Have you ever had difficulty obtaining a rental property and not understood the cause? You fill out all the required paperwork and have good credit, yet your rental applications are still being denied. It's possible you could be on a tenant blacklist that's hindering the process.
Landlords may obtain tenant reports from screening companies such as TransUnion, CoreLogic or On-Site as part of their application process. Any renter involved in a housing court case will likely be on the list, regardless of the situation or outcome.
Perhaps you had a bad experience with a landlord that led to legal action but wasn't your fault. If you won the case, you may not think you would have any negative consequences. However, you may not realize that the reports property managers are obtaining do not cite details, only if there was a court case involving the renter.
Most tenants assume if they haven't had a case involving non-payment of rent, violating the lease agreement, damaging the property or similar infractions, they won't be on the blacklist. But the truth is, if you've been involved in any kind of housing case – even if you won – you'll be on the blacklist.
If your rental applications are repeatedly rejected, the first thing you should do is ask the property manager why they're rejecting your application.
If you discover you're on the list due to a court case, you should explain the situation in full to the property manager. This could help clear things up , especially if the judgement was in your favor.
Sometimes the landlord doesn't live up to their end of the agreement and the tenant withholds rental payments. The tenant may feel completely justified in withholding payment, but this action could land you on a tenant blacklist.
In order to obtain more details on your tenant report, you could reach out to one of the tenant screening companies to see what's coming up in your report. Keep in mind you may have to pay anywhere from $15 to $50 for the report – a cost that's usually included in rental application fees.
If you know there's something on your tenant report, it's definitely advisable to get a copy in order to review the details and make sure there's no false information. If there's incorrect information on your tenant report, you should contact the screening companies to get it corrected. Knowing what's on your report will also help you explain any past situations to a landlord.
Providing referrals such as a letter from a past landlord as a tenant reference is another thing you could do to help strengthen your application. This could help offset anything negative on your tenant report.
Most likely, if you were a bad tenant at a property owned by the same company as the property you're trying to rent, you'll be on that company's blacklist. If you were frequently late on payments, damaged the property or violated other lease terms you may have a difficult time renting from the same company since they know your rental history.
In these cases, you would be better off looking for rentals from smaller companies not affiliated with the company that was your previous property manager. Smaller companies or independent owner/landlords may not get a tenant report from a screening company. This would be the best option if you were involved in a previous housing court case that will come up in your tenant report.
If you're having trouble finding a rental because your application keeps getting denied, it is worth looking into tenant reports to find out if property managers may have you on their blacklist. If you're blacklisted it's best to be aware of why you're on the list and to provide more information with your application to combat any negative information the property managers may have.
This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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