Can I check if my tenant has any criminal convictions?

Question

I have had my tenants referenced, but I would like to carry out a criminal convictions check on them. Am I allowed to do this?

Answer

No.

Checks on an individual’s criminal records are made via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - previously known as a CRB Check – and can only be made by an employer, not an individual.

Your tenant can apply for a basic disclosure certificate themselves, which will identify any unspent criminal convictions that they have. The certificate, which costs £25 to obtain, requires your tenant to fill in a form online and submit three forms of ID digitally (passport, driving license, birth certificate or National Identity card).

Your tenant will require:

  • Address details for the past five years
  • Their National Insurance number

They'll also need to supply a copy of one of the following, which includes their current address:

  • Utility bill (gas, electric or landline telephone)
  • Rental agreement/mortgage (must be typed not handwritten)
  • Current bank statement
  • Doctor's letter

The check can be carried out here


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