A Basic “Tenant” of Credit Reporting

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent letters to six companies warning them to “double-check” their Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) responsibilities. The selected companies specifically collect information about the rental histories of tenants and share the data with potential landlords. “If you assemble or evaluate information on individuals’ rental histories,” the FTC press release states, “and provide this information to landlords so that they can screen tenants, you are a consumer reporting agency that is required to comply” with FCRA. Companies collecting and sharing this information have an obligation to make sure that whoever is asking has a legitimate reason – a “permissible purpose” – for getting the info. Companies compiling the information also have an obligation to ensure it’s as accurate as possible. If consumers ask, they have to give them copies of their reports and allow them to dispute anything that might be inaccurate. Companies also have a legal obligation to remind landlords of certain responsibilities they have under the FCRA. The letter makes it clear that the FTC hasn’t evaluated the companies’ practices to determine if they’re complying with the FCRA, but suggests they visit the Credit Reporting page in the BCP Business Center for FCRA compliance resources.

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Posted Under: Tenant Screening

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