Question: I own 15 homes, a few of which are in Old Town Scottsdale.  Given the visitor season coming up, I want to rent them as short-term vacation rentals and keep the rest of the homes on long-term leases.  I plan on having all rentals be shorter than one week.  Am I legally required to do a credit background check on them like I do for long term rentals?

Answer: You are not required to do any credit background check on a short-term rental; in fact, there is no law requiring you to do a background check on a long-rental either.  Completing a criminal and credit background is a good business decision – you want to know who you are going into business with and whether they will be able to perform on their end of the bargain and pay rent.  However, there is no legal requirement that you do a background check.  For example, if you go to a hotel, they likely don’t do a background check. However, if you go rent a home for a year or go lease a car, you can expect to have to complete a background check.  The only thing you must consider is, to comply with fair housing laws, you be consistent in whatever standards you chose.  Once you set your standards, make sure you apply it consistently.

Mark B. Zinman, Attorney

Information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.
You should always contact an attorney for legal advice and not rely on information published here.