Need to Know!

September 10, 2012 5:30 pm

Portable Tenant Screening Reports – Housing Advocates & the FCRA

There is a great deal of discussion in the rental housing industry regarding the pros and cons of “portable” tenant screening reports – a single tenant credit check, for example, made available to multiple prospective landlords.  Tenant advocates like the idea and have long sought a portability mandate – legislation to require landlords to accept such reports.  The appeal (to advocates) is that low income and other hard to place applicants often pay multiple tenant screening fees before finding a landlord who will accept them – a hardship they can ill-afford. A portability mandate, in theory at least, solves this problem by making it possible for applicants to pay for a single tenant screening report and use it with multiple landlords.  But there are problems with this approach. First of all, landlords, as a group, are strongly opposed to a portability mandate – even those willing to accept such reports! ... View Article

January 3, 2012 5:56 pm

Tenant Screening 101 – Rental References

Verifying rental history is an essential part of the tenant screening process.  Rental verifications compliment credit and public records searches or background checks, by: Detecting eviction activity that may not yet have found its way into public records data or onto the credit report (as a civil judgment). Revealing violations of landlord rules and regulations that may not have risen to the level of an eviction but are nevertheless important to you. Providing you with a more complete view of the kind of resident the applicant has been and is likely to be. Logically, recent problems are most likely to go undetected in the landlord screening.  Done correctly, rental verifications will reduce or eliminate the exposure. Rental verifications should: Be done consistently. Include pursuit of undisclosed addresses found on credit reports – to determine whether they are apartment communities.  Search engines such as Google are useful for this purpose.  Consider... View Article