Tip of the Month - June, 2019

Credit Reports

Source: Property Management-6th Edition
By: Robert C. Kyle/Floyd M. Baird/Marie S. Spodek

A credit report may be obtained legally only with the applicant's consent and is a history of how a person pays his or her bills.  Therefore the property manager must set up a procedure for obtaining permission (a permission form is usually completed as part of the application paperwork).  Many managers charge a non-refundable fee to help defray the costs involved in obtaining a credit report.

The credit bureau will send the manager a report on the financial reliability of the prospect.  This statement is an itemization of the status of the prospect's past and current accounts, usually identified by industry (e.g., bank and department stores).  The report will note bankruptcies, collections, charge-off accounts and current obligations.  The quality and dates of all payments are listed on the report along with an indication of their regularity.  The letter will indicate the type of account (open, revolving, installment) and the number refers to the payment pattern.  A rating of 1 is the highest, given for payments made as agreed: bad debts that have been turned over to a collection agency receive a rating of 9.

A new type of service has sprung up to help in the process of learning about tenants.  These new companies not only search the credit bureaus but also provide a variety of other reports.  Rental performance histories contain information such as evictions, past due balances, noise complaints, insufficient checks, and damages to the rental unit.

This web page was updated on 05/27/2019.