Background Checks

Background Checks – Always


This article is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice for any specific issue that might arise, since every situation is different. Always consult a knowledgeable landlord attorney with your specific legal issues. 


A very recent court case highlights the ongoing importance of always conducting background checks on potential tenants.  This particular situation arose at an RV park when two overnight guests refused to vacate despite never being offered a rental agreement.  There were unusual circumstances that led to the situation, but the main point is to never let anyone become a tenant without running a thorough and accurate background report first.


Phil Querin Q&A: Applicant Has Criminal Background Concerned About Accepting as Temporary Occupant

Question. A guest has applied for temporary occupant status in our park.  He has a lengthy criminal record and we are concerned about approving him as a temporary occupant.  When we informed him, he claimed that he could not be denied because of prior criminal activity from 10 years ago.  He also said that since the community does not require a background checks for ‘guests’ he would stay with different friends throughout the park for 14 days and then move to another friend in the park.  Two questions - can we still deny based on a criminal record from 10 years ago - our screening criteria clearly says we can.  And what do you do if he starts ‘couch surfing’ every 14 days with a different friend in the park?



Criminal Background Checks - HUD's Published Perspective

Criminal background checks - always a popular issue. Of course you can use them to screen prospective applicants, right? You may be surprised.

The use of criminal background checks in the residential housing rental and lease application process has recently become a hot button issue. Back on April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development's ("HUD") General Counsel issued a 10-page memorandum on "Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions" ("Guidance").

Phil Querin Q&A: Background Checks and the Fed's 7 Year Rule

Question.  I spoke with someone recently who informed me that Federal Law (i.e. the Fair Credit Reporting Act) prohibits criminal background checks beyond seven years.  Yet I am concerned that with some crimes, e.g. child molestation, it would be important to know if there were any convictions, not just those within the last seven years.  It also appears that HUD seems to be saying the same thing.  I am getting mixed information on this issue. Can you help clarify?

Phil Querin Q&A: Thirteen Year Old Boy Grows Up - Resident WIthout a Background Check

Question: A family moves into a manufactured housing community with a thirteen year old boy. Five years later the parents vacate the home but leave the boy who is now eighteen. Even though the eighteen year old was never subject to a background check, never signed a rental agreement etc., is he now a considered a resident?

© 2011-2022 Manufactured Housing Communities of Oregon (MHCO)

503-391-4496 | Contact MHCO

MHCO Information Security Policy (2018-2022)

Web design and development by Cosmonaut