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Tenant screening is a popular topic on the World Wide Web and elsewhere. More and more companies are providing tenant screening services of increasing sophistication, and we advise our readers to use them. In doing so, however, the landlord subjects himself to the strictures of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act is comprised of 24 sections of the United States Code, most of which have nothing to do with the landlord if he utilizes tenant screening reports. This article is an effort to cull those requirements that affect the landlord who uses screening services or credit reports and explore what they entail. This column is not an attempt to report upon the privacy and credit laws which may exist in particular states or localities. These are too numerous to deal with in one place.
A tenant screening report is undoubtedly a consumer report subject to the Act. The definition of “consumer report” is at 15 USC Sec. 1681(a)(d) and reads as follows:read more
When screening possible tenants, I am not sure what to do in regards to their criminal records, and when it is ok to reject an applicant due to their record.