that you will be running the search. This is a requirement set out in The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and is especially important if you plan to use the information uncovered to inform your decision. You must give your candidate a letter which states your intention, and ask them for permission to run the background search. It is also vital to also check your local state law, as there may be other rules that restrict how far back into a person's history you can gather information, and whether you are legally allowed to make a decision based on your findings.
One you have permission, request a background search from a verified Consumer Reporting Agency (CRAs). A CRA pays for access to various databases in order to collect employment, credit, and criminal history, and will provide you with a legitimate and legal report. Using a CRA that is registered with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners is the best way to ensure they will follow all the correct procedures and adhere to legal requirements set out by the FCRA.
If you discover negative information that causes you to decline to rent to or hire a candidate, then you should tell the candidate about the negative information and where you found it. This is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.