#landlord credit check
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Most landlords pull reports from a potential tenant via one of the major credit reporting agencies. The landlord might require a certain minimum credit score from tenants or check his debt-to-income ratio to gauge whether the applicant can reasonably afford the dwelling. The credit agencies count a request for a report from a landlord a hard inquiry, which takes up to five points off your score.
Federal fair housing laws bars landlords from picking and choosing whom they want to screen. Thus, landlords should run credit checks on all applicants or none at all to prevent a housing discrimination lawsuit. Consumer credit reports also contain previous addresses and employers, so even if an applicant has a good credit score, the landlord might consider previous changes in address or employers a sign of a risky and unstable tenant.
In addition to a credit check, a landlord usually purchases a tenant history report—sometimes just a tenant report—and might verify income and bank account statements. Tenant history reports contain your rental history and any previous evictions. Thus, if you have financial disasters in your recent past, you probably won’t escape them.
Before you go looking for an apartment, run a credit check on yourself. You receive a free one each year from all three major bureaus. If the credit agencies list erroneous accounts on your record, dispute them. The credit bureaus have a right to list legitimate negative marks on your credit history, but you can leave a personal comment on any item. If you have medical debt in collections, for example, you might pay it off and then state that it was a sudden disaster—which might be enough to sway a landlord’s decision.