Strongsville, Ohio Ramps Up Background Checks for Solicitors

By Michael Klazema on 6/2/2016

Strongsville, Ohio—a suburb of Cleveland—has been cracking down on door-to-door solicitors for years. According to, the city has had an ordinance in place since the 1990s that requires solicitors to register with the city and go through background checks. Those requirements are already more rigorous than those solicitors face elsewhere in the country, but according to the same report, the requirements are only going to get more rigorous. Going forward, all solicitors will face more in-depth background checks, and some will even have to pay a small fee to work in the city.

Door-to-door salespeople are frequently looked upon with skepticism, annoyance, or even fear—no matter the location or situation. Countless businesses and homes nationwide bedeck their doors with "No Soliciting" signs. In Strongsville, it sounds like the bulk of the trouble with door-to-door solicitors has occurred in residential areas rather than in relation to commercial businesses. The city reportedly first imposed regulations on solicitors in the 1990s after local homeowners complained about having salespeople show up at their doors late into the evening.

Per the report, that 1990s ordinance hasn't exactly deterred solicitors in the Strongsville area. On the contrary, after a hailstorm left many homes in the area with damage a few years ago, solicitors went door-to-door in Strongsville's residential areas, setting up repair plans with residents. Most of those repairs were never completed. Resident complaints also indicate that, despite Strongsville's regulations, solicitors are becoming more aggressive lately. Typically, companies that perform cold calls teach their salespeople to "never take no for an answer." As a result, a solicitor just trying to do his or her job can come across as vaguely threatening—particularly to homeowners who have “No Soliciting" signs or poor prior experiences with salespeople.

New regulations are meant to keep solicitors from harassing homeowners who are clearly not interested in what they are selling. For years, Strongsville has required solicitors to register with the city and provide an array of personal and professional information. Among the pieces of information that solicitors have to provide on their city applications are Social Security numbers, vehicle license plates, information about the companies they work for, and details about what they will be soliciting and where.

Previously, the city only ran local background checks on these solicitors. Going forward, Strongsville will expand the process to include checks through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and the FBI. Applicants will have to provide fingerprints.

Some solicitors will need to pay a small fee of $25 if they wish to operate legally in Strongsville. This requirement will not apply to all salespeople. Rather, the $25 fee is exclusive to door-to-door solicitors who are asking for donations to promoting a specific cause. Salespeople promoting a product or service will not have to pay the fee.

Ultimately, this type of program is a smart one that other cities and towns might consider implementing. As mentioned above, door-to-door solicitors often mean no harm and are just trying to do their jobs. However, these types of salespeople also often employ tactics that can make their prospective customers feel annoyed, harassed, or downright threatened. The updated ordinances in Strongsville should help to create an atmosphere in which solicitors know to be more respectful of people who are not interested in their products, services, or causes.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.