Why Do Apartments Conduct Criminal Background Checks?

Most apartments conduct criminal background checks, or so they state on their application. This is usually mandated by certain federal laws and state laws but also many landlords simply want to protect themselves. If you have a criminal record, you will discover that it is harder being approved for a decent apartment. Many apartments claim that their beef is with felony convictions but people with misdemeanors can also find themselves staring at denial letters.

One of the reasons why landlords conduct criminal background checks is to protect other tenants within that community housing. Many landlords actually take their cues from police departments which are instrumental in training apartment management on ways to screen tenants. Their rationale is that it is better to be safe than sorry. A tenant who will cause future problems can be identified early during the application process.

Landlords also know that if there are criminal elements residing in the community, there is a likelihood that police activity will be forthcoming. Regular or constant police visits to the apartment complex aggravates the other tenants and may even cause them to make the decision not to renew their leases. This is what the apartment management fear the most and is usually the main reason they insist on conducting criminal background checks.

Another reason why apartment landlords and property managers conduct criminal screening is because they want to protect their rental property prices. The more crimes are committed in the apartment complex, the more the entire community gains notoriety as an unsafe neighborhood. This has the domino effect of causing existing tenants not to renew their leases and prospective tenants to avoid that complex. When this happens, rental prices plummet and the management firm finds itself with less and less profit. Crimes committed in the apartment complex can also subject the management and owner to lawsuits from other tenants who may claim that the management lacks the will or the ability to offer adequate security.

Apartment managers also conduct criminal background checks because they want to adhere to local, state and federal laws. The PATRIOT ACT, which was enacted as a response to the September 11, 1991 terror attacks has certain clauses within it which call for proper identification and screening of prospective tenants.

We therefore see that it is harder and harder for criminal convicts to get away from their past when leasing an apartment since most apartment complexes now require a criminal background checks. This can result in undue frustration on the part of the tenant who in most cases has reformed and is now a law-abiding citizen. Many tenants end up trying to find ways of getting approved even with a criminal record. This is not entirely impossible if you have the knowledge of how to do it.