TransUnion Reports - Criminal Background Check
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How to read the TransUnion Criminal Background Check

A quick look at the content included in the Criminal Background Check prepared by TransUnion Smartmove

What information is included on the TransUnion background check?

 TransUnion provides a criminal background check accessing nationwide databases such as the National Sex Offender Registry, Most Wanted Database, and OFAC a well as state court records and criminal background databases across 44 states (DE, HI, KY, MA, SD, WY, not included)*. OFAC, Most Wanted, and Sex Offender results also come from U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Felony and misdemeanor records will be returned from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

If you process rental applications in New Jersey: 

As you may be aware, the New Jersey State Legislature passed S250/A1919, the “Fair Chance in Housing Act”. This legislation is effective as of January 1, 2022, and a link to the legislation can be found here.  Links are provided for convenience only.
The synopsis of the legislation indicates that it establishes certain housing rights of persons with criminal records.    It also includes many requirements regarding the use of criminal records in tenant screening; for example, it includes timeframe requirements based upon the degree of the offense.  Due to the requirements of the legislation and the limitations of the data, effective January 4, 2022, TransUnion will no longer return criminal records for rental applications where the property is in the State of New Jersey.


TransUnion's criminal background checks are robust. With access to over 200 million criminal records, they will give you the information necessary to make an informed decision. If your applicant has anything registered in the databases TransUnion has pulled from, you will be able to see and review it in the report. Typically, TransUnion will generate reports containing records dating back as far as seven years, although this varies by state and we recommend looking up your specific state's regulations for how far back the Criminal Background check searches. The FCRA prohibits reporting any arrest record or adverse non-conviction information older than seven years.

Reports may contain the following information:

  • Identifying information related to the charge. This includes name, dataset (court database), the category of the charge, state it took place in, and age of applicant at the time.
  • Any aliases and a physical description of the applicant (height, weight, sex, race, and any other physical features).
  • Court action: including the activity type (civil, criminal/traffic, misdemeanor, felony) and court record ID. The Activity Type field reflects the offense information contained in the record. The Court Record ID is the reference number the court uses to look up an offense.
  • Court Charge: Any charges including a description and filing date. The Charge Degree field provides certain information including the severity of the offense, the result of the charge, and other information the agent/landlord/manager can use to conduct additional research.

If there is further information you would like regarding the items on the report, you can search the court's online database using the Court Record ID and/or applicant's information.