TOPIC: Re:Applicant Rental History Verification

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3736

The criminal criteria I have seen have included AUTOMATIC denials for the following (just off the top of my head):

-Crimes involving violence
-Theft crimes
-Drug possession, sale, or manufacture

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3743

Recently joined the multifamily insider and starting reading the comments regarding this subject.
I can see both sides to this concern however I do think it should be looked at more black and white. Yes, people make mistakes and can learn from those and change but that's where your criteria should set the tone.
From a property management background I would say no evictions, bankruptcy or forecloses with in the past 7 years. I think that gives time for one to prove themselves again, when companies make exceptions based on feelings and not reality, I would say they loose 80% of the time. In addition I have personally seen cases where a company only using the credit report as a source of approval and is burned due to lack of research. If you check past references as well it give you a better since of security.
Here in Houston we have a Rental History service through our Apartment Association that provides local up to date rental history with the most effective credit and collection reporting tool. It’s effective and it works. Subscribers enter the move-in / move-out history on a regular basis so you get it first hand before waiting for it to show up on a credit report that could take up to 90days or longer.

I would be interested to find out if other sources provide this type of service? It’s a great tool to look into…
  • Tawanna Stewart
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Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3756

Many of our property owners and managers use an automated decision table that leaves a paper trail of why a person's rental application was declined. When the criteria is preset and electronic, it doesn't get any more black and white. Also, Tawanna, there is a company called PRBC, Pay Reporting Builds Credit, that has been tracking rental payments and other types of recurring payments like utilities for many years. MicroBilt, my company, purchased the company about a year ago.

It actually is accompanied by the FICO Expansion Score, which aligns with a traditional FICO Score.

Here's a link to a sample of the report:

  • Matt Roesly
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Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4107

David Kotowski wrote:

Wow. I didn't think my question would create such a conversation, but I'm glad we're talking about this...

After reading all of the responses, I find it very curious that when it comes to screening, no one seems to consider Fair Housing. Just FYI... I'm not taking sides either way. I just want to hear what everyone has to say.

Every other topic whether it has to do with pricing to amenity hours seems to ultimately end up with "well, because of Fair Housing" and the solution is always black and white.

How can you possibly request information about someone's rental history and make a judgment without seeming biased? We've all said "bad rental history" would be declined. What is "bad rental history?"

Is it more than one late payment? Why are there exceptions to bad credit if they always pay rent on-time?

Also, if someone says they wouldn't rent to them again can you really use that against them? What if the person who is making the recommendation had a bias against your applicant? You wouldn't know it, but you end up continuing the biased behavior.

It all just seems very funny to me. Honestly, I think screening should be more black and white. I realize most people would say that's not the best way, but doesn't something else increase your liability to a lawsuit?

Again, I'm not taking either side. I'm just curious.

David, I think you hit the nail on the head. I have been in the screening business for 11 years, working with local and national property management companies all across the United States. The vast majority, 90% or more, of my clients have abandoned the landlord verification process.

People are afraid to report that a resident caused problems, because they either are afraid of getting sued or they simply want that person out of their community.

The availability of data today allows the screening companies to get a great amount of information, allowing the system to approve, approve with conditions or decline applicants effectively....without the risk of possible Fair Housing issues.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4115

Here is an example using my situation. I lived in my house for 5 years. My ex husband was making over $100,000 a year. Then he got laid off and could find work. Then he took off one night and left me with all the bills. Obviously I couldn't afford to pay much in the way of the bills considering I was make less than 1/3 of what he was making. My credit prior to that was excellent and prior to buying our house I rented from the same company for 5 years with one late pay due to a mix up with a paycheck. No criminal history of any sort and I always take excellent care of places I live. I am renting from the same rental company as I rented from before. (The house was only in my ex-husband's name so there was no way to renegotiate that, but I it also doesn't list on my credit as a foreclosure.) Now I am moving to new town, I need a new place to live. I am very upfront with my situation, my credit score, I qualify with my income easily, I have a great rental reference. Would you rent to me?
We use credit and criminal background and landlord references to qualify. If the score is under a certain number it is up for review. If they have a good landlord reference and income verification then we will consider renting to them with double deposit depending on the situation.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4124

Again, it all depends on what your companies policies are on credit worthiness. At our property, we do not take things as a case by case basis but we have policies set and those are the policies we abide by with no exceptions. If you don't then you are looking at a possible discrimination case. I agree with whoever said it when they said that at no time do I care about their personal situation. I think of this business like I do any other sales business... When you go to buy a car do they care if you were divorced and your husband took everything? Nope all they care if they can get you financed. If you apply for a credit card do they care about your situation? No they just care about your credit score and income. It's very black and white. We are in the sales business and we are providing housing and in some cases that housing in worth upto $12,000 or more for a one year signed contract which is no different then someone walking off the street wanting to purchase a used car. My supervisor says it best... if you want to take a chance on someone then you feel free to sign on the dotted line to co-sign for them. You become financially responsible for them... lets see how many sob stories you would take into consideration when it's no longer someone else's money.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4129

Chrissy, if you ever are looking for a job, please contact me! If only more on-site people thought like this! Awesome.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4131

Thanks! I'm all about being a humanitarian in my personal life but it's business and like someone said we are not a social service industry. Those people will find housing and let the other apartment communities be the one to take the chance. I'm a firm believer... I'd rather it sit vacant then to rent to an unqualified person. I would put money on it if you followed the people that were described in this topic and found out where they rented and keep track of them... I would say a large percentage of them you will find bad payment history as well as possible evictions from their future housing.
I have noticed since this economical crisis has begun more and more property managers are screaming bad economy and the fact is not everyone has been crippled by this crisis and there are qualified people out there that still need a place to live... instead of harping on how bad it is out there we all should be focusing on how to get those qualified people to your community and not somewhere else and the way to do that is by NOT dropping your standards and allowing unqualified people in. Qualified applicants are not going to want to live next to someone who isn't. You may ask, "how would they even know?!?" well not to be rude but when you drive into an apartment community and there are a bunch of beater cars and people walking around in the middle of the day it gives a clear picture of the type of people that live there. I'm just saying, it takes just a few "considerations" to turn your property into a less than desirable place to live.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 3 months ago #4134

You know I could not agree with you more. I wish there were more people who looked at it that way instead of comission driven. Don't get me wrong I love to make money, but not at the expense of being imbarassed of my workplace. I love what I do and the place where I work so I am going to do what is in my power that we keep the property at its best.
  • Michelle Alnajjar
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Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 2 months ago #4158

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