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The Pros & Cons of Conducting Tenant Criminal Background Checks in Portland, OR

The Pros & Cons of Conducting Tenant Criminal Background Checks in Portland, OR

Are you a landlord in Portland, Oregon? If so, one of the decisions you'll face is whether to conduct a criminal background check on potential tenants. It's a practice that comes with its own set of pros and cons.

In this article, we'll break down the pros and cons of conducting tenant criminal background checks in Portland. Some of the pros include safety and security. Potential cons include higher vacancy rates.

Let's get started so that you can make an informed decision.


In the quest to be a responsible landlord in Portland, Oregon, conducting tenant criminal background checks offers several distinct advantages. These checks play a vital role in enhancing property safety and compliance with local regulations.

Safety and Security

One of the most significant advantages of conducting criminal background checks is ensuring the safety and security of your property and other tenants. By screening out individuals with a history of violent or criminal behavior, you reduce the risk of harm to your rental property and its occupants.

Compliance with the Law

Portland has specific regulations governing tenant screening, including criminal background checks. Conducting these checks helps you stay compliant with local laws and regulations. This prevents legal troubles down the road.

Protecting Your Investment

A thorough background check can reveal any past eviction records. This can be crucial in protecting your investment. Evictions can be costly and time-consuming, so preventing them through screening is advantageous.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that you've conducted a criminal background check can provide peace of mind. This is especially true when renting to new tenants. It can reassure you that you've done your due diligence in selecting responsible and trustworthy renters.


The practice of tenant criminal background checks in Portland can come with its share of challenges, too. Let's highlight a few of these here.

Potential for Discrimination

While screening tenants is essential, there's a risk of discrimination. If not done carefully and fairly, you could unintentionally discriminate against certain groups, which is illegal. Remember to always ensure that your screening process complies with fair housing laws.

Higher Vacancy Rates

A strict criminal background check policy may result in longer vacancy periods for your rental property. Prospective tenants with minor criminal records might look elsewhere. This can leave your property unoccupied for longer.

Added Costs

Conducting criminal background checks comes with a cost, both in terms of time and money. You'll need to invest in background check services, and the process can delay the tenant selection process.

Conducting a Tenant Criminal Background Check

In the end, the decision to conduct tenant criminal background checks in Portland hinges on finding the right balance between safety and fairness. For expert guidance on navigating this path and other property management insights, consider reaching out to Kerr Properties.

We are your trusted partner in the world of property rentals. We have more than four decades of first-hand experience as a property management company. Contact a property manager today to learn how we can help with a criminal background check.