Bob Smith? Chris Jones? Mary Anderson? Common names allow people to blend into the anonymity of data reported on the Internet very easily. But having a common name could also easily lead to incorrect information reported on background checks. And sometimes incorrect information can turn into negative information.
Human error happens all the time, and when it comes to connecting a name – any name – with information like rental history, criminal history or even credit reporting, mistakes can happen. Especially if there are multiple people with the same name living in the same city or county.
If you are a Bob Smith and are interested in renting an apartment or private home, before you apply, be sure to review your rental history report to make certain the information being reported about you (and connected with your Social Security number) is correct. You’ll be able to see reports about your credit history, eviction notifications, sex offender listings, criminal records and even a history of your previous addresses – all information a landlord will evaluate to determine if you’re a good candidate to be a tenant. Be sure to correct any errors immediately.
And when you do apply, mention to the landlord that you have a common name, and request that they double check that the background check they conduct goes by your Social Security number, in addition to your name. This will help ensure they see the correct information about you.