Archive for March, 2015

Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Tenant Rental History Free Rental Applications

Landlord and Tenant

An association between two individuals arising from an agreement by which one individual occupies the other’s real property with permission, subject to a rental fee.

The term landlord refers to a person who owns property and allows another person to use it for a fee. The person using the property is called a tenant. The agreement between a landlord and a tenant is called a lease or rental agreement.

The landlord and tenant relationship has its roots in Feudalism, a system of land use and ownership that flourished in Europe between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Under feudalism land was owned and controlled by a military or political sovereign ruler. This ruler gave portions of land he or she owned to another person, called a lord. The lord, in turn, could allow another person, called a vassal, to use smaller portions of the lord’s land. The vassal pledged allegiance and military or other service to the lord in exchange for the right to live and work on the land.

In 1066, the Normans of France conquered England, and William the Conqueror installed himself as king. King William used the feudal framework of land control to retain political power in faraway lands. Feudalism as a means of political control became obsolete by the fourteenth century, but the hierarchical system of land use and ownership remained.

The contemporary landlord and tenant relationship derives from the relationship between the lord and the vassal. However, today the landlord is the owner of the property—not, like the feudal lord, merely the manager. The tenant is similar to the vassal because the tenant does not own the property but is allowed to use it for a fee.

The landlord and tenant relationship usually refers to a living arrangement. In this respect landlord and tenant law differs from the law regarding leases. In a landlord and tenant relationship, the parties are often referred to as lessor (landlord) and lessee (tenant). Indeed, a lease is a contract that creates the same relationship as exists between a landlord and tenant: the lessor owns property and allows the lessee to use it for a fee. However, the law of leases does not necessarily concern itself with living arrangements. A lease agreement may, for example, relate to the use of a good or service. Because living arrangements are vital to human existence, landlord and tenant relationships are treated differently from lease contracts.

Accurate Credit Bureau What are credit scores (FICO’s) used for?

You know you should check and track your credit scores, but you might still be wondering, “What are they used for anyway?”

Lenders want to engage with people who have a history of being responsible with their debt obligations, so that three-digit number can impact how they decide whether you’re someone they’d like to do business with, how much it will cost to do so and which options they’ll offer you.

Your credit scores are meant to illustrate your creditworthiness and can come into play in several key situations. Read on to learn how your credit score may be used in each of these scenarios.

Applying for Credit Cards

When you apply for credit cards, companies usually review your credit score as one of many factors to help determine whether to approve your application. The formula each company uses is a heavily guarded secret, so the exact impact will depend on which company is reviewing your application. Certain cards have additional perks and a company may decide to offer those benefits based on your credit score. Lastly, companies can use your credit scores in determining the credit limits, interest rates and other credit terms they will offer you. Interest rates, for example, can impact items such as an outstanding balance and cash advances.

Using Financing to Pay for School, a Car or a Home

Most federal loans don’t review your credit score during the application process. However, if you apply for private student loans, banks will likely be very interested in your credit report and credit score, which can impact the approval and cost of your loan(s). Similar to private student loans, auto lenders generally look to your credit score to determine whether they will approve leasing a car or allowing you to borrow money to purchase a car, along with which interest rate and timeframe they will offer for either option.
With mortgages, the approval requirements are typically stricter than most other types of financing. Each lender has their unique set of guidelines, but your credit score is a major factor of your overall financial profile. After the most recent housing crisis, some lenders may prioritize credit scores more than they did in the past.

Other Situations

Your credit score plays a significant role in several other situations that you might not expect:

Insurance companies are increasingly factoring in credit-based scores when reviewing whether to provide coverage, how much they’ll cover and how much they’ll charge for it. This can apply to home insurance and auto insurance.

When renting an apartment, landlords may use your credit score to determine how much they’ll require to be held as a security deposit.

If you need the flexibility of a payment plan to buy a cell phone, companies could use your credit score to determine the type of payment plan options you’ll be offered and whether they’ll require a deposit.
Some utility companies might use your credit score to assess whether they will require a deposit and if so, how much they’ll request.

Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Rent Payments and Late Rent Fees

Mishandling Rent Payments and Late Rent Fees

When it comes to rent payments, the most common mistake made is not charging the right amount of rent.

Setting the rent is a delicate issue – Ask for too much, and you’re going have a hard time finding tenants… leading to high tenant turnover rates and higher vacancy losses. Ask for too little, and your rental income falls to dangerous levels.

Late rent payments are another common pitfalls for landlords. The biggest landlord mistake that you can make here is not imposing late rent fees. Late rent fees are a highly effective deterrent against shoddy tenants – Even with regular tenants, you will save a lot time from not having to remind them of rent payments every month.

And if your tenants are overdue with rent payment, take firm action as soon as possible. Once the rent has been overdue for 48 hours or more, send your tenants a late rent notice letter to ask for the rent and any late fees. To deal with repeat offenders, you can consider giving them a pay or quit notice (which orders them to pay up 3 days or leave the property).

Download free tenant rental applications and landlord tenant rental leases here

Accurate Credit Bureau Tenant Credit Check What a Landlord should look for…

What to Look for in a Tenant’s Credit Report

A credit report contains a gold mine of information for a prospective landlord. You can find out, for example,

if a particular person has ever filed for bankruptcy or has been:

late or delinquent in paying rent or bills, including student or car loans

involved in another type of lawsuit such as a personal injury claim, or

financially active enough to establish a credit history.

Information in credit reports covers the past seven to ten years.
Depending on the type of report you order, you should charge your prospective tenant an application fee to cover your expense. People with bad credit won’t waste their money or your time.
The SINGLE BUREAU TENANT CREDIT CHECK is just $19.95 from Accurate Credit Bureau and includes a Credit check and analysis which includes Judgments, Liens, Bankruptcies, and Foreclosures.

The LANDLORD PREFERRED Package is $29.95 and includes a Credit check and Background Bureau which includes Last 15 years of Public Records including Property, Landlord Information, and Evictions. Returned to you by fax or email within minutes (Recommended)

The LANDLORD COMPREHENSIVE package is $39.95 and includes a Credit check and Comprehensive Background Bureau which includes an Online Criminal Record check, Last 15 years of Public Records including Property, Landlord Information, and Evictions.

The LANDLORD COMPLETE package includes the Landlord Comprehensive package plus additional Comprehensive Criminal Records which includes FBI most wanted, Terrorist, and Sexual offender database check.

Information Landlords Need to Get a Tenant’s Credit Report
To run a credit check, you’ll need a prospective tenant’s name, address, and Social Security number, which is on the rental application you ask prospects to complete. The application is also the place for applicants to authorize you to run a credit report. Be sure to tell prospective tenants the amount of the application fee you are charging (discussed above). Accurate Credit Bureau Residential Rental Application and Consent to Background Check forms both include sections where the tenant gives consent your to check their credit report.

Accurate Credit Bureau Landlords Don’t Do This!

No. 1: Underestimating costs

You’ll most likely account for your insurance, taxes, and if you have one, mortgage. But you might miss expenses such as water, garbage, gardening, and regular repair and upkeep tasks. Even riskier, you may fail to put aside a large enough pot for unexpected expenses and big-ticket items.
For a realistic estimate, plan for annual costs (not including your mortgage) to run at least 35% to ­ 45% of your yearly rental income. When calculating future income, it’s a good rule of thumb to include only 10 or 11 months of payments per year. After all, whenever a tenant moves out, you’ll still be stuck with expenses.

No. 2: Breaking the law

Tenant and landlord laws vary from state to state and even city to city. For example, in some areas, you can require a month-to-month tenant to move out within 15 days, while in others you must give him 60 days’ notice. One easy way to avoid getting into legal hot water: use a professional tenant rental application and rental lease. You know that federal law prohibits you from denying a rental to someone based on race, religion, or gender. Keep in mind that it also means that you can’t advertise a place as perfect for female roommates or specify no kids. You may, however, include a cap on the total number of occupants or ban pets.

No. 3: Skimping on vetting prospective tenants

Never rent your property without checking the prospective tenant’s credit, confirming the source and amount of income, and checking in with the current and previous landlords. Also run a thorough criminal background check. Look for income to run at least 2½ times annual rent. Sites such as Accurate Credit Bureau provide credit and background details for around $30.

No. 4: Failing to check out the property regularly

Don’t count on your renter to tell you about problems. A tenant will complain about an inconvenience, such as plumbing issues, but not necessarily something like broken rain gutters that can produce major problems down the road. What begins as a dripping pipe or watermark on the ceiling can quickly swell into a multi-­thousand-dollar repair if left unaddressed.

For more Landlord services and tenant screening options see Accurate Credit Bureau.

Accurate Credit Bureau “Don’t be that guy!” Do a Tenant Background Check BEFORE They Move In…

A landlord lets a family rent as he is anxious to have tenants in his empty property and the family say that they are desperate for accommodation. He is not entirely happy about them but feels that letting them in will be better than leaving the property empty. He fails to do a tenant background check on his prospective tenant.

Once in, they proceed to redecorate the property, painting the walls black and all the radiators dark mauve. Numerous complaints are received from neighbours about their behaviour and loud music at night. There are several incidents when the Police are called out and it is suspected that they are taking drugs. The landlord did not process a criminal background check.

They pay one month’s rent in advance but fail to pay any further rent, and the landlord has to issue proceedings for possession to evict them. This  takes four months by which time the rent arrears have risen to several thousand dollars. The landlord failed to process an tenant eviction report

The night before the bailiff is due to come to evict them, they have a party, during the course of which several windows are broken, and other damage is done to the property. It is left in a filthy state with rubbish in all the rooms. Much of the furniture has been either broken or stolen. The landlord did not process a tenent credit report.

The landlord is left with a property which needs several thousand pounds work (including re-decoration throughout and replacement of almost all the furniture) to make it fit for re-letting, a bill from his solicitors for the eviction proceedings, and no chance of recovery from the tenants who have disappeared without trace. The landlord didn’t have his prospective tenant fill out a tenant rental application or rental lease.

Don’t be like this landlord, get tenant screening services from Accurate Credit Bureau.

Accurate Credit Bureau How to Avoid the Bad Apple Landlord Tips and Services

As a landlord, you’re always on the lookout for the best tenant out of your pool of rental applicants. When you haven’t been a landlord for long, it’s important to be aware of some common tricks that desperate applicants try to pull on naïve landlords. These scams are designed to put you off guard and convince you to skip doing a thorough background check on the applicant. Usually, it’s because the applicant has something to hide.

While you should always strictly adhere to the Federal Fair Housing Guidelines and your own standards of tenant screening, there are a few red flags that may alert to you an applicant who is trying to scam you.

Here are four common cons that you should be aware of that may tip you off about the applicant’s ability to pay and how they will treat your property:

Trick #1: The Immediate Cash Offer

An applicant may approach you with an offer that he or she will pay the first month’s rent and the security deposit in cash if you can rush the move-in date to right away. This can seem very attractive—after all, you don’t have the property sitting vacant for very long and you’ll save time on tenant screening all the other applicants.

Another seeming advantage is that with cash, you won’t have to worry about bad checks or the tenant’s inability to pay.

While there can definitely be instances where paying cash and a speedy move-in request are legitimate, it may also signal that the applicant has been asked to leave a previous rental or is being evicted. You may be lulled into a false sense of security by an enthusiastic tenant waving cash and rushing to sign a lease, only to find out that they are running from a bad rental situation.

Trick #2: Challenging the Tenant Screening Process

Whether they complain about all the rental application fees, leave blanks on the application or act hurt that you want to investigate their background, applicants who question your tenant screening process may actually have something to hide. They may even act offended that you don’t trust them or that you are questioning their integrity. A naïve landlord might agree to waive fees or skip the tenant screening process to make up for hurting someone’s feelings.

While this could just signal inexperience in renting, it can also alert you to the possibility that the applicant hasn’t been through any legitimate screening process before or that money is tight because they are worried about the fee. An experienced tenant understands that the background check, employment and landlord verification and the rest of the process takes time and money. They won’t mind waiting because they understand and appreciate what it takes to get good tenants and probably feel confident that their application will look good.

Trick #3: One of Multiple Adult Tenants

When an applicant offers to be the only one on the lease agreement, despite the fact that other adults will be living in the house, it can signal that the applicant may be the only one with a clean background. It’s always wise to run checks on everyone over the age of 18 who will be living in the rental unit, but especially if the applicant is persistent about leaving someone out of the screening process.

Applicants who raise questions about the other adults in the home filling out forms and submitting information for screening may be trying to cover up the fact that someone won’t pass the background check, whether it’s for a previous poor rental history, criminal history or unemployment. Applicants with nothing to hide will have no problem with every adult undergoing screening.

Trick #4: Currently Living With Family

Some applicants will reveal that they are currently living with family members and have no landlord references. While of course this can be a legitimate situation based on personal circumstances, it’s not uncommon for people with poor rental histories or current financial difficulties to stay with family members when they have nowhere else to go.

The applicant may be reluctant to provide contact information for a past landlord or claim that it was long ago and they can’t remember. Without contacting past landlords, you won’t get a neutral reference on what kind of tenant the applicant is. Diligence in contacting a previous landlord is important, and the results will be worth it to get a clearer understanding of what kind of tenant this person was in the past and how that may impact your decision to accept the applicant.
See how Accurate Credit can help you.

What’s the most ridiculous trick you’ve experienced with a rental applicant? Share with us so we can all learn to recognize those red flags!