Rental Background Check Forms: What You Need to Know

Rental background checks are part of the application process for renting an apartment or property. Across the United States, different laws pertain to this topic, so it’s essential to verify your state’s laws on rental background checks. Typically, you’ll have to fill out a rental background check form to give your potential landlord permission to look you up.

That said, there are some federal laws and laws across states that are similar. We’ll cover the rental application process, what a background check entails, and some of the laws about background checks for rentals.

Read on to learn more below.

What Is a Rental Background Check?

A rental property background check is a background check that owners of rental properties perform on potential renters. Rental background checks also refer to the process of learning more about a rental property. In some cases, real estate firms and individuals will look up information about an address to learn more about it.

What Are Rental Background Check Forms?

A rental background check form is a form you fill out to grant the property owner or manager permission to run a background check on you. This usually also includes several questions about yourself to help them perform the background check.

Some of the information you’ll likely be asked to supply on a rental background check form includes:

  • Your full legal name
  • Any aliases you have or used to have
  • Your date of birth
  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license or state ID number
  • Your previous physical addresses, usually going back 7 years

Once you fill this out, the property owner or manager will be able to perform a background check on you.

Who Runs Rental Background Checks?

Rental property owners, or landlords, typically run rental property background checks. These background checks verify the identity, criminal record, and credit history of applicants. Rental background checks may also be run by individuals or real estate agencies that want to learn more about a rental property. This is known as a reverse address lookup.

Does Every Rental Property Run a Background Check?

Not every rental property requires a background check. Depending on your state or country, background checks may not be a part of the application process. Furthermore, rental properties that aren’t “on the books” may not run a background check. Keep in mind that most rental properties that include a lease or written agreement will run a background check.

How to Run a Background Check

Rental property applications are stressful, especially if you don’t know what information will come up. To be prepared, we always recommend running a background check on yourself before applying.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to run a reverse address lookup on the property you plan on renting. Doing so will give you insight into the owners, the cost of the property, and its history. We’ll show you how to run both types of background checks.

Public Records Search

First and foremost, we’ll begin with a public records search using has a tool that allows you to look up information about yourself. Simply enter your first and last name, address, and phone number into the public records search tool.

From there, click search and scroll through the results until you find yourself. Then, open the full report to see what comes up on a background check about yourself.

When using’s public records search tool you’ll find the following information:

  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender status
  • Date of birth
  • Marriage records
  • Divorce records
  • Court records
  • Traffic violations
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Social media account dating profiles

Depending on your profile, this is only some of the information you’ll find about yourself. Make sure you include as much information as possible to get the most accurate results.

Reverse Address Lookup

Learning more about a rental property is also a good idea before applying. In the United States, there are several ways you can perform a reverse address lookup. That said,’s reverse address lookup tool is the best method. It’s the fastest way to find information about a property.

To use’s reverse address lookup tool, all you need is the address. Once you have the address, enter it into the search bar and click search. It’s also helpful to enter any additional information you have about the property into the search bar.

From there, open the full report to learn more about a rental property. When you run a reverse address lookup on a rental property, you’ll find the following information:

  • The owner of the property
  • People who live within the rental property
  • Individuals who used to live within the rental property
  • The history of the property
  • Court records about the property
  • Criminal cases including the property
  • The value of the property
  • Mortgage information about the property

These are only some of the things you’ll learn when running a reverse address lookup.

What Information Is Excluded from a Rental Background Check Form?

Rental background checks are in-depth and cover a lot of information. However, there are some things that rental background checks aren’t able to cover. Information that’s excluded from rental property background checks is typically personal.

Below we list some of the common exclusions from rental background checks. If you see any of these questions on a rental background check form, it may be a good idea to rethink renting the property, and you may even want to seek legal counsel.

  • Race
  • Religious beliefs
  • Nationality
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Disabilities
  • Source of income

There are some exceptions to these exclusions. For example, New York state allows landlords to ask about someone’s age if they’re applying to live in a 55+ community.

It’s also important to note that some states have different laws about rental background checks. Always check with your state’s offices to learn more about the specific background check guidelines for your state.

Can Anyone Run a Rental Background Check?

Yes and no. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), rental property owners can only run a background check on an applicant with written consent, which is why you’ll likely have to fill out a rental background check form. This is a federal law. On the other hand, anyone can run a background check on an address with a reverse address lookup tool like

Wrapping Up

Rental property background checks are a common occurrence. The background check is part of the application process in many states and landlords have access to a lot of information about applicants. To avoid problems, we always recommend performing a background check on yourself before applying for a rental property.

When looking into a rental property. it’s also a good idea to perform a background check on the property. You’ll learn about the owner, the value of the home, how much rent has been in the past, and much more.

Use today to learn everything you need to know.