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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33713
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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We are submitting a rental application in Philadelphia, PA.

Customer Question

We are submitting a rental application in Philadelphia, PA. We are a married couple. We would like to submit an application with my husband as the lease holder and myself as a resident. Can they request a background check on someone who is only a resident and not the lease holder? We currently live in Brooklyn NY and we were allowed to do that when we rented here.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

Can they request a background check on someone who is only a resident and not the lease holder?

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Legally yes, they can request a background check on anyone who is occupying the property, either as a tenant or as an occupant. The landlord has a right to inquire into the civil and criminal backgrounds of anyone who would be living on the premises and and choose to reject an applicant based on the results of a background check on all parties as long as they apply any evaluation rules evenly and do not discriminate based on any illegal reasons.

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But there is nothing that would prohibit husband from being the only legal tenant under the lease with you just being an occupant..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
here is a bit more detail, the rent on the place we are applying for is $2500 a month. My husband makes $200K a year, well able to afford the place. I had an eviction back in 2010 with a judgement of $695 against me. What is the best route to proceed?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.

Ok, if you aren't listed as a tenant, it shouldn't make a difference because only the tenant is legally liable for the rental payment. An occupant's past credit issues or judgments don't affect the lease.

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But to be honest, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years and I would suggest simply being up front with the landlord if it is a smaller non-corporate landlord and tell him that you had an eviction long ago due to a mix up in some payments and that is why you don't want to be on the lease. I am much more likely to give someone a chance if they are honest with me rather than if I find out later.

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If this is a corporate landlord, then you will want to make sure that only husband applies and try to shy away from providing any personal information about yourself like SSN, and DOB because some corporate landlords see an eviction on anyone and they just deny, even if it isn't a tenant.. But they may not even ask for a credit check on occupants because the contract isn't dependent on them anyway.

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And here it isn't even the applicant who has had the issue... so it makes it even more irrelevant what type of issues an occupant has had in the past.

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But landlords tend to appreciate tenants/occupants who lay all their cards on the table to start out the relationship.

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thanks

Barrister

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