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Whenever a prospective landlord uses a background investigation or tenant screening report or credit report on prospective renters for residential apartments or homes, consumers have certain and definite rights when the reports come from third parties such as credit reporting agencies, private investigators or tenant screening companies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides for certain protections from adverse actions due to inaccurate information in such reports so that a prospective renter is informed of the use of such a report and gets notice of his or her rights when tenant screening reports are used. Inaccurate information in the reports can form the basis for a claim if the landlord or reporting company fails to abide by your rights to be informed or to accurate reporting of the information contained in the reports.
Of particular importance is the non-reporting of any civil action that did not result in a judgment that is more than 7 years old. If this appears on your consumer tenant screening report, the report is wrong and violates your rights. The same holds true for any arrest that did not result in a conviction or other adverse information about financial accounts.
A consumer has a right to dispute inaccurate entries in any account or entry in a tenant screening report, which will ensure the report is accurate. If a tenant screening reporting company or other consumer reporting agency fails to correct an inaccuracy or to remove information that should not be reported, a consumer may have an actionable claim to bring against the reporting company or the party responsible for reporting the inaccurate information.
For more information on what information should or should not be in a consumer report, click here, and you will be taken to our credit reporting pages.