Moving is expensive and stressful. The last thing a tenant needs is to find out that they have to pay a lot of money towards a security deposit because of something on their credit or in their past rental history. Its important to know what is in your background so that you can be prepared to pay extra deposit if needed.
There are many different tools available to help you find out if there are skeletons in your past hat might come back to haunt you.
Best Methods to Know Your Past
Each year, you can request a copy of your credit report from all three reporting agencies; Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. While this free report typically does not include a credit score, it does tell you what is being reported to these agencies. If you know you have shaky credit, then contact someone like Lexington Law who can help you repair your credit which will help save you money in the long run.
Another approach would be to contact your current and previous landlords to find out what they their records show, if you don’t know already. This will help you gauge what will be reported to future property owners when leasing something else in the future. While they may not always be forthcoming in order to avoid confrontation, most landlords will let you know their overall impression based on your rental history, repair history and how you left the property.
Some landlords perform criminal background checks on tenants. You will want to find out from your future landlord if this is the case and run a background check if this is one ot the tools they use to screen tenants. While less common, there could be something in your criminal record that you might not know about or remember. There is always a possibility that something was recorded against you in error or something happened when you were younger and didn’t realize it was still on your record. Depending on what it is, its best to disclose this information upfront. This way your future landlord knows about it ahead of time so it does not come off as if you were trying to hide something.
Being prepared is important when a tenant is moving from one home to another. Especially if they are moving across country. Know you background before you apply and be upfront. There is no sense of hiding your past when the owner will likely find out anyways.
October 2, 2013