Below you can find a list of our most frequently asked questions relating to tenant screening services, credit reports, and TenantReports.com.
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1. Q) How long has TenantReports.com provided tenant screening services?
A) We have been providing tenant background checks, tenant screening services and tenant reports to landlords, realtors, brokers, property managers, apartment complexes and businesses since 1992.
2. Q) Why do I need to send a copy of my driver’s license and professional license or proof of property ownership with the application to sign up for tenant screening?
A) Tenant screening requires documented compliance. With changes to the Fair Credit Reporting act and to meet bureau compliance need both a copy of your Realtor’s license or proof of ownership and a state issued ID (driver’s license) on file with your application. We must verify client information before accounts are established in accordance with credit bureau compliance and provide a valid “permissible purpose” to receive requested information.
3. Q) Do I need to have the applicant sign the authorization form supplied by TenantReports.com if they have already signed a rental agreement for tenant screening?
A) Every time you run a tenant report on an applicant they must sign a consent to run a background check and credit check. This consent is often found on rental applications as a line item usually at the end of the application stating they give consent with a place to sign and date. If this is NOT found on the rental application or agreement you are using then you will need to use the request authorization form available on our site regardless if the report is processed via fax or online. It is against the law to run a credit check on an applicant without their signed consent. Should an applicant ever dispute a report as being run without their permission, this supporting documentation will prove their authorization to release their history. Signed Applications need to be filed in a secure location such as a locked filing cabinet for five years from time of release.
4. Q) Why would I need to request the more costly County Criminal Record when I can just request a State or Nationwide Criminal Record?
A) For rural counties and applicants with very common names (i.e. Charlie Brown) we recommend County Criminal checks for the most accurate verification when screening tenants. Some rural counties do not report at the state or national level local prosecutions and minor offenses. In addition common names could create a situation for a false positive, since these checks are based on the name and address supplied by the applicant.
5. Q) How do I perform tenant screening after-hours and on weekends?
A) TenantReports.com provides clients with online access to run tenant reports. You can screen tenants 24/7/365 through our website. If you are already a member and would like to request online tenant screening access please call 855-244-2400 or email us.
6. Q) What do I do with the signed original of the authorization form once I have faxed the information or submitted it online to TenantReports.com?
A) All members are required to retain on file a signed authorization form for 5 years from the date of submittal.
This can be uploaded and attached to the applicants file in our system and we will store this for you.
7. Q) My applicant is claiming discrepancies in their tenant report and would like a copy of the credit report for their reference; do I need to supply them with a copy?
A) All tenant reports requested through TENANTREPORTS.COM are for our members to review to make a rental decision or new hire decision only. These reports are NOT available to distribute to the applicant. Applicants can get a free annual credit report through the Fair Credit Reporting Act once a year by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. At this site they can dispute all discrepancies with the three bureaus and have the ability to make a permanent change to their credit report.
8. Q) How do I qualify for volume discounts on tenant screening products?
A) Volume discounts are available once an account averages 40 or more tenant reports per month. Once your account has been established and your volume level has been assessed we can change your pricing structure based on your tenant screening volume for all future requests. Once approved your pricing will remain at that pricing structure however these revised rates are not retro-active.
9. Q) Now that I am a member and i am actively tenant screening, how do I interpret the information to make the right decision on a tenant?
A) Each situation is unique and whom you decide to select as a tenant is entirely your decision to make. We do include a tutorial in each member packet to help interpret the requested information and we are available to answer any questions you may have on the returned report. In addition we offer Tenant ScoreCard™ which takes into consideration your benchmarks as far as what the minimum requirements are to qualify for your rentals. Once this criteria is established we will then apply a “Pass” or “Fail” rating to each application if requested. Please call 855-244-2400 or email us to learn more about Tenant ScoreCard™.
10. Q) I do not want my tenant reports faxed to me; can you just send me the information by email?
A) It is against the law to email credit reports. If you are looking for an alternative to faxed tenant reports we can mail you the report findings or you can sign-up for online access which will allow you to run reports on your applicants over the web 24/7 with instant results at no additional cost through a credit bureau certified secure site. Please request an online access form by calling 855-244-2400 or email us. Please be sure to reference your member ID # when requesting online access.
11. Q) I want to view specific tenant credit report information but all I am getting is a pass or fail?
A) In order to view full report data you must comply with bureau standards of compliance by having an onsite inspection of your office which can be scheduled with an approved inspector. Please call 855-244-2400 for more information.
12. Q) I like your available tenant screening bundles, can I mix or match my own services?
A) Yes you can! Build your own custom tenant screening package and we will apply a bundle discount. This can be done over the phone and added to your online account the same day. Please give us a call at 855-244-2400 to set up your own custom package.
On-Site Inspection-What Is It?
When a landlord or property owner requests to obtain sensitive credit information an on-site inspection by a bureau representative is needed.