What should a landlord do when a potential tenant states they have had their credit report pulled recently and therefore, there’s no need to run another credit report for their lease application? Should they accept the applicant’s report and save the time and trouble?
In a word: no. Some tenants might be trying to save money and might not see the need for another credit report. Or, they may want you to know up front that their credit score is low; in this case you can make a decision to continue with your own report or reject their lease application.
And then there are those who fabricate their own credit reports, which happens every day to landlords and others who aren’t as cautious as they should be. Fake credit reports are widely available, so don’t make the mistake of accepting any credit report other than one from a trusted service provider.
Smart landlords don’t run their rental property business on guesswork. To really know who you’re renting to, always reinforce your policy that a credit and background check will be conducted on every tenant applicant.
If, after hearing you won’t accept their credit report, the potential tenant is no longer interested in your rental property, you might have dodged a bullet.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule! In some states, landlords must accept a potential tenant’s credit report if it is no older than 30 days. Other states have legislation that a credit bureau must forward an existing credit report whenever the tenant applies for a lease within 30 days. These laws are designed to prevent tenants from incurring high fees from repeated applications.
Landlords have the right to protect their business interests by leasing to qualified tenants. Make sure yours are qualified by conducting a thorough credit and background check on each one–even if they have one in their pocket for you!