Most public and subsidized landlords check out or screen people who apply to rent housing to help them decide if that person is likely to be a good tenant. They do this by getting various records, the most common of which are past landlord references, credit reports, and criminal records.

If you are applying for public or subsidized housing, certain types of tenant screening are required and allowed by law. The rules are different depending upon the program.

Knowing how screening works for different programs will help you decide what programs to apply to, how best to prepare your application, and how to protect yourself along the way.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated December 2009

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