What You Need to Know About a Landlords Credit Report

landlords credit report
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If you are planning on renting property, your landlord may have told you he is going to run a credit check. What a terrifying prospect.

Will he be able to see you didn’t pay your rent on October 1st, 2009? What about your credit cards?

Calm down.

Landlords do this as a means of mitigating risk when renting out properties. There are some things you should be aware of a renter. For example, there are some cases where this may affect your credit score.

Your landlord just wants to make sure you will be able to pay your rent each month. Here we will discuss what you need to know about a landlord’s credit report.

Why Does a Landlord Look at This?

A landlord’s livelihood is dependent on your ability to pay the monthly rent. Legally your landlord can do this, but you must give written permission. This can be written into the rental agreement.

Read the fine print.

This can seem invasive. Understand that you are entering into a legally binding agreement.

What Information Can Be Found?

Depending on the reporting agency your landlord uses, he could receive information from the past seven to ten years. You may see the following:

  • whether you have filed bankruptcy
  • convictions or arrests (depending on the state)
  • recent evictions (depending on the state)
  • late or delinquent bills, including any loans and rent
  • involvements in lawsuits

Your landlord may be able to see your credit score, depending on the reporting agency he chooses. Your landlord can use this in determining whether or not to rent to you. The higher your credit score, the lower the risk you present to him.

How Will He Get a Landlord’s Credit Report?

Your landlord needs your name, address, and either their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number.

All of this information should be on the rental application.

Make sure you know how much (if any) credit check fees your landlord charges.

Once you have this information and have consent, you can get a credit report from a variety of sources.

Landlord Associations

Some of these organizations will offer landlord’s credit checks for a fee. These will count as hard inquiries that will impact your credit score.

Credit Bureaus

He can receive a report from Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. These are special reports for landlords and will count as soft inquiries.

Tenant Screening Services

Some of these services will offer credit checks. He will request to know whether or not you, as a renter, meet certain credit requirements. It will count as a soft inquiry.

Being Aware of Landlord-Tenant Law

Before you rent a property, be sure to know some of the basics of landlord-tenant law. You do not need to be a lawyer, but you don’t want to enter into any contracts without proper knowledge.

If you are renting a property and have any questions beyond the landlord’s credit report, feel free to reach out to us.

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