What Does Your Landlord Know About You?

in Legal Issues on by

After you’ve found that perfect apartment to move into, the rental application you may have to submit is easy to forget about. You fill in your contact information, check a few boxes and hope for a positive phone call in the coming days. While most renters assume their landlords know something about their histories, most don’t know quite how much a landlord can learn about you from your rental application.

What can landlords search for?

All a landlord needs from you is your full name, social security number, and an address. With that information, here are some of the things he or she can learn about you:

  • Financial Information: FICO credit scores, credit check, bankruptcy history, liens, and debt collections
  • Criminal Background Check: Criminal background, sex offenses
  • Rental History: Eviction reports (court ordered evictions only)
  • Patriot Act/OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) Information (to determine whether or not you are on a terrorism-related government watch list)

Yes, it’s a lot of stuff. A list like that can make anyone without a spotless record understandably nervous. If you’re asked to provide employment or landlord references, you can bet your landlord will be asking questions about your rental payment history and whether you have a steady job. You may question whether your landlord has the right to all of that information. Most lease applications will include a “Release of Information Statement” that you must sign to complete the application. By signing it, you give permission for the landlord to perform any of the searches listed above and contact your references, former landlords, and employers. Your criminal history, on the other hand, is considered a matter of public record. Only potential employers have to obtain your permission before performing the search.

Do landlords really perform all of these searches?

Of course, landlords don’t have to perform any of these searches if they don’t want to. We called management companies and landlords across the country, posing as potential renters, and asked what they screened for. We received a wide range of responses, with some complexes performing full searches and others not bothering to search at all. The largest complexes were the ones most likely to run full searches on potential renters. The management office of a large Dallas complex rattled off a long list: full criminal background check, eviction history, credit check, liens, collections, and judgment searches. The one search they don’t perform is for a FICO credit score. Instead, they ask for employment references and evidence of income. Like many properties, they refuse to rent to anyone whose monthly gross income is less than three times the monthly rent. Other large complexes we called in Omaha, Seattle, and New York followed the same procedures. Each of these places had a fully staffed management office with enough manpower to perform searches on many potential records. However, many landlords at smaller properties were much less thorough.

The smaller building perspective

The landlord of a small 10-unit apartment in White Plains, New York told us she runs a credit check and asks for employment references. When we asked about criminal checks, there was a long pause. “I really don’t have any of those problems with my tenants,” she said. The landlord at an even smaller building in Brooklyn says he doesn’t run any searches at all. “Most of my tenants have ended up coming through friends or co-workers.” He told us that the cost of these searches, which can run from $3.00 to $50.00, can add up when there are several potential renters. “I can’t pass on the cost of the searches to prospective tenants. Honestly, I haven’t had any problems yet. I suppose one bad renter might make me change my mind.”

For landlords with fewer than 20 units and low turnover, the likelihood of having a tenant who writes bad checks, commits a crime in the apartment, or goes bankrupt is low. But for large apartment complexes with dozens or hundreds of renters the probability of running into problems is much higher. Management companies are simply unwilling to take the risk of letting just anyone into the building. The Internet has only made things easier for landlords to run searches with minimal effort. Credit and criminal checks can be run online in minutes. Companies like RentBureau.com collect rent payment information from multi-family properties and create renter profiles to help landlords quickly eliminate applicants with evictions and spotty payment histories.

How much does my background actually matter?

Unfortunately for many renters, it matters a lot. However, some things matter more than others. A misdemeanor driving charge on your record may not be a big deal. A felony drug conviction? Big problem. A complex we spoke with in Seattle listed the red flags they look for: sex offenses, felonies, and drug charges. They often overlook less serious charges in order to rent to tenants with otherwise clean payment histories and steady jobs. They gave us advice for applicants with less serious charges, “Just be honest. We’re going to run the check anyway, so if you think something will turn up, tell us about it first.” Other red flags including bankruptcies and evictions are less problematic if several years have passed and you’ve maintained a good payment history since then.

On the other hand, tenants with spotless records often welcome background checks. Brian, a corporate attorney in Boston, says thorough background checks make him feel safer. “Who wants to live next door to a felon? I’d far prefer my management company to run every check in the book.” As we learned, many management companies and landlords are very open about the checks that they run. It doesn’t hurt to ask, as long as you make it clear that you’re worried about your safety, not your checkered past. Be sure to ask whether the management company runs sex offender checks in additional to criminal background checks; in some states, background checks won’t show whether a person is also a registered sex offender. For renters with children, this can be the most important search of all. If you’re worried about the safety of the building you already live in or think your management company doesn’t screen carefully enough, you can take matters into your own hands. You can search your city, and prospective apartment homes on ApartmentRatings.com to see how many registered sex offenders live nearby.

Do I really have to agree to all of these searches?

Whether or not you give a landlord or rental company permission to access your information is your choice. But as you’d expect, apartments with management offices and rental applications won’t rent to you unless you sign on the dotted line. So what can you do if you think your history will be a problem? We learned that smaller apartments often have less formalized application processes, possibly allowing you avoid a search altogether. If you rent with friends you may be able to duck under the radar and avoid adding your name to the lease. You can informally sublet. Of course, you can always do what the representative at our Seattle complex suggested and come clean. With a little context, your eviction from five years ago may be less of a problem than you think.

Has a background check ever created a problem for you? What did you do about it and how do you handle it today? Share your experiences in our comments section.

44 Responses to “What Does Your Landlord Know About You?”

  1. September 10, 2007 at 9:35 pm, Guest said:

    Hello every one living in hell. I lived at Empirian Luxury Towers for several months. Day 1 the mice are coming day two try falling down un fixed steps to the pool. Well don’t call for maintenance because there number 1 guy —— is a drug dealer/go go after hours/bar owner. To smoke pot is the in thing at Empirian Tower. Try call management all you will get is lies. Say if you need anything fixed if they can’t patch it then you will wait till hell freezes over. Can I catch my beath hot as I don’t know what in dirty elevators that never work. Hallway that will kill anyone from the heat. Roaches are normal for them. Call the office and they will make you think the palace was running normal. Keep in mind your UPS/Fed Ex and other things delivered you better get there on time because maybe it was opened by the person that you trust Mr or Mrs Friendly at the front desk…………..Ha ha stolen!! Keep your eyes open because you was showed only half of what you need to see. You have just been bit maybe it’s an mosquito hell no dummie you you butt is on fire why because they they did’t tell you the the bed bugs was taking over. Empirian Luxury Tower come and see if your experience is greater than mine. Not fit for anyone of class or safety may I add Megans Law offender. Come one come all for the ride the will end soon. Only with the help of real people that care because they don’t you just better pay your rent on time or Mr. Frienly will have you in court sooooooooooooooo fast it will make you homeless or your head will spin. I have to go get the bed bug mattres and other items out. Sorry if I miss spelled anything I have bed bug bits I’m scratching. LOL


  2. September 27, 2007 at 11:42 am, Guest said:

    Seatree Apartments in Seabrook Texas will Hit your Credit with fraudulent charges under the guise of damages and repairs if you do not pay their bill. No way out, just gotta pay or take the hit.


  3. October 14, 2007 at 1:38 pm, Guest said:

    I live in kansas the building I live in has just been sold. The new landlord made us sign a month to month, low and be hold one week later he gave us a letter to move. How can this be so. I can not find a place, I am in a small town. What can I do?


  4. November 13, 2007 at 10:36 pm, Guest said:

    I need advice…Help!

    My wife and sold our house and are going to rent for a year or more before purchasing again.

    We found a great apt., filled out the app., and now signed a lease. The property manager then informed us that while it wasn’t going to affect our getting the apt., my wife’s background and credit check revealed some past “evictions”.

    My wife has never been evicted. I think they either checked the wrong person, someone has stolen my wife’s ID, or there was some fluke after my wife moved out of some past rental unit.

    How do I get copies of the report, and how do I fight this if it is, as I suspect, false?


  5. February 01, 2008 at 9:59 pm, Guest said:

    you are entitled to a copy of the back ground check that the land lord has and if you think she is the victim of identity theft yo should have her do here own credit check and see if there is errors in it and address them right away


  6. February 11, 2008 at 11:20 am, Guest said:

    May be you can help me… I am currently 22. My wife and I just had a baby and we are looking to rent an apartment. However when I was seventeen I was convicted of simple burglary. I am currently on probation but have not been in any kind of trouble… had no drug charges and am planning on filing for a expungment. My PO gives me an excellent reference. However when we go to rent My wife and baby are denied a place to live because of this. What can I do?


  7. February 17, 2008 at 5:15 am, Guest said:

    I was convicted last year of theft in the second,forgery, and identity theft…but before you judge hear me out.First off I know what I did was wrong, I did my time, Im paying my fines.I cashed 2 checks,that someone else made , that they broke into the account of each for 471.00.This person made them in my name, I used my drivers license, I signed my own name…so i still dont get the forgery, or identity theft, but thats neither here nor there…this is the only thing on my record in 43 years, besides not paying my credit card bills, which i didnt so i could pay my rent, but now i cant get anyone to rent to me because they here the word felon, or felony.I have been at the same job for 2 years, have a 16 yr old daughter, 25 yr old son, 2 grandbabies…and have to live with my parents.i learned my lesson, i paid my dues, i messed up, i admit it. but it doesnt mean i dont need a place to live, or a job, or whatever…i pled guilty so as to not drag it out over years which is what they do with everyone in this hellhole called chelan and douglas county.I was guilty, i paid my dues…i just want a home for my daughter and me.So any advice? Also if someone denies your appl. for rentals, and you ask why, shouldnt they be obliged to tell you why when you ask them? Thanks


  8. February 17, 2008 at 10:47 am, Guest said:

    I don’t know if this will be much help or not, I’m really not sure how the system works….however, since the conviction took place before your 18th birthday, you were technically still a minor. Shouldn’t those records be sealed? You adult record is clean, correct?


  9. February 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm, Guest said:

    I Used To Live At The Rob Roy Apartments, In Denver!! The Apts Were A Dump, & The Place Was A Hell-Hole!! While I Lived There, The Apartment Complex Went Thru 3, Owners. My I Got Illegally Evicted From There, John Ehlers Was The Owner There Then! Now There Is A New Manager (Lady) Who Owns That Dump Now! Anyway,The Apartment Building Is 150 Yrs Old! When Ehlers Owned It, He Didn’t Give A Damn About The Terrible Living Situation There!! He Owns Other :Properties,Both Slums,& Mansion, But When We Lived At The Rob Roy, There Was Asbestos,In The Walls Of The Apartments, Faulty Wiring Through-Out The Building,Illegal Drug Useage,& Dealing, & Alot Of Other Illegal Stuff Going On! I Definately Would Not Recommend Anyone To Rent From This Guy! Because 1. He Doesn’t Give A Damn About His Properties, Other Than The Mansions, & OtherExpensive Properties That He Owns, Because They Are The Only Propereties That He’ll Put Any Real Money Into To Keep Them Lopoking Nice, He’ll Only Put So Much Money Into His Slum Properties, In Order To Get By & Avoid Any Legalties, With The City & County Inspectors! He Illegally Evicts, Tenants Also, Or Has His Manager Do It For Him!!(His Dirty Work)!! He Bullies, Or Scares His Tenants Into Moving Out, Or Leaving His Apartments, Then,Illegally Compiscates Their Property, & Takes Whatever He Wants, & Gets Rid Of The Rest! He Makes No Effort To Work With You, If You Fall Behind In The Rent,He Just Automatically Tries To Scare You With An His Made- Up Eviction Notices, Which Are A Joke, Because They Are Not Even Legal!! But To Make Everything Legal He Then Finally Goes To Court, & Then Serves A Legal Eviction Notice, For Eviction,With More Added Charges, For The Rent, Painting, Damage Charges, Even If There Were Nio Damages Done In The Apartment, Or At The Site!! BEWARE BEFORE RENTING FOR HIM!! HIS GAME IS RIPPING PEOPLE OFF, PULLING ILLEGAL EVICTIONS< BULLYING PEOPLE, SCAREING PEOPLE WITH ILLEGAL EVICTION NOTICES,& CHARGES, & HE WILL NOT ONLY RUIN YOUR CREDIT RATEING, HE"LL RUIN YOUR LIFE ALSO, BY THREIGHTENING YOU, IF YOU TELL ANYONE ANYTHING THAT HE DOES ILLEGALLY.HE IS VERY GOOD AT THIS! HE NOT ONLY WORKS IN A GOOD PROFESSION, BESIDES OWNING PROPERTIES, HE IS ALSO VERY GOOD AT LYING, CHEATING,STEALING< BULLYING, THREIGHTENING, "ETC-ETC-" TO HIM THIS IS AN EVERYDAY THING! BUSINESS AS USUAL TO HIM!!!HE USES HIS MONEY, POWER, & HIS ATTOURNEYS, TO GET AWAY WITH THIS< BECAUSE HE HAS MONEY, & CAN!!


  10. May 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm, Guest said:

    I am going through a divorce and my credit is messed up. I will soon need to rent an apartment for myself and my 11yr old son, my 6 yr old daughter and my 4 yr old daughter. Will I be able to find a place to live? I am worried about my credit causing problems.My driver record is clean and I have no criminal background.


  11. June 15, 2008 at 9:25 am, Guest said:

    After ending a 6 year relationship with my son’s father I myself have to find a place to live by July. I have bad credit, however to make it the worst I had an eviction filing on me about 7 years ago, and because of this one thing.. no one will rent to me. I mean not even dumpy apartments on drug invested streets! As long as you dont have an eviction filing on your credit, a wage garnishment, a bankruptcy (whick i dont know why that matters so much?) you should be able to rent. As long as your income qualifies. Good luck!! I am going to have to file bankruptcy to rid the eviction filing off my credit, and I will have to put my apartment in my friend’s name. I am clearly able to pay the rent on the apt. with my income, and can provide security deposit, so I really am just surprised because of something that happened 7 years ago, which was just a filing, I was never put out of my apartment, I cant get a place.


  12. June 25, 2008 at 10:05 pm, Guest said:

    Hi I am a probation officer and no one is supposed to look at your background when you were under 18. You are supposed to tell them that you have no criminal history. We have to tell our clients this all the time.


  13. July 03, 2008 at 9:49 pm, Guest said:

    please advise me, anyone with a similar situation or are familiar with the legality of breaking a one year lease at an apartment.

    i have been living in a apartment for about 18 months now. i have two toddlers that have been in and out of the hospital; doctors office; emergency room; etc…usually due to respiratory issues and/or viral infections. they really haven’t had issues like this early after birth. it really seems to me that they have been this way ever since we moved into the apartment that we are about to leave this July 5th, 2008. the apartment that we stay at has been sublet once before i moved in and i sublet it from the past tenant. both families before mine,stayed in the apartment for several years. if an apartment is sublet, the lessee must be willing to accept the apartment as is,and be held responsible for any damages left the past tenant. is it lawful to allow a sublet more than once to three different families, without fixing any damages whatsoever? especially if the apartment is damaged to the point to where it is believably unlivable? i have had issues with moisture and mold from the very first day i moved into the apartment. i complained that there was mold on the carpet and on the walls. i was excited to finally have my own apartment and start living as a family with my husband and children. anything the apartment management told me sounded like a good idea that would make my stay happy. i complained that the carpet looked filthy and they told me that since the past lessee did not have the apartment management shampoo the carpet, (the lessee is eligible for a shampoo atleast once a year) then they should be able to shampoo the carpet for me. after the shampooing i noticed that all the spots on the carpet were visible withing days. i couldn’t understand why because we tried our best to keep everything clean. i complained again when the mold was again visible on the carpet and the walls. so they told me that they will change the carpet and paint the walls if i sign a one year lease. i figured that they would see if there is any signs of mold underneath the carpet once they changed it and also do something about the mold on the walls. months passed by and i could actually smell the presense of mold but i couldn’t see it. i called management and they sent maintenance over to check it out but they did not do anything because he said, “if i cannot see the mold then i can’t do anything about it. it didn’t take long before black spots were visible on the carpet again. maybe two months passed and i saw the spots again. the walls had little dots of mold in the corners of the rooms also on the windows and windowsills. i made sure i kept a scheduled general cleaning of the whole apartment to keep it clean. i gave up on the mold because even after i clean it, it always seemed to come back. i did not see any leaks anywhere but mold just appears to be everywhere. i saw a large amount of mold growing in the windowsills of the extra bedroom and on the carpet of the masterbedroom floor. so instead of calling management again i decided to inquire of what to do with the local police department. they advised me to call the health department. i also did some online research of my own, and was contacted by the centers of disease control and prevention; the environmental services and i spoke with a health department representative regarding the mold issues. they all let me know of how harmful mold can actually be to a person. especially my two year old children who are always in and out of the hospital. this is the main reason why i decided to vacate the apartment. i don’t want the mold to be the reason for all of my childrens respiratory problems in the past time period, that we have lived in the apartment.so i don’t believe that my decision to break the lease agreement should be put against me. and i do not believe that i should be charged any fees for damages because of the fact that they had sublet the apartment to three different families before we moved in. as far as the lease signing is concerned, i believe my reasons for moving out of the apartment are reasonable enough to fit under excemption to the lease signing. i am just lost at finding a way to prove i have a point. is there a way to justify what i believe should be considered regarding the mold and moving my family out of the apartment as soon as possible due to my concern for their health?

    thank you very much. i can’t wait to receive advice and related issues that may help me in solving this problem of mine.

    “success is not what you FALL for! …it’s what you STAND for, everytime you fall!”

    ☆★ShAi MoHaMmEd★☆


  14. July 11, 2008 at 12:08 pm, Guest said:

    Screw that!!, I’ll take the 7 year hit to my credit and not pay a damn thing.


  15. October 26, 2008 at 9:47 pm, Guest said:

    I am 21 years old and my wife and I are trying to rent and apartment. I did have some trouble when I was 19. I got a reckless driving ticket and had an automatic suspension on my license. I got caught driving without it and got arrested. Went to a detention (holding) center and was there for 8 hrs. Will this have any affect when I get my background check in me renting an apartment. I do have a friend living at those apartments and she said she could put in a good word for me. I have learned my lesson and have paid my dues. Will this affect me in any way? No drug related problems or serious crimes just more traffic violations..I think driving with suspended license is a misdemeanor im not sure..if anyone can help me I’d really appreciate it. Any comments or advice please let me know.



  16. October 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm, Guest said:

    Honesty is the best policy when you’re filling out an application to rent. No matter where… In Eugene, Or, they’re absolutely fanatical about credit/criminal/eviction checks. I got out of a very bad marriage to a drug-addicted toad a few years back. I was already in another home when he was evicted from the duplex we’d rented together. It shows up on my credit report because my name was (still) on the lease, even after I requested the landlord remove it. Now that the landlord is dead, I can’t get the stupid thing off the report. He was trying to avoid being caught (he had warrants I didn’t know about) and used my ss# to hook up utilities in three different places since then, and defaulted/didn’t pay his bills. I’ve been mired in credit muck for four years, I’m in the process of applying for a new social security number because of the hell I’ve been subjected to because of his dishonesty. It was hard, but I stuck to my standards, provided plenty of good character references, and my work and personal rental history are stellar. I was approved for three different houses in two weeks by being honest about the situation. It doesn’t hurt that I’m an educated career woman with a good income and work history.
    Don’t give up! Ask for a second chance. Explain your situation, and hope for the best. If you have good intentions and a plan for the future, people respect that.


  17. November 05, 2008 at 3:39 pm, Guest said:

    Not all lanlords conduct criminal background checks but it will say so on the application. Criminal checks look mostly for felonies. If this was not a felony, I would not worry. In the case that it does come up, I would be honest no matter what.


  18. December 02, 2008 at 8:47 pm, Guest said:

    I’m Confused!

    I’m a full-time college student and I was working full time as well. I was in a car accident and my job fired me anyway for missing work although I filed unemployment with them and won it took forever to get paid and my apartment wouldn’t work with any payment plans and evicted me. I went to court to try fight the eviction but didn’t help at all. Eventually I paid all the money owed to the last apartment and moved in with my grandmother. It was about six months ago now I’m worried I have pretty good but not awesome credit and I pay my bills on time so hopefully that would count for something I just couldn’t keep up with the rent and had no help. I’ve been checking my credit report I’ve gotten no negative scores because of this. I’m back on my feet and trying to rent an apartment but I’m afraid this is seriously going to effect me and I don’t have anyone to cosign for me…..what do you think?


  19. January 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm, guest said:

    My husband and I are trying to rent a bigger apartment right now, but are having problems due to my credit history. I rented an apartment and the year i was there, they went through new managers 6 times before my lease was over. The month before my lease was up, they sent me a new lease to sign. I had already left notes with the previous landlords that i was not renewing my lease and would be out by halloween when my lease was up. However the new management never got the notices so when they sent me the release renewal in september, i sent it back unsigned with a note that i was moving. next thing i know they file it with a collection company and said that i had broken my lease and wanted two months rent. I am a stay at home mom with our kids, does anyone know if just my husband can apply for the apartment in minnesota since he is the worker and would be paying the rent? I can’t work right now due to recovery from a complicated pregnancy so it will be a while yet.


  20. February 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm, Timothy J West said:

    I have lived in a mobile home park, about 8 years. I have gotten some felonies why I lived there, they did not happen there. I have 2 children that lives with me and my girlfriend. I have done my time for my felonies. I get SSI, every month. The managers tells me I am not allowed to live there, but I can come to see my children as long as I am out of the park by 9:00 P.M. I am 29 years old and my name is on the lease. I have not received anything in writing stating I cannot live there. I would like to know if they have the right to do this, and what is my rights? Thank You, Timothy J West


  21. April 09, 2009 at 7:45 am, Anonymous said:

    BOTH of my landlords FAIL to do ANYTHING in my building. The roof is leaking, the paint is peeling, I have mold all over my bathroom and they just neglect every complaint we make. I have been complaining about the mold for over 2 years now. One of my landlords is a lawyer which makes it hard for me to sue since he knows all the ins and outs. Today I am finding another place to live but I want to peruse with a lawsuit because this is unnecessary and inconvenient. If anyone is in New Jersey and can help me out with how to go about this I would much appreciate it. Thank you, Melissa


  22. April 16, 2009 at 11:27 am, cmoney said:

    problems ive had since ive moved in. example- i paid my rent on the day due right after i moved in after i go to my apartment i notice a note on my door saying i owe a late charge and a pre notice to evict! these idiots are so disorganized! my apartment ive lived in for 6 months is starting to give me major greif over theyre mistakes. i got a call saying to come to the office because they need proof of last months payment. i show them proof then they say it was the month before that that they need.i tell the lady ill have to find it.
    i get to my apartment and not 30 minutes later i get a paper saying they want any proof i can provide of payment due to a virus. well,since i work 2 jobs i didnt get around to it and a week later i get an advance notice of intent to lock out with them suddenly saying i didnt pay my rent from months back.
    so i go in there immediately and ask the office people what kind of crap are you trying to pull? i then proceeded to show them my printout id gotten from the office the previous month showing that rent wasnt due anymore on that month and that omission was my proof. of course the lady in the office says no it must be a money order receipt to which i retort this paper says any proof i can provide so here it is. the lady refused to make a copy of it for their records.
    yesterday i get a new note; dear resident we are doing routine record back ups and need you to provide proof of rent for the past 8 months plus they want copies of the cashed money order and the name of payee endorsee of each or they will find me in violation. they have given me 48 hours to provide all this!
    i really dont know what my options are but they better lay off me,if i come home to find im locked out of my apartment im gonna make it my personal mission to make all there lives a living hell no matter what it takes.
    im not sure if theyre violating the law or not on this but frankly i find theyre treatment of me


  23. June 06, 2009 at 2:48 pm, Blonde said:

    Well me and my bf of four years are 21 and we are looking to rent-to-own this adoreable cottage in my home town, I have no credit and a spotless record, but my bf has a class b felony from when he was 12, and they won’t exsponge it because if a DUI he had 2 yrs ago. Plus his credit is not very good. The broker adores us, but I am afriad all my bfs record is going to effect us from moving into this place, muchless any place…any advice? I know to be honest and we have been honest all the way through, which is why they wanted us to move in right away, we just need to turn in the applications and hope someone isn’t going to buy the place before we get a chance.


  24. June 25, 2009 at 12:31 pm, Cindy said:

    Blonde your bf’s juvenile record is his own concern. It is not a public record. He need not divulge his juvenile record. His credit history is the problem you need to correct. Landlords want a good credit history. Your lack of credit is also not good even though it is spotless. You need a credit history. I was raised witth idea that if you cant pay cash for item you dont need it. But there is a drawback to paying cash all the time…no credit history.
    Be honest….. but remember juvie records are sealed dont worry about that one.


  25. March 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm, bryan said:

    ive already signed a lease for an apartment, now the landlord wants to hold the keys until they do a background check, is that legal


  26. April 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm, Becky said:

    Sorry, I really need some help with this…I’ve applied for a two-bedroom apartment and I want to know if the prospective landlord can ask for proof of health insurance coverage for my family…is this legal?


  27. May 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm, hahaha said:

    hey blonde you should worry about your loser bf not your apartment


  28. February 08, 2011 at 5:09 pm, Brian said:

    Im sick and tired of being judged for having a felony. It happened 15 years ago and I fooled around with a 15 year old when I was 21….. SO what? How was I supposed to know she was 15 when she said 18? Ive since received my Bachelors degree and have not been in trouble since. So please explain to me how it is LEGAL to be denied employment and a decent place to live when If anything after what Ive been through I am less a menace to society than many without a record? It makes absolutely no sense and is basically legalized discrimination. I am completely against those that are habitual criminals. But in my circumstance, to be punished this long for a petty situation is far less breaking the law then anyone smoking pot. Cause in my view people that smoke pot know they are breaking the law whereas in my situation I had no clue. SO for this moronic attorney above stating that he couldn’t live next to a felon maybe you should realize that not all of us labeled “felons” are menaces to society. It is systems like this that allows searches with no timetables that causes people to commit crimes in the first place because these rediculous laws allow searches with no timetables. So in laws eyes you are punished for life even in the most non violent felony situations. Why in the world was the law repealed in 1996 anyway? If a non violent felon is “habitual” would he/she not commit a crime again within 7 years? Repealing the law did nothing but allow for legal discrimination of 100s of 1000s of non violent felons who in many circumstances did something stupid when they were in their younger years. I mean why the hell are taxpaying citizens “legally” discriminated against by being turned down for apartments and decent jobs for 1 time non violent felony convictions that were over a decade ago? PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT? NO way in the world that this should be legal. I totally agree and understand those that have multiple felonies or violent felonies but my God it has been 15 years since that rediculous felony I received in “good ole boy NC and I am still getting turned down for jobs and apartments. It makes absolutely no sense. To think I used to stand by this country and even served in the United States Air Force and to be treated like this when i used to love my country completely boggles my mind. Here is a saying for all of you judgemental people out there. “Bad things sometimes happen to good people”. Maybe the lawmakers in Bible belt NC should realize that because the Jesus Christ that I learned about in Sunday school would not penalyze a person for life for one petty mistake.


    • November 27, 2016 at 8:49 pm, Shannon said:

      > I totally agree with you. I have several drug offenses and honestly that is not who I am. I was in a bad car accident and prior to this accident I would not take a pain pill for anything. The doctor prescribed me a heavy duty timed release narcotic but told me it would be better because I wouldn't have to take as many. He never warned me the risk for addiction. Long story short only way to get through full day of work was to take the medicine. After one month of taking I was addicted and my "normal way of thinking"was replaced by a "addicted way" I got in trouble and did things I would have never done. I really had no idea how this happened. It might not make sense to some, I understand because it wouldn't to me either unless you've been there. I've since gotten off of the pain pills and am clean. I have worked at the same job for 25 years, I love my family, I respect others, I am a good person. You would never think I was that person and I wouldn't of been. I have been in recovery for almost 4 years. I never got in trouble prior to this accident and haven't been in trouble since I've been clean. Now I jave an opportunity to purchase a mobile home for a very, very, very good price, but have to get approved for the mobile home park, and I'm scared cause I doubt Ill get aprroved because of the drug charges. But if you let me today you would never think that I was a felon. I paid for my mistake, I've changed my life from where I was, I obey laws and I value my life. But I just want a chance. There is a lot of nasty, mean people that don't do things right and I'd rather live by a felon that has changed, or made a mistake and learned from it then a sick, nasty person rhat hasn't been caught yet. Good luck to you hope it works out and if anyone has any advice I'd sure appreciate it!


  29. November 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm, Anonymous said:

    I agree with you Brian, 100% I hope I can find a place to live with. I’m under the similar circumstances.


  30. January 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm, gfloyd said:


    So what? I’ll tell you what – you “fooled” around with a fifteen-year-old girl, which is considered in most, if not all, jurisdictions to be rape. Ignorance in no defense under the law. You said that you “had a felony,” which I interpret as a “conviction.” You were, no doubt, convicted of statutory rape. It’s perfectly legal to not offer you a job or an apartment because you are a convicted felon. Plain and simple – you committed a crime. A menace to society, as you say, does not carry the same connotation as say, “rapist.” You had no clue. You still sound like you had not clue – you call statutory rape petty. IGNORANCE is not a defense to a crime. Ignorance will not mitigate the circumstances under statutory rape.


  31. January 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm, S.Reimer said:

    I was living in Austin, Tx at Wild Creek Apts. ( a real ****hole) with a friend because I really needed a place to stay. I paid my half of bills early and consistently. The lease was for 8 months. I did not move in immediately at the start of the lease, some other guy was living there. Let’s just call him Apple. Apple left after a month, but did not sign out, turn in keys or the parking permit.

    So then let’s fast forward to the end of the lease. I sign out, give all my keys up and my parking permit and move out completely a little less than a month before the end of the lease. I cleaned up my areas thoroughly. The lady say’s I’m good to go and not to worry about anything.

    Now I am getting a letter from the complex (because I was the only honest one who gave a forwarding address! My mistake apparently..) saying that we (as in the 3 lease holders) owe then a whopping $2,897.81 !!! The other people DID NOR sign out, so my signature is void. BS! Also it says in the letter that the notice and the move-out date are almost a full month AFTER the lease ends. So here I am thinking, “WTF?? There is NO way I am going to pay a 1/3 of that.” They have my name spelled incorrectly anyway. They are charging for all sorts of things that really they would be replacing anyway. It really was a crappy apartment to begin with. Just a freakin’ hole in the wall. So why should I owe a $1,000 ?? Also, the apartment said if the 2 other lease holders do NOT pay, then I will be responsible for the entire balance!!

    Is that even legal?? What can I do about this?

    Honestly, I am tempting to simply ignore them and basically tell them to go screw themselves.


  32. February 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm, Jonescrusher said:

    It’s crazy that I was accused of a sex offense because I at the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody did a doctor check or lie detector on the accuser. The parents were home and I was only at their place for about a half an hour twice. I offered to take a lie detector test. I’m guilty until proven innocent. Overcharging and overzealous female cop was sickening and because i said “kids are my buddies” which I’ve said to all of my 18 nieces and nephews and my own son since I can remember, those words were told to me by my public pretender to be more than likely used against me to a jury. So I was advised to lie and plead to a lesser crime even though the story changed several times and it just isn’t fair. I was a cub scout, a boy scout, church acolyte, confirmed, member of the church choir, US Army Veteran with a secret clearance, I am friends with several police officers, my brother-in-law is a Highway Patrolman, and much more. Since I couldn’t afford an attorney, I am guilty until proven innocent. This country sucks and I’m ashamed to have served in the military for it.


  33. March 19, 2012 at 5:54 am, CAREBEAR said:

    My husband and I tried to rent an apartment, but when they ran a credit check, they found that the last apartment we lived in had a collection against us. Our son had spilled grape juice on his bedroom carpet, and they charged us 1200.00. We were paying it off monthly, but before we could get it all paid off, they turned it over to collections. That is really hurting us in trying to get a decent apartment. Is there anything we can do?


  34. May 09, 2012 at 3:39 pm, Belle said:

    How long after we sign the lease can the landlord continue to do background and other checks? Shouldn’t he have done all the checking he needed to BEFORE we signed the lease?? Why does he need to continue to ask more questions of our employers and is he even allowed to do that?


  35. July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am, home_mom said:

    Me and my husband is applying for an apartment and he is in the army and I am a stay at home mom. Will it effect if we get the place if i am a co-applicant with no income? I also don’t have bad credit but I do have a student loan on my credit that my husbands been helping me pay off when he can. Please help!! I dont want to be the one to mess this up for us. THANKS


  36. July 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm, pistonbeat said:

    I’m interested in an apartment but the company said they will do a lease search to find out if any leases are outstanding from past rentals. Is this legit? Are there actual ways that a company can find out if you signed a lease in the past with someone even if you had a dispute and you are paying it? I need to know as soon as possible. Please help. Really like the apartment.


  37. October 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm, nan said:

    I could just cry, im having an awfull time finding a place. I just moved to Atlanta, GA and every appliction I fill out ends up being a waste of time because managements says they dont accept felons.,the crazy part is I caught mine when I was 18 and now im 34 and have not been in trouble since. I just dont understand I paid my dues,I work, pay taxes,dont get in trouble, why shouldnt I be able to live in a nice home, are felons supposed to be homeless? I feel like filing a discrimination lawsuit


  38. October 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm, cmb said:

    My husband is a victim of identity theft and now we are having a hard time getting accepted into a place with our 7 year old daughter. His record shows multiply evictions and a number of unpaid credit cards. What can we do? We need to find a place soon and fighting these charges coould take a while.


  39. April 11, 2013 at 12:28 am, tina james said:

    Let me explain something to the freakin idiots on here.Just because a “person” doesn’t have a a drug charge or a violent charge doesn’t mean they are clean.if you have a good lawyer, connections or just lucky that doesn’t make you any better then the person that didn’t have all of the above. (Good lawyer etc.) Anyway never outkast a felon you could end up one oneday.A prosecutor in our area talked trash, prosecuted people that were actually innocent guess what that bitch caught a charge (dui) lost her license to practice, dl and her clean record. Now she knows that ANYONE can end up on the other end of the law…..so people with charges should live where?


  40. September 27, 2016 at 9:28 am, Martha said:

    Hello I'm apply for a low income apartment however me & my finance nighg make to much money for this, was wondering if my landlord has the ability to find out whether or not I'm working, if I state that only one person works. I am apply for a 77 unit apartment complex


  41. October 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm, Nicole said:

    Hi I haven't really asked anyone about this but two years ago I lived in this apartment with my boyfriend for 8months. Now it was a one bedroom one bath. At the time it was $930 per month with everything included. We had the money from school and what not. Now after those eight months we still had 4months left of our lease (12month lease) we were so full of the money that we decided to rent out this penthouse in our same apartment that was $1550.0 per month including everything aswell. So we switched our leases & moved upstairs. After a month and a half we realized we've made a terrible mistake. The money was gone and we had to go to the Salvation Army for food. A decision was made and we grabbed all of our things and left the premises. Of course we told the landlord she wasn't happy at all but she also gave us a to be paid this much ($2300.00) to the building for clean up and for not staying for our 12month lease… now what I'm trying to get at here is how do I go to pay this amount. I want to do it in person but I have no idea where to start or where to go… please help! Also since it's been two years, do you think they could of added some late fees??


  42. January 22, 2017 at 8:28 am, Jillian said:

    I have been living at my current resident for 4 years. During this period I have never had any issues with my landlords but they seem to have copped a grudge with me. Although, everyone in the complex find them to be nosy and rude. Anyway, in the last few months my boyfriend has been staying with me on and off and they asked me if he has been living here a couple of weeks ago. I said no. However, I want him to officially move in now but I am afraid that they are going to deny him because he is on probation (which ends in May 2017). Do I have to add him to lease? What can I do to sweeten the owners up a bit?


  43. February 09, 2017 at 4:54 am, mary said:

    Please can you help me my friend wants
    To stay with me for
    Two months after coming home in Feb my problem is before he violated his parole all the parole officers were looking in my apt for him my landlord gets upset esntd to evict me and Ithe one parole officer this year comes to my apt and tells me my apt is approved for my friend to stay with me I said no and now I do not know what to do


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