How Long Does a Background Check Take for an Apartment?

Landlords have the right to run a background check on any potential tenant.

This is to ensure that the person they are renting to is not a danger to themselves or other building residents.

But how long does a background check take for an apartment, and what do these checks entail?

Read on for an in-depth look at apartment background checks, how long they take, and what information is typically included.


How Do Apartment Background Checks Benefit You?

Background checks are something that many landlords and property managers opt to have done on prospective tenants to protect both their investments and their companies. 

Apartment background checks and application fees are two methods that landlords can use to limit the pool of applicants to those who are more likely to follow the rules and regulations, pay their rent punctually, and not cause any damage to the unit or building.

While some landlords might choose not to run background checks on every applicant, doing so can help avoid potential problems.

Read: 10 Best Advanced Background Check Sites

Read: What Is Career History And Why It Is Important?

How Long Does a Background Check Take for an Apartment?

Typically, an apartment background check will take between three to five days to complete.

However, some landlords or property managers might use a service that can provide results within a few hours.

It’s important to note that the time it takes to complete a background check can vary depending on the type of apartment background check being performed.

For example, a criminal background check will usually take longer than a credit check.

What Is Included in an Apartment Background Check?

Although the specifics of apartment background checks might differ from one landlord to the next, there are several important aspects that are always included.

These include the following:

Rental History

Rental history is probably the most crucial element of an apartment background check.

So the landlords want to know whether or not you have a history of paying rent on time and if you have ever been evicted.

Your rental history will also show how long you have lived at each previous address, which can be important for landlords looking for tenants who are likely to stay in their units for an extended period.

Employment History

Landlords often require tenants to earn three times the monthly rent to qualify for an apartment, so your employment history will be checked to ensure that you meet this criterion.

They’ll check your income, make sure you work where you say you work and see how long you’ve been in that position.

If you’re self-employed, landlords might ask for tax returns or other financial documents in order to verify your income.

If you’ve recently started a new job, don’t worry, you can get a reference letter to show that you’re employed and have a good income.

Criminal History

Criminal history includes not just convictions but also any other legal or civil troubles you may have had.

This indicates that any current lawsuits or cases that have been dismissed will also show up in the search results for your name. 

Keep in mind that ongoing cases and non-convictions remain on your record for up to seven years, whereas convictions remain indefinitely.

Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most important elements of your background check. Landlords use your credit score to determine whether or not you’re likely to pay your rent on time.

A good credit score means you have a history of making payments on time, whereas a bad credit score means you might be more likely to default on your rent payments.

Read: What Does A Background Check Show?

Read: 5 Best Tenant Background Check Sites

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how long a background check takes for an apartment and what’s included in one, you can start looking for your next home with confidence.

Just remember to be honest on your application and provide any requested documentation in a timely manner.

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