Karina Arabolaza (Director of Education and Outreach, Housing Rights Center, Los Angeles) gives expert video advice on: Can my landlord perform a background check without telling me?; Can a landlord contact my employer without telling me?; Can a landlord contact my bank without telling me? and more...
What is the difference between a landlord, manager and building superintendent?
The landlord is usually the person who owns the building. Although I've known people to use the landlord interchangeably with manager, normally the landlord is the property owner. The manager is the person in charge of administering or managing the property. They could either live on-site or off-site. The manager is a representative of the landlord. The building attendant is someone who's in charge of maintaining the property. Again, they are also considered, under the law, agents of the landlord.
What information will I have to provide a prospective landlord?
Someone applying for a rental, may have to provide a landlord with their drivers license, identification numbers, social security number, employment references and/or previous housing references. Along with these you may also be required to provide contact details and names of previous landlords that they have had, as well as bank account numbers to verify income.
What can a landlord not ask about on an application?
On a rental application, a landlord cannot ask someone's race, the color of their skin, their religion, what gender they are, if they have children, if the person has a disability or if they have a medical condition. A landlord can't ask about a person's national origin, and in some states there might be additional protections. For example, in California, landlords cannot ask about someone's marital status, nor can they ask about their ancestry, sexual orientation or age.
What information will a landlord look for in their background check?
In a background check a landlord will usually be looking to see if someone has any felony or misdemeanour convictions, previous evictions, fraud charges, or any legal proceedings that that person may be involved in or have been involved in.
Can my landlord perform a background check without telling me?
A landlord cannot conduct a background check on a tenant or prospective tenant without telling them. However, someone who's filling out a rental application and is putting down references or has been notified that a background check is done on all prospective tenants, is giving that landlord permission to carry out a background check.
Can a landlord contact my employer without telling me?
A landlord cannot contact someone's employer without telling them. However, if a prospective tenant is filling out an application for a rental and they're giving that landlord employment references or previous housing references, then they are presuming that the landlord will check up on those references, including contacting their employer, so they are basically giving permission to that landlord to contact that employer.
Can a landlord contact my bank without telling me?
A landlord cannot contact a tenant's bank without telling them. If the prospective tenant is filling out a rental application, and giving bank references or bank account numbers for income verification, this is on the presumption that that landlord will check up on that information, so they are technically giving them permission. The landlord can't do so without having that permission from the tenant.
Can a landlord check my credit?
A landlord can check someone's credit. If a prospective tenant is filling out a rental application and they're giving their social security number to that landlord, they can presume that the landlord will check their credit in order to see if they qualify for the property or not.