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How to Run a Credit Check on a Prospective Tenant

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Tips for Running a Credit Check
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Some Important Tips to Remember When Running a Credit Check:

  • Run a credit check on all prospective tenants, not just the ones who "rub you the wrong way."

  • You need a prospective tenant's written consent to run a credit check.

  • Landlords must be approved by a credit check or tenant screening company to run credit checks on prospective tenants.

  • Screen all applicants in the exact same manner so you are not accused of discrimination.

  • If you refuse to rent to someone with bad credit, you must send them an "Adverse Action" letter.

  • Always adhere to the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

  • It is always best to have everything signed and in writing to protect yourself.

  • Keep documents and credit reports in a secure place in case a tenant tries to accuse you of discrimination. You can pull out the negative credit report to back up your position.

  • Just because someone has a favorable report does not mean they will be an ideal tenant. Don’t let your guard down!

  • Background checks and credit checks are not the same. Background checks offer a more in depth report on a potential tenant and can be combined with a credit check. Keep in mind that you also need specific written consent to perform a background check.
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