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City Helps Landlords with Background Checks

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- Before renting out one of her 200 plus apartments, Laura OLeary does her homework.

"We call previous landlords who they've rented from before," OLeary said who is president of the Landlords of Linn County. We do credit checks.

She manages Pheasant Run apartments-- a community she's kept crime-free for nearly 10 years.

"A landlord that has a good screening process in place eliminates so many problems and headaches down the road," OLeary said.

Through "SAFE CR," the city is offering landlords more in-depth background checks for $8. 

"It's something that gives the landlords the information that they need," said Amanda Grieder, city nuisance property abatement coordinator.

As of this week, landlords can now see a potential tenants background in all 50 states--not just Iowa's.

They can also check to see if that person is a registered sex offender and look into their criminal history.

Even so, the city says the choice is still up to the landlord.

"They're not given from the city with any bias as to who or who not to rent to," Grieder said.

A simple process landlords say with long results.

"Your life as landlord will be a lot easier," OLeary said.

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