A background check can determine if you can get credit, a job, or even a place to live. That’s why the law requires businesses that provide these reports have reasonable procedures to ensure the information they collect and share about you is accurate.
In a recent lawsuit, the FTC says a company named RealPage did not meet this requirement. RealPage sells tenant screening reports to landlords and property managers. The FTC says the company didn’t ensure criminal history information about prospective tenants was correct, and that landlords may have denied people housing because of this failure.
If you’re about to start or renew your lease:
If a landlord tells you not to apply because you have a criminal record, that could be discrimination. If that happens, or if you think a landlord discriminated against you for another reason — such as your race or gender — contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development and report it to the FTC.
For more information on background checks, read Renting an apartment? Be prepared for a background check. And learn more here and here about the FTC’s recent cases protecting people just trying to find a place to live.