Automated background checks are deciding who’s fit for a home

Colin Lecher:

As landlords decide who to rent to, CoreLogic offers an array of screening tools. They might use a product called ScorePLUS, which the company describes as a “statistical lease screening model” that calculates “a single score” to determine the potential risk of someone signing a lease. A landlord might also turn to a product called CrimCHECK, which conducts a database search for criminal records. The breadth of records the company advertises is impressive. The company says it uses an arrest records database of more than 80 million booking and incarceration records from approximately 2,000 facilities, updated every 15 minutes. CrimSAFE, the system that flagged Mikhail, is described by the company as an “automated tool [that] processes and interprets criminal records and notifies leasing staff when criminal records are found that do not meet the criteria you establish for your community.”

The ability to outsource decisions is a key pitch to prospective screeners. “Whatever decision or information service you use, you’ll find the same simple data entry process, rapid turnaround and clear concise results that eliminate the need for judgment calls by your leasing professionals,” the company tells visitors to its website. Should there be a problem, and a landlord must send an “adverse action” letter, the company advertises an automated system for that as well.