What can I do if the applicant doesn’t want to provide information that I need to conduct tenant screening?

A landlord has the right to legally ask for information that can verify the potential tenant’s ability to meet lease terms and conditions, including tenant screening for credit history and background checks. The information requested must be reasonable to business necessity to determine an applicant’s qualification for tenancy per the landlord’s stated policies, administered in a non-discriminatory manner to each and every applicant, and fully compliant with applicable laws.

An expressed reluctance by the applicant to disclose personally identifying information particularly a Social Security number is not an uncommon issue. The potential threat of identity theft is a concern that can be addressed by an explanation of the landlord’s business necessity to adequately screen applicants to protect the existing residents. A landlord should discuss with the applicant the rental policies and practices that protect all tenants’ privacy and security rights.

An applicant has the right to decline to provide personal information to a landlord. If your applicant declines to provide the requested information, you can reject the application.

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