California Tenant Screening Background Checks

Conduct a California tenant screening background checks on every applicant before renting any of your California rental properties. Doing so will save you the headaches of wondering who you really rented the property to, whether the tenant will take care of the property or become a nightmare tenant. Take the small amount of time necessary to perform the extensive checks provided by American Apartment Owners Association – it will quickly help you to weed out unqualified applicants. We do the work to help you eliminate unqualified applicants before they get a chance to ruin your property or your reputation as an outstanding landlord. Eliminate applicants looking to set up shop for their criminal activities or even commit acts of terrorism – right from one of your rental properties, when you perform thorough California tenant screening background checks.

Today some people rent properties specifically to set up their criminal activities and do not even live on the premises. Others have a steady stream of guests and the party seems to never end, while still others do not have the money to regularly pay rent or they cause substantial damage to the property. When you obtain extensive California tenant screening background checks, you will discover which applicants are the best qualified.

Enjoy the benefits of receiving a free credit report and credit score with every California tenant screening. There is no catch – it is simply our free gift to you when you order any California tenant screening background checks packages. If you get underwritten, the prospective tenant does not even have to give permission for release of their credit report. The credit report information is sent directly to you, enabling you to learn your applicant’s credit history. Find out if your applicant just had a temporary difficult time financially and is now back on track or if the applicant is deliberately lying about having a good credit history. Obtaining a credit report also gives you the opportunity to cross-reference other information provided by the applicant.

The Previous Address Tenant History (PATH report) will reveal if your prospective applicant left out any previous addresses when submitting a rental application. Perhaps the tenant deliberately left out a previous address on the application form from where the applicant was evicted. With the PATH report, all addresses associated with that applicant’s social security number are revealed, giving you the extensive rental history you need on your California rental property applicants.

If there is no history returned on the PATH report, you need to check the applicant’s social security number. When you include the SSN fraud report as part of your California tenant screening background checks, you quickly discover if the applicant has given you a fraudulent social security number. Such dishonesty will likely be very helpful to you when making your decision regarding rental applicants.

There is much more to California tenant screening background checks than obtaining a PATH report and discovering the potential for social security fraud. American Apartment Owners Association is dedicated to helping California landlords rent to the best qualified applicants by offering a variety of tenant screening package options. You can request a state-specific eviction history or you can choose to receive a nationwide report on the eviction history of your rental applicants.

The Telecheck verification is also state-specific or nationwide, depending upon your choice of available California tenant screening background check options. Quickly learn if your applicant has ever tendered a bad check or has outstanding bad checks. Telecheck verification helps you separate good check writers from the bad ones. The Telecheck system contains more than 50 million bad check records, potentially saving landlords from the extensive losses from bad check writers. Telecheck verification is included with every California tenant screening background check package.

You can prevent convicted criminals from living in your rental properties when you search for their criminal records history. Get the criminal history report on your applicant with your choice of screening packages that includes state-specific or nationwide criminal searches. Prevent your reputation from being tainted by criminals conducting illicit, criminal activities on your property by obtaining an updated criminal records search.

You have the opportunity to search state-specific or nationwide records to determine if applicants have a record of sex offender or terrorism charges or convictions. Criminals charged with such serious crimes may abscond from their probation or parole supervision and move to an area where their crimes are not known. If already convicted and fresh out of jail or prison, they may want to move somewhere and start anew, with new potential victims at their mercy. You can prevent your rental properties from being turned into havens for such activities when you select a California tenant screening package that includes a terrorist and sex offender search.

You do not want the address of one of your rental properties publicized in the media, should a terrorist or sex offender suspect be arrested on the premises. Protect your rental properties, yourself and neighbors by purchasing a California tenant screening background checks package that includes terrorist and sex offender searches.

Gone are the days when you could count on an applicant’s word and a handshake to ensure that the applicant would pay rent on time and take care of your California rental property. The automated reports that you receive with your choice of California tenant screening background checks options contains up-to-date information on every applicant that you screen, giving unqualified applicants no way out once you learn of their previous rental history, criminal record or other dishonesty.

California landlords are permitted to use credit reports and other tenant screening reports to determine whether to rent to an applicant, according to California Landlord Tenant Law, which also permits landlords to charge tenants for the cost of actual, reasonable fees for obtaining California tenant screening background checks.

  • Fees: A landlord may charge a maximum screening fee of around $35 per applicant.
  • Purpose of Fees: The fee may only be used for “actual out-of-pocket costs” of obtaining a credit report, and the “the reasonable value of time spent” by a landlord in acquiring a credit report and checking personal references / background information. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6)
  • Landlord’s Duties: A landlord who uses the screening fee to obtain the potential tenant’s credit report is required to give the applicant a copy of the report upon request. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6)
  • Unit Availability: A landlord may not charge a screening fee if no rental unit is available (unless the applicant agrees to otherwise in writing). (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6)
  • Receipts: A landlord is required to provide an itemized receipt when collecting an application screening fee. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6)

For more information, visit:

California Landlord Tenant Laws
California Landlord Forms

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