Moving can be stressful enough without having to dredge up past credit and renting sins, but properly preparing yourself can make a big difference when your new landlord begins asking questions.
Most landlords today, both commercial and private, routinely screen applicants for a variety of personal history criteria prior to renting out a unit—including credit score, criminal history and eviction records. Knowing how to answer queries about these areas of your life can mean the difference between landing that sweet apartment with a rooftop balcony and being sent back to the kitchen table with a red marker and classified’s renting section.
Three Quick Renting Tips:
- Play with a full deck. Landlords are not the only ones with access to your complete renting history. We specialize in consumer advocacy and fair credit reporting, and they provide the same information your potential landlord will use to determine your rental worthiness. You have allies, and having access to the same deck of cards gives you a strong hand when sitting down at the table with your new landlord.
- Be honest. Now that you have a complete rental history for you and/or your family, there could be some line items you have long forgotten, since rectified, or that are simply incorrectly reported. A comprehensive rental history report from an established company should make you feel a bit overwhelmed. The broad set of data provided can span decades in some cases and include records dating back to your 18th birthday. Take the time to go through each data entry and assess its accuracy. Prepare answers to questions your landlord may ask and, when possible, provide documentation to support your responses.
- Don’t Repeat Mistakes. Landlords expect there to be a few blemishes on your rental history report—be it a lower than average credit score, an old criminal offense or an eviction dating back to your college years. A squeaky clean rental history report can raise just as many red flags, so own your credit infractions and learn from your mistakes. Prove to a prospective landlord that you earn a steady income, have established a history of paying bills on time and are a law abiding member of the community.
Need help planning in advance and preparing for questions you’ll face from a landlord?
Save you untold hours of research time and provide you with a complete personal history. Remember: “Know before you go.”