Financing in 95842>Question Details

Mimi, Home Buyer in Sacramento, CA

Does anyone want to run just one credit report for me?

Asked by Mimi, Sacramento, CA Mon Nov 3, 2008

I have an application and check from a prospective tenant. I only have this one rental property. All the tenant screening places I'm finding on the web want a fairly heft up-front fee and even a site inspection! Like I said, I just have this one investment property. I do my accounting at a desk in my bedroom, for pete's sake.

I want to run the kind of report on these folks that'll give me a credit report, a criminal background check and an eviction report, at the least. Anyone out there want to just run a report for me and I'll pay for it?

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You're not going to like my answer either. Call RHA and get them to give you the name of a credit reporting agency that they use. That's one phone call. But I'd also suggest you do that first.

Many suggest that YOU DO NOT run a criminal background check. Why? Because you can't discriminate on renting based on what you find there. You can discriminate on two things- they're ability to pay the rent, and your assessment on their ability to maintain the property in the condition that you expect. THAT'S IT!! Any other reason can be reason for a lawsuit for discrimination....believe it or not. If you find they're a felon, you cannot use that as part of your decision, and knowing that, puts you at risk....

So here's what I do on my rentals- I pull the credit report, I VISIT THEM WHERE THEY LIVE to see for myself how they maintain the home they live in, and I call their employer for verification of employment. And I pay attention to my gut feelings. It's better to leave a home vacant than to rent to a questionable tenant. because in the long run, evicting a bad tenant is much more costly. In addition your property is normally damaged by angry tenants in the process costing you even more.

And I manage my own property myself as well. Call RHA and find out who they're currently using to run credit reports, and sign up as a member. The education and legal knowledge is very valuable.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
Hi Mimi: I couldn't agree with Rob McQuade more. I am a member of the Sacramento Valley Rental Housing Association, and I would be even if I had just one rental. Just charge your applicant(s) an application fee to cover the cost of running your credit reports. It is well worth the "small" investment in membership fees.

Erin Phillips
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
Hi, Mimi. This won't quite be the simple "yes" you're looking for, but are you a member of the Rental Housing Association ( I can't recommend them enough, and one of the benefits of membership is access to these types of screening services--plus you'll have access to free property management and legal advice and you'll have help staying up-to-date on laws and issues affecting you as a landlord... Even if you only own one rental property.

Check out the Rental Housing Association (RHA), they're here in Sacramento or you can visit them online at

Best of luck and I hope this helps.

Rob McQuade, ABR, REALTOR®
McMartin Realty | 2031 K St Ste 100 | Sacramento, CA 95811-4253

Tel (916) 444-7577 or Toll Free (866) 720-CITY (2489)
Fax (916) 444-7977

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
Thank you folks for the answers thus far, but I'm not sure you're understanding my question. I have charged the applicant and have their check in my possession, as well as their signatures on an authorization to run a credit/background check. I certainly expected to pay for all of this.

My problem is that I want to make a decision on these folks today or tomorrow and therefore don't want to take the time to *apply* to a service, wait for a site inspection that I probably won't pass (since my office is a desk in my bedroom), and pay $200 bucks to join a credit reporting service. I want the report now!!! (instant gratification!!! haha)

The Sac Valley RHA sounds like a capitol idea (get it?) and I'm certainly looking into it, but it doesn't address my immediate need to run a report on these fine folks.

Any help out there?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
call me at 215-8520-4469 and I will tell you how you can get it for free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
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