Looking to rent a new place? Are you going to be successful in getting that apartment?
Learning about your rental history can help you review your history and correct any problems before you move into that new apartment.
In this article, I’ll explain how to check rental history by looking at your rental history report. I’ll show you how to review it and fix discrepancies if you find any. I have worked in finance for over 15 years, and used my experience to come up with the best ways to check your rental history.
So keep reading and learn how to check your rental history report!
Check your rental history by:
- Contact the credit reporting bureaus.
- Get a free report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Correct your report by:
- Identify errors in your report.
- Dispute errors with credit reporting agencies.
- Contact Landlords to have them fix the errors.
How to Check Your Rental History
Landlords use rental history, like your credit report or background check, to determine if you are a good prospective tenant. It makes sense — landlords don’t want to lose money by renting to someone who cannot pay their bills. Because you know what’s on your report, you’ll be ready when you apply for that new apartment or house.
The first step in checking your own rental history begins with contacting major credit reporting agencies.
In addition to other data, Experian and Equifax collect data about your previous rentals. This includes records of late payments, eviction history reports, if any exist, and even disputes with past property managers. The FCRA entitles everyone to one free report from each bureau per year.
What if You Used A Property Management Company
What if you previously rented through larger property management companies or real estate firms? Can you get your data from them? Yes. They may have kept detailed records of your income reliability and overall behavior during the lease period. You can reach out directly asking them for access to this information — remember, you’ll need to provide proper identification while making formal requests.
- Verify all obtained data.
- All interactions must adhere strictly to privacy laws applicable in respective states or countries.
Understanding Your Rental History Report
Your rental history report is more than just a list of previous properties. It’s your track record as a renter. Potential landlords will use this info to evaluate you. Your rental data is shown as a rental tradeline on your report.
Do you want to improve your chances of securing that lease agreement? Then, you need to familiarize yourself with every detail of your rental history report. Here’s what you should ensure is correct:
- The addresses of all prior residences, along with dates lived there
- All on-time payments
- Any late rent payments
- Any evictions or broken leases match actual events. These stay on record for seven years under FCRA guidelines.
Any discrepancies could cause problems if you try to rent somewhere else.
Just like crafting the perfect resume for job interviews, maintaining an accurate rental history report is key during negotiations between you and property managers.
A well-maintained credit history acts as solid proof, showcasing one’s ability towards timely repayments — making it easier to convince potential landlords about being good tenants who won’t default on their monthly dues.
What Are Tips to Fix Incorrect Information on Your Report?
You’ve done your due diligence, checked your rental history report, and found some things that needed to be corrected. Now what? Just like preparing for a tenant screening or reviewing a lease agreement, addressing these errors requires careful planning.
The process of fixing any incorrect information can be broken down into these steps:
- Identification: Your first task is pinpointing the inaccurate details in your rental history report. Some examples are wrong previous addresses, erroneous eviction records, or late payments. Keeping meticulous records of all past leases and payments will help you sort these out.
- Dispute: Moving forward with the identified errors involves filing a formal dispute with the credit reporting agencies that provided you with the flawed data. This FTC-provided sample letter disputing credit report mistakes makes an excellent starting point when drafting yours.
- Contact Landlords: In addition to contacting credit reporting agencies, you need to reach out directly to landlords or property managers for the inaccurate rental data; ask them politely but firmly for corrections where necessary — they’re legally obligated under FCRA regulations to investigate disputes within 30 days unless deemed frivolous by nature. Here are more insights on FCRA rules.
If, despite the successful resolution of disputes, negative information persists, legal assistance might become necessary.
How to Check Your Rental History Report for Free
Let’s explore how you can access this critical report for free.
- Dive into AnnualCreditReport.com
The first stop on our journey is AnnualCreditReport.com. This platform was created through collaboration between Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — the three giants of credit reporting agencies.
To obtain your free credit reports:
- Visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Select “Request yours now” displayed prominently on their homepage.
- Provide all required personal data, including name, address, and Social Security number.
- Pick which company’s report you want to review; each may contain different details, so ideally, select all if possible.
After successfully obtaining a copy of your rental history report, make sure you thoroughly review every detail in it.
However, not all landlords or property managers report rent to the credit reporting agencies, so your rental history might not be included.
Remember — understanding what lies inside this document will help you successfully rent future properties.
What is Your Rental History Report?
A rental history report, or a tenant screening document, serves as your renting resume. It’s a comprehensive file that contains details about past and current residences, your rent payment history, eviction records, if any exist, and other pertinent data.
You need to knowing what’s in your rental history report.
Reviewing your rental history helps you take control over potential future lease agreements.
This review process isn’t just for curiosity’s sake; rather, you should review the report’s information’s accuracy. Property managers may not accept your rental application based on this report.
Here are some reasons why understanding your rental history matters:
- Learn what your prospective landlords’ see: Your previous landlords’ experiences with you will be on these reports. Always made your payments on time in the past? Or have you missed payments or broken leases? These kinds of details will be there.
- Maintaining accurate personal records: Federal laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allow consumers access to one free copy every 12 months.
- Identifying potential improvement areas: If you repeatedly pay your rent late, you should look into more efficient budgeting methods. Paying on time can improve your score with the credit reporting agencies.
What Are Other Factors That Could Help/Hurt You Get a Lease?
Rental history is an important part of your tenant screening process. But it’s not the only factor prospective landlords consider. Here are some other factors they will look at:
- Income Verification: You need to show you have a stable source of income that can comfortably cover your monthly rent. Typically, property managers want tenants whose monthly earnings are at least 3 times the monthly rent. They may ask for tax returns or bank statements as proof.
- Credit Score: A good credit report goes beyond just numbers; it tells potential landlords about your financial responsibility. Having late rent payments in the past or carrying high debt levels can negatively impact your chances with future rental applications.
- Employment Status: Consistent employment reassures potential landlords that you have regular income to pay rent on time each month. Landlords might directly contact employers or request work references to confirm this information.
- Past Evictions: If you have been evicted in the past (and it is on your history report, it could make getting a new lease agreement harder. You will need to show improved circumstances since prior evictions. Showing that you are now a responsible tenant will help you get a new lease.
What Are the Implications of Your Rental History?
Your rental history isn’t just a record; it’s an influential part of your financial persona. This profile has far-reaching effects on securing future housing and access to other services that involve background checks.
The Power of Positive Rental Records
A positive rental history is like gold in the eyes of potential landlords. Timely rent payments, adherence to lease agreements, no broken leases or evictions — these all paint you as a responsible tenant who respects their property and obligations.
In contrast, negative entries such as late payments or eviction reports can raise alarm bells for prospective landlords. Any issues could lead them to conclude that renting out their properties to you might be too risky.
Rental Histories Beyond Housing Applications
Did you know? Other than impacting your chances of getting another rental property, this report also affects certain utilities. For instance, some utility companies may use this data when determining whether you’ll need to pay a deposit before getting service.
Also, some insurance providers review this information during the underwriting process. You could end up with higher premiums or even denial if you have a poor track record.
Maintaining A Good Record: The Path To Success
To maintain good standing, you need to:
- Pay rent promptly every month without fail.
- Adhere strictly to all of the rules in the lease agreement.
- Avoid damaging the property beyond normal wear and tear.
- Keep open communication lines with property managers about any issues.
Negative Entries Aren’t Forever.
Past discrepancies reflected in your report don’t mean you’re doomed forever. You can always take corrective actions like clearing outstanding debts immediately and consistently making prompt payments moving forward. Making payments on time and quickly disputing inaccuracies will ensure that no new negative entries are added. And after 7 years, existing negative items will drop off.
This guide helped you understand your rental credit history report and how you can use it to improve your abilities to get a new lease.
Review this report, correct any problems, and you’ll be well on your way to getting into a new place.