Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) The main points of compliance

What is FCRA?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law, passed in 1970, that governs the collection and reporting of credit information about consumers. Its rules include how a consumer’s credit information is obtained, how long it is kept, and how it is shared with others-including the consumers themselves. You can find the exact law on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Are you complying?

Did you know that in the FCRA rules, you must have a permissible purpose for obtaining a credit report on someone? For example, permissible purposes (under the FCRA law) for obtaining a credit report include employment, insurance, and tenant screening . As a Property Manager, it is your responsibility to use the provided information in tenant screening reports only for making a decision whether to rent to your prospective renter. Any other use of such information is prohibited. The reason we are sharing this information is because we want you to know that The Fair Credit Reporting Act restricts who can see a consumer's credit file and for what purpose

How LeaseRunner complies

Safeguarding your applicant’s identity is a top priority here at LeaseRunner. That’s why we designed our screening process to safeguard your potential tenant’s private personal information using secure SSL encrypted links when they fill out their rental application and screening reports. LeaseRunner is a reseller of credit, criminal, and eviction reports. We obtain credit reports from Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, and criminal and eviction information from CIC Reports. LeaseRunner does not collect, store or house consumer credit information. LeaseRunner passes the consumer’s personal identifying information to Experian so Experian can validate their request to release a credit report through our screening process. As governed by Experian, LeaseRunner only makes the credit reports available to view in the designated landlord account for 30 days. LeaseRunner automatically provides a copy of the credit report to the applicant who released it. LeaseRunner provides a means for consumers to dispute items on their credit file by using the dispute process outlined by Experian. While LeaseRunner follows processes that are FCRA compliant for tenant screening purposes, it is important to TAKE NOTICE of your own responsibilities as the property manager. More specifically, that you only use our screening reports for the permissible purpose of tenant screening. Here is an excerpt from our “terms and conditions” agreement required to sign up for an account with us. The clause reads as follows: “Permissible Purpose and Specified Use. You agree that your use of the Screening Services is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. et seq., as amended (“FCRA”). You agree that your permissible purpose and specific use for the Screening Services under the FCRA is the following: legitimate business need - renting/leasing a property. Furthermore, you agree that you shall not request or use Screening Services for any other purposes, including without limitation, any purpose prohibited by law.”

Know the Rights of Your Applicants

Consumers also have a right to see their own credit report. That’s why LeaseRunner automatically provides them a copy of their credit report after they authorize one to be released for tenant screening purposes through our site. It is important for you to know, that if you decline to rent to an applicant because of a poor credit score, for example, you must provide the consumer/applicant with notice of the Adverse Action.

If the applicant claims that any information on her tenant screening report is incorrect, your applicant should contact LeaseRunner directly. We will help your applicant with the dispute process. For your convenience, LeaseRunner has a sample of an Adverse Action Letter . The sample letter on our website is provided “as-is” and may not meet your needs. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state before using the sample letter on our site.