Picture this scenario: You’re in the market for a new apartment. It’s not your first apartment – you’ve lived in several different complexes prior to this – but you’re looking to move into something a little bit bigger that will fit your newfound lifestyle.
Lots of people go through this scenario on a daily basis across the country.
But when it comes to your future as a tenant, it’s always best to be prepared for what to expect when it comes to your rental history.
Just what is rental history? It’s essentially information on your past rental arrangements, which includes the likes of former addresses, late rent payments and evictions, as well as criminal history, your credit score and other data to help a landlord judge whether or not you’re a good fit as a tenant.
And that’s the value of pulling a rental history report yourself well before you apply for residency in that dream apartment complex you’ve been eyeing. After all, your would-be landlord will certainly be pulling your rental history report to judge your liability as a tenant – wouldn’t you rather be prepared for the information it reveals now rather than when your landlord sees it? That way, not only can you see for yourself if there are any negative items on your report, but you can also take measures to have certain ones removed.
Yes, a rental history report is key. Essentially, it is to renting what your credit score is to getting financing for a loan. If your rental report is positive, you’ll likely be approved no problem for your apartment lease. But if there are a lot of negative marks on your report, your application may be denied.
This all circles back to the question at hand – how to find your rental history.
Here’s a closer look:
How do Apartments Check Rental History?
Most landlords have agreements with software providers so that they can easily pull and access all of your pertinent information to decide whether or not to approve you as a tenant. These programs allow landlords to quickly and easily pull reports, with permissible use of course, which thereby allows for fast analysis and a quick decision on whether or not you have a future in their apartment complex.
How Can I Find My Rental History?
Contrary to what you may have been told, it is possible for you to pull your rental history report – and you can do this essentially whenever it is that you want. It’s not free to attain this type of background report, but it is inexpensive to acquire, and carefully analyzing it can help you save time and money in the long run. My Rental History Report makes it very easy for you to access and understand your report – and you’ll be receiving the same type of report that any landlords will about you.
I Pulled My Report and There’s a Lot of Negatives on it – What Can I Do?
The first thing you’ll want to do is carefully analyze the report to make sure that everything on it is accurate. While rental history reports and credit reports are not the same thing, it’s worth noting that up to four out of every five people are estimated to have some sort of error on their credit report.
In stating this, it’s likely that many rental history reports are also inaccurate, which is another big benefit of acquiring your report before you’re out looking for a new apartment. If there are inaccuracies on your report, be sure to dispute them and have them removed.
If the negatives on your rental history report are accurate, well that’s a different story. Things like missed rent payments, late payments and evictions can be real red flags for landlords. If you’ve been convicted of a crime in the past, this will also appear on your rental history report.
None of these are going to win you over with landlords, but you may be able help out your situation in a few ways. For starters, if you have negatives on your report, the best course of action is to always be open and honest with a would-be landlord about them. Be up front with them about things, tell your side of the story and explain how you’ve learned from the situation.
It’s possible that you’ve even made amends with past landlords that you had issues with and can use them as a reference of sorts to vouch for you in your new endeavors. Finally, another thing you can do to help your renting situation, especially when it comes to evictions, is wait them out. In most states, evictions are removed from public record after seven years.
As you can see, it pays to be proactive when it comes to your rental living situation and pull your rental history report before you’re applying to apartment complexes.