Washington Tenant Screening Background Checks

It is common that before a landlord agrees to rent to a particular tenant, they run what is called a Washington tenant screening background check. A small fee is usually charged to the tenant and different types of background checks will be performed. This is generally performed by a third party that a landlord hires, like the American Apartment Owners Association. Tenant screening is not required, but AAOA highly recommends that all landlords require a full background check before renting to a new tenant.

Tenants should never deny having a screening done because it reflects badly on their background and character. A refusal to complete a screening may result in a denial of a tenant’s application. A recent Washington state law Underline links to http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/new-state-law-what-a-landlord-needs-to-tell-y?ref=CSAnm requires that landlords must give a disclaimer to the tenant’s before the screening process.

  • Landlords must reveal the type of information that will be collected during the screening. This most of the time includes things such as a credit check or a criminal background check, but can include a lot of others as well.
  • They must be honest with the tenant about what types of information can result in a denial of the application. This info must all be given in written form.
  • The landlord is allowed to charge the tenant the screening fee; however it must be presented in writing to make it legal. They are also only allowed to charge the amount it costs to have the screening done.
  • Landlords reserve the right to deny any application they see fit, but they must produce a written denial as well as documented reasoning for the rejection.

The main thing for landlords to keep in mind when running a Washington tenant screening is to avoid discrimination of any sort. Run the same types of checks on each tenant applicant, and avoid leaving anyone out. This can keep the moral standing of the landlord upright and prevent any miscommunications in the future. To get a Washington Tenant Screening done and to get more information regarding the screenings, visit (http://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/tenant-screening/).

For more information, visit: Washington Landlord Tenant Laws Washington Landlord Forms

The American Apartment Owners Association provides tenant screening background checks nationwide. Looking for a tenant screening report in a state other than Washington? Visit our Tenant Screening Background Checks page to learn more.