Jurisdictions Searched

Jurisdictions We Search When Doing a Criminal Background Check

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Jurisdictions We Search When Doing a Sex Offender Search

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Jurisdictions We Search When Doing an Eviction Search

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Why Should You Use a Professional Background Research Company? 

Transparency – Professional screening companies conduct business in way that follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the laws operating in your state.

Accuracy – Professional background screeners have a variety of tools at their disposal in the search for criminal histories and evictions. This is especially important for consumers with common names. We are able to match records to your applicants with a combination of identifies including social security number, date of birth, alias names, driver’s license numbers and past addresses so ensure that you obtain the most accurate information possible.

Consumer Protection –  Applicants are protected by state consumer protection and privacy laws as well as the Federal Fair Credit Reporting act.  Violation of these laws can result in fines and jail time.  Professional Background screening companies can help you stay compliant with these laws.

Efficiency –  Professional screening can often get you faster response times, thereby reducing the time employers and landlords take to approve applicants. 

What Are Your Responsibilities When You Request a Background Check?

When you use consumer reports to make decisions about your applicant’s federal and state laws require that you take important compliance steps.


If you would like to see a complete text of the “Obligations of Users” please download the PDF below.

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Landlords and Property Managers

  • Give your applicant a copy of the criteria you will require from a qualified applicant.  This should include income and credit qualifications as well as things like pet policies, smoking policies and waterbed policies.  Contact us if you need a sample of what this might look like.
  • If you plan on obtaining a credit report, employment verification or landlord reference obtain written permission from your applicant to obtain the report.
  • When you’re done using a consumer report, you must securely dispose of the report and any information you gathered from it. That can include burning, pulverizing, or shredding paper documents and disposing of electronic information so that it can’t be read or reconstructed.
  • Check your state to verify that you are complying with any additional statues.



  • Tell the applicant or employee that you are going to obtain a consumer report on them and that the consumer report may be used for decisions related to their employment. This notification must be in writing and cannot be part of an employment application. 
  • Get written from the applicant or employee to obtain the report.  This may be part of the document that you gave the employee or applicant to inform them that you planned on obtaining a consumer report.
  • Tell the employee or applicant if you plan on obtaining an Investigative Consumer Report on them. Investigative consumer reports are interviews concerning a person’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics and lifestyle.  
  • Get Written Permission from your employee or applicant if you plan on obtaining an investigative consumer report on them.
  • Pre-adverse and Adverse Action notifications must be given to the employee applicant it adverse action is taken based on a consumer report.  You must include a copy of the consumer report you relied upon and “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”. After you have decided to take adverse action, you must give the applicant or employee a notice of the fact. It must include the name, address and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the report. You must include a statement that says that the consumer reporting agency that supplied the report did not make the decision for the adverse action and cannot give specific reasons for it. The statement must include a notice that the applicant or employee has the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information in the report.  
  • When you’re done using a consumer report, you must securely dispose of the report and any information you gathered from it. That can include burning, pulverizing, or shredding paper documents and disposing of electronic information so that it can’t be read or reconstructed.
  • Check your state to verify that you are complying with any additional statues.

Your Rights Under the FCRA

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the law that gives you, the consumer certain rights when landlords or employers are running background reports on you that include your credit report in their decision making process. It is designed to make sure that your report is accurate and remains private. It is also there to make sure that you are treated fairly.

Your basic rights:

  • You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report.
  • You have the right to file a dispute if you think there is an error in your report.
  • You have the right to have your file corrected if there is any inaccurate information in it.
  • Identity theft victims and people on active duty with the military have additional right under the FCRA.


If you would like to view the Official FTC Summary of Rights please click on download PDF.

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  • Anyone obtaining your credit report must have written permission to obtain it.
  • Anyone obtaining your credit report must have permissible purpose for obtaining it.
  • You have the right to know why someone denies your application.
  • You have the right to know the name and the address of the company that provided your credit report.

Getting a Copy of Your Credit Report

An amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. To acquire your report you can go https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action or call 1-877-322-8228.


They will ask you to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

Disputes Related to Your Report

If you have a question about something in the Report compiled by Rental Research Inc. or Background Research, Inc., please call us at 253-838-9545 or 1-800-654-4936. You may also email us at research@researchinc.net.


Credit Bureau Contact Information

Rental Research obtains credit information from TransUnion. To contact them you may call 800-888-4213.

Background Research Inc. Blog

All materials in this blog is for your general information only. The information provided is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such. We recommend that you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice.

1/18/2018 Proposed Legislature update Pending laws affecting landlords in 2018
12/22/2017 RRI Market Update Fair Housing Laws in regards to applicant screening
11/21/2017 News regarding FICO and RRI Update The credit bureau’s rolling out a new scoring formula
09/26/2017 We’ve Got Big News Adverse Action letters and Seattle Fair Chance Housing Legislation
07/24/2017  NEW Tenant Screening Law SB 6413 Washington State requires disclosures to applicants
06/21/2017 Market Update Washington is experiencing a rental housing shortage
06/09/2017 We’ve Got Some Big News Pending laws affecting Washington and Oregon Landlords
12/20/2016 Recognizing Bogus Paystubs Counterfeit Paystubs may be easily obtained by your applicants
11/15/2016 Must You Take Section 8 It may be a civil rights violation to deny your Section 8 applicant
11/01/2016 Response to Washington Attorney General Do Property Managers agree with the Washington State attorney General that it is racist to deny Felons tenancy? 
10/25/2016  Racist for Landlords Not to Rent to Felons   The Washington State Attorney General believes denying applicants based on criminal records is racially discriminatory 
09/27/2016  Monitor and Keep Total Control   Ways to organize your RRI account that may help you keep track of different properties better 
09/08/2016  Basics of the Criminal Record Search  Why should you run a criminal records check and what records landlords are legally allowed to use when considering applicants 
08/23/2016 Background Research New Features and Options  Time saving features in our software that you might not know about
08/09/2016 Introducing the Quick App Option  This feature allows your applicants to apply for your rental online  
07/26/2016 Exciting New Services and Rental Research  Our new platform will provide you with better service 
02/12/2016  Great New Services Coming & Introducing Marita  Welcome to Rental Research, Marita 
12/23/2015  Happy Holiday  Wishing you a happy holiday