Background Checks

California May Soon Allow Renters to Reuse Background Checks

The California Assembly recently passed Assembly Bill 2559, which intends to lower the cost of applying for housing. The Bill, which still needs to be signed by the Governor, would allow renters to reuse their background checks. However, landlords would be allowed to choose whether to accept these reusable background reports from tenants.

This Bill, if passed, would be accommodating for renters because it would allow them to purchase reusable credit reports. With this, renters can then submit to multiple potential landlords more efficiently. If you’ve had to pay for background checks for a rental application before, you’ve probably noticed how expensive this can get. In many cases, you’re spending between $25 and $55 per report. The background check verifies employment and investigates your credit, eviction history, and criminal records.

Most landlords will run a background check for every applicant applying for a unit. Unfortunately, with the current housing shortage, you will likely be paying for several background checks before finding a place.

The housing shortage has also caused rental costs in California to increase. This increase is especially noticeable in Southern California, where rents increased up to 18%. This jump in price has made acquiring housing even more difficult; renters typically have to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent to secure a place. According to Assembly Member Christopher Ward, this disproportionately affects people of color.

If Assembly Bill 2559 passes, screening reports will have a standard format and an unlimited number of uses in a thirty-day period. However, landlords will still have the option of requiring a screening report from their preferred provider.

Landlords who accept these credit reports from potential tenants will have options when choosing how to receive the information. One option is acquiring the check directly from a third-party screening provider. This option assures landlords that no one tampered with the credit report.

The reports themselves will not be much different from current tenant screening reports. Landlords will obtain the same information about you that they would have with a one-time background report. However, should the Governor sign the Bill, it could save you hundreds of dollars, which you could put toward a security deposit or your first month’s rent.

So, if you are looking for a rental unit soon, it could be a good idea to keep an eye on whether this Bill passes. If it does, you may be able to save a considerable amount of money by acquiring background checks yourself for renting to provide to every potential landlord.

Background checks don’t have to be complicated. Try running a Self Background Check today and give yourself a head start.


Your personal background check is required for literally everything in your life these days, from employers to rentals. Take control of yours.


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