How Is Your Real Estate Office Handling Credit Reports for Prospective Tenants?

Asked by Joy "Zaleski" Messner, Doylestown, PA Thu Feb 23, 2012

With privacy being an issue many tenants are reluctant to have their credit report "pulled" too often - rightfully so! Yet, most landlords/owners require a copy of credit reports in order to make a decision on a lease. Our office requires a credit report from prospective tenants, we charge a small fee for the service, and are given just a "grade" dependent upon the actual credit score. We are not allowed to share it with another office. However, some prospective tenants I am working with often know their credit score and will provide me a copy of it from a bank or credit card agency they do business with. If I have their permission in writing, I will share it with another office that has a rental property my tenants are interested in leasing.

What are your thoughts? What policies does your office practice?

Folks don't like a "big brother" mentality to private matters - but I often thought it would be great if there was just one central place to view scores (with one's permission).

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Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Thu Feb 23, 2012
We use tenant safe. Instant on-line results. We also have the tenants sign a release so we have their permission to share it with agents and landlord.
If they can bring me a report with a score that is less than 30 days old, I will accept that, also. This saves the ding they get having their credit pulled too many times by anyone other than themself.
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Bincxf, Home Buyer, Collingswood, NJ
Thu Jul 20, 2017
I never accept a copy of a credit record or score from a tenant directly. They often alter these reports to make themselves look good and hide negative information.
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Feb 27, 2012
We have a "permission form" allowing us to order the credit report on their behalf. We use an outside service. Cost is covered by the prospective tenant. If the client has a credit report that is current, I use that. I send the entire report to the listing agent to review with the landlord.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Comitment to Service, Unsurpasssed Results
0 votes
Ines De La C…, Agent, Marlton, NJ
Thu Feb 23, 2012
Hello Joy,
Thanks for your question.
I have the tenants sign a form allowing one of the loan officer I work with to run their credit. Then I review it with the clients and talk about how to improve it if it is too low, I explain the differences betwen buying and selling and we go on to see homes within their requirements.
Good luck in your business,
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Wayne Odenbr…, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Thu Feb 23, 2012
In the case of a Rental, we ask the Tenant to pull it and bring it with them when they meet with the Owner. We do not keep a copy. Often just a great Credit Score is enough to convince an Owner that all is well. If it is not so good, we let them explain.
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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Thu Feb 23, 2012
We use TenantSafe. Once I get the report and the prospective landlard has seen it, I turn it over to the person that paid for it, the tenant. It's up to them how they want to handle it.
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