Archive for October, 2013

Accurate Credit in Development

We are glad to announce that soon people will be able to process their own reports online.  In a matter of seconds you will be able to press submit, have your payment charged, and receive your reports.  The reports online will be a little different than what you receive now.  And we will have more to follow about those exciting updates.  You will be able to run Eviction, Bankruptcy, US Criminal, SSN Verification, MVR Record Reports, Address Searches, Enhanced People Searches, and most importantly Credit Checks (Decision Only) online. 

This is a new system that is in development now.  The new system should be in place by the end of December. 




Accurate Credit Bureau

Reasons You Can Legally Reject a Rental Application

As a landlord you will receive hundreds of applications when a property becomes vacant. You will have your own list of standards and requirements for a prospective tenant and with that list comes the opportunity decline an application. Though it is within your right to select a prospective tenant, you have to keep in mind that the Fair Housing Act prohibits you from discrimination. Even though you might not purposely discriminate when declining an application, the tenant may not agree. Therefore, you should consider the legal reasons you can reject a tenant and never veer from that when accepting/rejecting applications.


Smoking – If the prospective tenant is a smoker and you run a smoke-free property, it is within your rights to reject the tenant’s application.


Pets – If you have a no-pet policy and the tenant has one, you can reject their application. Your no pet policy needs to be specific on the type of pets or if it is all pets that are not allowed on the premises before using that as a reason to reject a prospective tenant.


Income – As a landlord, you have the right to set income restrictions for prospective tenants. Typically this will require you to set a limit similar to that of mortgage underwriters, which can include 28 to 31 percent of the prospective tenant’s income. For example, a tenant who makes $1,000 a month can be rejected if the monthly rental payment is more than 28 to 31 percent of his monthly gross pay.


Criminal Record – Some criminal records can be used as an automatic rejection, but before rejecting an applicant for a criminal record flag you need to check with your state laws. In some cases, a tenant can only be rejected for a felony and being rejected for anything more minor could be considered discriminatory under the state’s Fair Housing Act.


Once you know your reasons are legally just, provide the tenant with a written letter stating the reason for the rejection and citing the Fair Housing Act. By doing so you are letting the tenant know that they are not being discriminated against and that you are within your rights to reject their application due to specific circumstances.

Foreclosures and your Perspective Tenants

My Prospective Tenant has a Foreclosure – What Should I Do?


With the decline in the housing market, more renters are coming off recently foreclosed properties and looking for leases. Since their credit is already too poor to apply for another mortgage, they have no choice but to rent a home or apartment until they can rebuild a positive credit history. Though they may not have a choice, as a landlord you do, but deciding how to handle a prospective tenant with a past foreclosure is not as simple as “yes” or “no”.


Current Credit History

Hundreds of Americans have lost their home since the housing market crash, but that does not mean they are financially irresponsible. Most of these individuals suffered from high interest rates, ridiculous payments and purchasing homes well above what they were worth. When the market crashed and adjustable rates skyrocketed, a lot of these individuals were forced to pay double what their current home was worth and worse, they couldn’t sell it to get a little financial relief. Therefore, when you see a past foreclosure on a tenant’s credit report, you need to ask yourself why they had the foreclosure and how the remainder of their credit history is. If the prospective tenant has positive credit history and only defaulted on their mortgage, it is likely they will pay their lease obligation.


Your Property Policy

There is a fine line on how you can use credit history to reject a tenant. Though the Fair Housing Act does not provide tenants with protection against rejection for poor credit history, they do provide protection against discrimination. Therefore, if you reject one tenant for a past foreclosure, you must reject all prospective tenants for past foreclosures – there is no in between.

Helpful Resources for Full and Part-Time Landlords

As a landlord you have a lot to manage. Not only do you have to ensure your properties meet federal and state rental regulations, but you have to ensure that your tenants are satisfied and treated fairly. With all of this responsibility comes a level of uncertainty, especially if you do not manage your own properties full-time. Therefore, regardless of your skill level, take advantage of a few of these common and often free resources available to landlords throughout the United States.


Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has been recognized as one of the leading financial information resources in the country and believe it or not, they have a multitude of information just for landlords. From financial guidance to legal issues, the Wall Street Journal will have answers to your common questions.


State Housing Boards

Every state has a housing or rental board. You can contact them for information regarding your state’s specific laws regarding rental properties and your responsibilities as a landlord. These agencies will also offer guidance and information for landlords who need to evict a tenant or who need help settling a tenant dispute.


Legal Websites

There are dozens of reputable legal websites that help landlords answer their most pressing questions. Sites such as or offer advice and even a question/answer forum where landlords can post real questions and get answers from real attorneys in their area. These legal websites will provide landlords with free forms and templates as well so that they can manage and organize their properties effectively.

What to Look for in a Prospective Tenant’s Credit Report

As a landlord, it is your duty to check a prospective tenant’s credit report. By doing so you are protecting your property investment and ensuring that you have a financially responsible tenant leasing your space. Though a credit check is important, you need to know specifically what to look for and what constitutes a red flag to avoid a potentially harmful future tenant.


Four Main Parts to a Credit Check

When you run a credit check on a prospective tenant you will find:


  • Their identifying information (i.e. Social Security number, birthdate, etc.)
  • A list of their past and current credit accounts
  • Any public records that have been issued in their name (i.e. bankruptcies, tax liens etc.)
  • Any credit inquiries made


Most credit checks will include the prospective tenant’s current credit or FICO score.


What to Look for

In this mess of information it is your job to look for financial red flags that tell you if a tenant is worthy of renting your property and the likelihood they will pay their rental payments on time – if at all. Some common red flags you should be on the lookout for include:


  • Multiple instances of past due accounts
  • Multiple instances of maxed out or close to being maxed out credit accounts
  • Multiple credit inquiries in the past six months
  • Instances of public records and how old they are
  • Instances of collection accounts and their status


Just because a tenant has a poor credit history or low credit score does not instantly mean they are a bad tenant. Some individuals are working to rebuild their credit history and have established positive history for one to two years on top of their negative information. Therefore, look into how old negative information is as well as payments or “satisfied” statements showing the consumer has worked to pay off their debts. 

Free Background Screening Forms

If you are looking for certain documents pertaining to your screening needs there is a great resource out there for you.

Free documents to be used by anyone can be found at:

These documents should be used for any needs you might have when it comes to:

  1. Tenant screening
  2. Employment screening
  3. Lease agreements
  4. Property Management Agreements
  5. California End User Agreements


This service is brought to you by Accurate Credit Bureau.

Does Your Prospective Nanny Need a Background Check? Reasons to Run Background Checks on Prospective Caregivers

Making the decision to hire someone to watch over your children is hard enough, but when it comes to selecting the right individual, there is a lot you will have to consider. Not only do you have to go over their past references and qualifications, but you will need to do your due diligence and run a background check. Even though there is an added cost for running a background check, you can have a little peace of mind in knowing that the person you hire to watch over your children will be a valuable and trustworthy asset to your family – and that is reason enough to run one.


Abuse Records

The most important reason to run a background check is to uncover any past instances or reports of abuse made by the caregiver. A simple background check will instantly let you know if the prospective nanny has any complaints or records of child abuse under their name and the result of those cases.


Sex Offenders

Background checks can also uncover any criminal records for child or adult sex offenders. Remember that the nanny you hire will be working closely with your children and often without your supervision; therefore you want to know of any past sex offense history before hiring.


Identify Theft

Even if you receive a driver’s license and social security number from a prospective nanny, there is still the potential that the person you are hiring is not who they say they are. By running a background check you can verify employment history, financials, social security numbers and driver’s license information to ensure the individual you are dealing with is not an identity thief.