How Agents and Landlords Can Get Credit Reports Legally?
When screening potential tenants, getting an up-to-date credit report is vital. This information can help you see whether the applicant has the sort of dependable credit history you want, free of evictions and bad debts from prior landlords. But, to ensure that you stay on the right side of the law, you need to make sure that you are pulling the report correctly and through approved channels.
Many landlords and agents have friends at financial institutions use the systems there to pull credit reports and background checks. It can seem like a convenient practice if you don’t know how to get this information yourself. But, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) there are some very specific rules about who can pull a report and when. You, as a prospective landlord, do have the right to view a credit report. But, by having it done through back channels, you are having someone who does not have reason to pull the report access it for you. By getting them involved, you are actually breaking the law.
Potential tenants will be able to see which entity pulled their credit report. When your tenant looks at a credit report to see who has been checking his or her credit, you need to ensure that the records show who pulled the report and why. Improper access to credit reports has stiff penalties under law. If an individual lies to get a credit report or uses it improperly, they may be responsible for statutory damages between $100 and $1000.
Luckily, there is an easy and affordable way to get the information that you need to make wise decisions about who you rent to. At theRRD, we offer comprehensive credit reports and background checks. The credit reporting is combined with information collected from property managers, property owners, real estate agents and landlords throughout the country. Reports are generated in minutes so that you can get an answer back to a potential renter right away. Information in the report includes a credit report, criminal history and incident rental history.
When it comes to protecting your financial interests, you need to have proper procedure on your side. Use RRD’s convenient, legal and detailed Instant Tenant Screening report to get the information that you need with the correct legal tools.