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CFPB Finds Issues with Tenant Background Checks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on November 15, 2022, issued two reports on the tenant background check industry. Details in the reports reveal that background check errors are contributing to higher costs and barriers for quality rental housing. The reports, containing an analysis of more than 24,000 complaints, highlighted the challenges that renters face when background information from the tenant screening side contains largely invalidated information. The CFPB, working alongside the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asserted that the tenant screening industry must be held accountable for such inaccurate, outdated, or false information.

The data shows that people have been denied rental housing because of information belonging to another party, outdated information remaining on reports, and inaccurate or misleading details about arrests, criminal records, and eviction records that are not corrected nor removed. It is also difficult for renters to fix these inaccurate records. In particular, the two reports identify the following issues: