The Basics of Tenant Credit Checks

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on April 28, 2012 under Tenant Credit Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblog.comMost landlords and property managers screen prospective tenants carefully. But if you’re new to landlording, you may be wondering if it’s necessary or worth the trouble.

The answer is yes! Running credit checks on every lease applicant will give you the peace of mind of knowing your business and livelihood are protected. Here are the basics of tenant credit checks, so you can know what to expect.

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies and credit report users to follow strict guidelines. To increase accuracy and prevent identity theft, Congress made changes in 2004 to restrict who may access credit information. Rental businesses must comply with rules such as operating a separate, secure business office, holding a business license and submitting to an on-site inspection.
  • Landlords who don’t meet these standards may not obtain an individual’s actual credit score. Instead, they may obtain a comprehensive report regarding the applicant’s publicly available information, such as liens, judgments, bankruptcies, social security validation, and criminal records search.
  • In addition, landlords must obtain the applicant’s consent to release credit-related information, and the applicant must confirm his or her information (name, SSN, date of birth and address) before the landlord receives the report.
  • It’s easy and quick to verify a prospective tenant’s identity and credit worthiness. With, you’ll receive a background report within an hour Monday through Friday, and same day if ordering on the weekend.
  • For property management companies, full tenant credit files, business credit reports and criminal background checks are available immediately online, 24/7.
  • Any credit information landlords receive on individuals must be held in the strictest confidence. If credit information is used to reject an applicant, the FCRA requires that he or she be advised in writing.

Using a reliable, experienced tenant screening service is the best way to ensure you are in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

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