Obtaining Credit Checks

As a landlord, of course you are allowed to obtain a credit report when conducting tenant screening.

However, the level of detail available to you will differ if you are an incorporated business versus an individual landlord renter.

As an incorporated business – property management firm, developer, etc. – you will be able to obtain a full report. As an individual landlord, under current Credit Reporting Agency regulations, you are only allowed a summary of a tenant applicant’s credit report. This summary does not include specific details such as account numbers, names/alias’, social security number or driver’s license numbers. Working with a credentialed screening agency such as Bemrose Consulting does, however, give the individual landlord renter a written recommendation along with the summary.

A credit report provides information beyond simply a list of accounts and their status. It includes alias’, past addresses, validates social security numbers and dates of birth, lists former employers (as well as any actions filed against the employee), and of course any collections, liens or adjudgments against the applicant.

If you turn down an applicant because of negative information on a credit report, you must send the applicant an “adverse action” letter, which informs the applicant of three things:

  • the reason you rejected the applicant,
  • name and address of the agency that reported the negative information, and
  • applicant’s right to obtain a free copy of the report by requesting it from that agency within 60 days.

As a client of Bemrose Consulting, we will provide this letter to you and your applicant as part of our service to you.

To run a credit check, you’ll need a prospective tenant’s name, address, and Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).