Can our apartment complex force my father to give his social security number for a background check? We are trying to add him to our lease.

When paying my rent today, I told the office that I wanted to add my father to the lease. They stated that he had to give his SS# for a background check, or he couldn’t stay here. There are other ways to do a background chek, Driver Liscense #, etc. I live in Alabama, what are the ramifications of this, if they force the issue? Is legal action possible?

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

They have the right to ask for the SS# since the background check includes a credit check as well as a criminal background check. A driver's license would only provide limited background information. This is the reason why a SS# is used for background checks for obtaining credit, applying for a job, and renting an apartment.

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