Background Check for a Roommate: Four Tips to Know

Background Check for a Roommate: Four Tips to Know - free background check for roommate

When considering a roommate, it’s important to make sure that you’re living with someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible. A roommate background check can really put your mind at ease.

It may seem over-the-top at first, but you’ll be sharing living spaces, finances, and personal items with this person, and you want to make sure that you’re comfortable with them and that they won’t pose a risk to your safety or well-being.

Performing a background check for roommate candidates before you agree to let them move in will provide information about their criminal history, credit history, and other relevant details to help you decide whether or not they are a good fit.

Asking Your Roommate Criminal Background

Before conducting a background and credit check for roommate candidates, ask them to provide a clean criminal record check or for permission to obtain this information on their behalf. It may seem a little intrusive or uncomfortable, but it’s important to remember that you’re entering into a living arrangement with this person, and you have a right to know if they have any criminal history that could pose a risk to you or your property.

Roommate background screening has to come with the territory. Be direct and straightforward, and explain why you’re making the request. Consider offering to pay for the background check or offer to provide a background check of your own to show that you’re being transparent and fair. Most importantly, be respectful and understanding of your roommate’s privacy, and be prepared to discuss the results of the check.

What to Include in Background Check for Roommates

You may also want to consider performing a credit check on your potential roommate. This type of check can provide information about the person’s credit history and employment history.

To perform a background and credit check, you can use a number of different services, including online databases and professional background check companies. Look for any negative information, such as a history of unpaid bills, bankruptcy, or criminal charges.

Roommate Background Screening

Another option for conducting a background check on your potential roommate is to use a roommate background screening service. These services are specifically designed for people looking for roommates, and they can provide comprehensive information about the person’s background.

When using a roommate background screening service, you’ll typically need to provide some basic information about your potential roommate, including their name, address, and social security number. The service will then perform a search and provide you with a detailed report, including information about the person’s criminal history, credit history, and other relevant details.

These services are quite pricey, though, so bear that in mind.

Tips for Conducting a Roommate Background Check

If you’ve made up your mind and decided to conduct a check, here are just a few tips to bear in mind.

1. Be Respectful and Transparent

When conducting a background check on a potential roommate, it’s important to be respectful and transparent with them. They need to know why you feel the need to conduct the check, and you should be willing to provide them with a background check into your personal history as well.

2. Look for Red Flags

When reviewing the results of a background check, be on the lookout for any red flags that indicate that your roommate may be dangerous or leave you with unpaid rent. Unpaid bills, poor credit, and a criminal record are all red flags.

3. Check for Accuracy

Don’t just check out your roommate. Make sure that the information you receive is accurate and up-to-date. Double-check the information against other sources, such as public records or online databases. If there are discrepancies or inaccuracies, consider seeking additional information or clarification.

4. Consider Your Own Comfort Level

When considering a potential roommate, it’s important to take into account your own comfort level and personal preferences. While a background check can provide valuable information about a person’s history, it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether or not you feel comfortable living with them. If your gut tells you not to go ahead, don’t.


You are going to be sharing an intimate space with your new roommate for the foreseeable future, and you need to be sure that you are able to live with them. A roommate background check can provide total peace of mind and a sense of comfort.


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