When Should You Run A Background Check On Someone And How?

There are going to be some instances in life in which you have to submit to a background check, but there also might be times when you need (or want) to run a background check on someone else. Whether you’re checking their criminal record, credit, residential history, or anything in between, there’s some information that you’ll want to know.

In what cases are you most likely to need a background check on a person, though? We have a few scenarios where a background check is common, and we’ll also let you know how to perform a background check. While it might be easier and cheaper than you think, it can also involve some legal issues to think about.


A majority of the background checks that are performed are through employers who want to make sure that they’re investing their time and money into the right person. Typically, a background check will come after an interview and when a conditional job offer is issued. However, before everything is put into writing and signed, a background check is done for the final approval of the employee.

There are certain things in a background check that will end up being pertinent information for an employer. They’ll be able to see if their potential employee has been hopping from job to job while also seeing if there’s a criminal history that could hinder the safety of coworkers. If the applicant was found lying on their resume or has been charged with a white-collar crime, it could lead to the job offer being withdrawn.

Landlord or Tenant

A landlord is going to want to know that they’re renting the property they own to the right people, and they’ll find out much of the same information that an employer would. The background check can help to verify employment, guaranteeing that the tenant has enough money to pay the rent each month. If there’s no criminal background, it can also help the landlord feel at ease knowing that their property will go undamaged.

Tenants can also run background checks on their potential landlords. There are many landlords that aren’t exactly saints and can end up dealing in shady practices. You want to know that if you’re sending potentially tens of thousands of dollars per year to someone that you’re not going to get randomly evicted because the landlord is a potentially harmful person.


Let’s say that you start dating someone that you met online and you really like them. You don’t want to move too fast because you don’t know them all that well, but if you really feel inclined, you can have a background check run on them to make sure that you’re not getting into anything dangerous. While employers must notify someone that a background check is being run on them, it can be different for individuals.

In most cases, it’s illegal to conduct a background check on someone that doesn’t know there’s one being submitted. With that in mind, you’ll want to study your local laws to see what can be done. At the very least, you’ll still be able to verify who they are without breaking the law by getting a full check. If you both consent, though, a background check might be extreme, but it won’t hurt.


You absolutely want to make sure that your children are safe above all else. With that said, never put your children in the hands of someone that you don’t know unless they are willing to submit to a background check. Anyone that’s willing to do so is likely going to be trustworthy, and the background check will show just that.

Some childcare providers may be offended by the thought, and if they are, it’s probably not worth your time to leave your kids with them. When it comes to teachers, though, they have already had background checks, so you can be assured that they’re qualified to watch your children throughout the day.

How to Run a Background Check

In most states, you’re able to access someone’s criminal history through a quick search on the state’s website. If you want more information such as credit, address, employment history, etc., you’ll have to get something more detailed. There are verified websites that can perform a full background check, and they usually only cost around $10 to $20.

No matter what kind of background check you’re getting, though, you want to inform the other party that you’re running a background check on them and you should obtain their permission. Failure to do so can lead to legal action against you.

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