How do landlords check a tenant's rental history?


Quick Answer

When reviewing a prospective tenant, most landlords check the tenant's credit scores. The TransUnion score covers bankruptcy, collections, evictions and lawsuits, and is most relevant to landlords. Experian offers a more detailed rental history, but only if the tenant's previous landlords share rental payment data with the credit bureau.

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Full Answer

When a landlord pulls a tenant's credit history, he learns about any bankruptcies, evictions and other major marks against the tenant's credit. This information is often enough for a landlord to make a decision regarding a potential tenant. Some landlords also request information from a rental history report company. This information is much more comprehensive and includes rental history verification, employment verification, eviction notices and a 10-year address history of the tenant. Many of these companies also offer a criminal background search covering federal, state and county level crimes and sex offenses.

Tenants can also request rental history reports on themselves. If there are negative marks on a credit score or report it is sometimes possible to contact previous landlords and attempt to resolve any outstanding debts and remove them from the rental history. Some landlords may also be willing to remove late or missed payment reports as long as there is no outstanding debt. Reports of eviction or lawsuits are much harder to remove and likely count against the tenant for years.

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