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How to Check Your Rental History Report [2023 Guide]

CEO Khai Intela
Your rental history is a crucial aspect of your rental application, as it helps landlords determine whether you'll be an ideal tenant. When you're looking to rent your first or next apartment, landlords will often...

Your rental history is a crucial aspect of your rental application, as it helps landlords determine whether you'll be an ideal tenant. When you're looking to rent your first or next apartment, landlords will often request your rental history. Having a good understanding of your rental history before meeting with your landlord can be highly beneficial. If you're unsure about how to check your rental history, you've come to the right place. This article will guide you through the process, providing you with valuable insights.

A Guide to Your Rental History Report

Before we delve into how to check your rental history, let's first understand what exactly a rental history report is. A rental history report provides detailed information about your past behavior as a renter. Landlords use this report to evaluate potential tenants and make informed decisions about leasing their properties. A private consumer reporting company compiles the rental history report, providing landlords with a comprehensive overview of how you act as a renter. The report includes essential details such as the addresses of your previous rentals, contact information for each rental record, dates of occupancy, rent payment history, any concerns or issues during your rental period (such as broken leases or late payments), and recommendations from previous landlords.

Rental History Reports Defined Caption: Image Source - Rental History Reports Defined

How to Check Your Rental History Report

Checking your rental history report is a crucial step in understanding your rental background and ensuring that it accurately reflects your renting behavior. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to obtain a copy of your rental history report. One convenient and quick method is to obtain the report from a tenant screening company. These companies consolidate all the major elements of a tenant screening process. For example, TransUnion offers a rental history report through their SmartMove program.

If you prefer not to use a credit screening service, you can follow the same procedure that a landlord might use to gather screening documents individually. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report.
  2. Compile a list of your previous rental locations along with their contact information.
  3. Note any evictions you've had or use a service to obtain an official eviction check if you're unsure about the legality of any past evictions. You can also look up eviction records for free through the local court system where the eviction occurred.
  4. Request a copy of your criminal record if you have one from the locality or localities where you were charged.
  5. Keep in mind that your prospective landlord might reach out to your previous landlords to inquire about your rental history.

Tips for Reviewing Your Rental History Report Caption: Image Source - Tips for Reviewing Your Rental History Report

How to Use Your Rental History Report

Having learned how to check your rental history, you might be wondering how rental history actually works and how you can leverage it to your advantage. Before your landlord reviews your rental history, it's crucial to verify the information in your rental history report. Make sure all the details, such as addresses, dates of occupancy, and landlord contact information, are accurate. If you come across any mistakes or discrepancies, be sure to contact the tenant screening company to dispute the incorrect information and have it corrected promptly.

Other Factors Considered Besides Rental and Eviction History

Apart from your rental and eviction history, there are a few additional factors that landlords consider when reviewing your rental application.

Income and Employment

Landlords often seek information about your income and current employment status. They want to ensure that you have the financial capability to make monthly rental payments on time. Therefore, they may reach out to your employer directly for confirmation.

Credit History

In addition to your rental payment history, landlords may be interested in your credit report to assess your financial responsibility. A positive credit history can be advantageous, especially if you don't have much rental history.

It's worth noting that you can use rent reporting services to ensure that your on-time rent payments appear in your credit history. These services may even be available free or at a reduced rate directly through your landlord.

Criminal Background

Your criminal background can also impact your ability to rent an apartment. Any outstanding warrants, pending cases, or past misdemeanors/felonies that appear on your criminal background report may raise concerns for landlords. If you anticipate any issues, it's advisable to discuss them with prospective landlords before submitting your rental application.

Broader Tenant Checks Beyond Rental History Caption: Image Source - Broader Tenant Checks Beyond Rental History

Make Your Move: Start Apartment Hunting

Your rental history plays a crucial role in your ability to rent an apartment. By checking your rental history online for free before landlords verify the information, you can ensure that there are no obstacles standing in the way of securing your new apartment.

Start your apartment hunting journey today by taking Apartment List's customized quiz.

Rental History Report FAQs

How Do I Get My Rental History on my Credit Report?

While your credit report may show certain aspects of your rental history, such as missed payments, you can use a rental reporting service to ensure that all your on-time payments are reported to the three major credit reporting agencies.

Can You Rent an Apartment With Bad Credit?

Renting an apartment with bad credit is possible as long as you have a positive rental history to support it. It's important to inform your prospective landlord about any negative marks on your credit report before they discover them independently.

Does Good Rental History Help Credit?

Maintaining a consistent record of on-time rental payments can positively impact your credit history. It's recommended to use a rental reporting service to notify all three major credit reporting agencies whenever you make a timely monthly payment.

What's Considered a Good Rental History?

A good rental history typically entails consistently paying rent on time, avoiding property damage, having sufficient income to support rental payments, and having no past evictions.

What Do Property Managers Look for on My Rental History Report?

Property managers review several aspects of your rental history report, including the timeliness of your rental payments, eviction history, criminal background, and red flags such as a low credit score or a history of missed payments.

Do You Have a Rental History Report If You Haven't Rented an Apartment Before?

If you've never rented an apartment before, you won't have a rental history report.

What Should You Do If You Have a Bad Rental History Report?

If you have a negative rental history report, start by ensuring that all the information is accurate. If it is, do your best to explain your circumstances to your prospective landlord before submitting your application. Secure referrals from other landlords who can provide positive recommendations. Additionally, demonstrate your ability to pay by providing proof of income and consider offering options such as a short-term or month-to-month lease.

How Can You Ensure You Have an Excellent Rental History Report?

To ensure you have an excellent rental history report, always pay your rent and any other fees on time, maintain open communication with your landlord throughout the tenancy, leave the property in good condition, and part ways amicably.