Landlords are allowed to give tenants a credit check to lease an apartment. This credit check can take the form of credit reports and other tenant screening reports to decide whether or not to rent to a tenant. The California Tenant Law states that landlords are allowed to charge tenants for the cost of obtaining these screenings/reports and can charge no more than $42.41 per application. The fee only applies to the “out-of-pocket costs” of attaining these background reports, as well as for the “reasonable value of time spent” by the landlord for accessing these documents. Landlords using the screening fee to access tenants credit reports must give the tenant a copy of the report upon their request.
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