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Tenant Background Checks Market Report

This report is based on analysis of data from industry research, legal cases, academic research, the CFPB’s market monitoring, and other third-party sources. In our research, we focused on publicly available information from a sample of 17 tenant screening companies that offer services to landlords across the country. These companies were selected based on their perceived prevalence in sources such as: public-facing websites, analyses by industry observers, academic research, consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB, and recent lawsuits. Given the highly bifurcated nature of the industry, with hundreds of small players and a few large ones, there is, obviously, some degree of uncertainty as to the extent to which our sample is representative.

This report begins with a description of the rental housing landscape. Next, the report provides an overview of the tenant screening industry, the features of tenant screening reports, the regulatory landscape, and the participants in the tenant screening data ecosystem. Finally, we examine three tenant screening report market challenges where longstanding issues have the potential to create or reinforce market distortions and harms for landlords and renters. Those are: (1) public records, including eviction and criminal records, (2) credit reports and credit scores, and (3) customized rental risk scores and related automated screening solutions.

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