Background Check

Welcome to the HousingMatch.org Background Check Page.

Please read the instructions carefully and watch the video before proceeding.

What we screen for:

HousingMatch.org screens the Tenant Screening Report for past evictions, criminal history, and registered sex offenders.  If you are aware of past criminal history that may effect the screening process, please apply with the help of a participating agency or you will have the option to post your ad on the Justice Involved site. HousingMatch.org has a policy that everyone who posts an ad for a roommate, even property owners, must access both the Tenant Screening Report and the MA CORI report.

The Justice Involved Site:

Persons with past criminal history and evictions prior to 2020, will be sent a link to post an ad on the Justice Involved site. Roommates are recommended to share background check information with each other, abide by rental contracts, and HousingMatch.org policies when they post ads on this site.

Note: If you are unable to pay the background check fees, Click here to join with an agency.

Next steps to join online:

          1. Get these two reports.

Click here to get your Tenant Screening Report ($31)

 

Click here to get your Massachusetts CORI Report ($25)

 

           2.  When approved, you will receive links by email to post an ad and activate your new account.

 

About the Tenant Screening Report:__________________________________________________________

  • IMPORTANT- Please make a copy of your Tenant Screening Report within 48 hours of opening the secure link by email.  
  • The Tenant Screening Report will be sent automatically to HousingMatch.org by the screening service.
  • You will need to have your driver’s license and social security number ready to obtain the report. The Tenant Screening Service does not accept ITIN numbers, you must have a social security number to access this report. The screening service charges $31 for the report which you may keep for your records.  You can make payment online with a major credit card. The report may be completed the same day, or if there is criminal history being reported, it may take up to one week. A copy will be sent automatically to HousingMatch.org to review.  A link will be sent to you to make a copy of your report. You must copy the report within 48 hours of opening the email with the link and signing in to your account or the link will expire. HousingMatch.org will keep a copy of your report for up to 45 days and then it will be deleted.
  • The Tenant Screening Report will include your TransUnion credit report, a thorough OFAC, SDN, nationwide criminal records search, sex offender’s registry, FBI’s Most Wanted, Terrorist Watch, and a national eviction history search. All searches are conducted in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by Reliable Background Screening a BBB recommended service. HousingMatch.org will not accept background check reports from other services.

About the CORI:

  • The Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) report is specific to criminal records for the state of Massachusetts. The state charges $25 for the online  CORI report, however, qualifying households can obtain the report free of charge by filling out an Affidavit of Indigency Form and sending the report by post or “snail mail”. This process takes about 2 weeks.
  • You can obtain your CORI quickly (within 2-3 business days) by ordering it online; there is a $25 processing. To order your report online, first create an account, then when you will receive an email to  login and request your CORI report, you can download the report from your private user dashboard. You will need personal information about your family and birthplace and a copy of your state driver’s license or identification to request the report. You are not required to show your report to anyone but HousingMatch.org recommends that members share their background check information with each other before deciding to become roommates.

Protect Your Identity:

  • You are not required to show your background check report information to anyone. However, if you decide to share your reports with a landlord or prospective roommate, redact the following information: 1) Your year of birth, 2) the first five digits of your social security number, 3) your parents information, and 4) if your case is “closed” or “dismissed” keep these words on your report, but redact any information about the case.

Disputes:

  • If you need to dispute any of the information that you find in the Tenant Screening Report, you can contact Reliable Screening Service directly at (800)787-2439. For disputes about information in your CORI, see links in our Resources section for free legal services available in Massachusetts.

Find out more by viewing our Policies and Agreements