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.