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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

I have never been a landlord. Can you help me?

Rental History Reports is here to help you select quality applicants for your rental unit(s)! If you would like some additional guidance on the ins and outs of becoming a landlord, please contact your local multi-housing association. These associations can provide you with many of the resources that new and existing landlords may need. For a list of multi-housing associations by state, please click here.

What does your service do for me?

Rental History Reports is here to help you select quality applicants for your rental property(s)! Small landlords are at the greatest risk of being negatively impacted by bad renters. Applicants who have been evicted in the past and don't intend to pay rent on time – or at all – intentionally seek out small landlords because small landlords are less likely to run background checks. Learning about an applicant's background by assessing creditworthiness, criminal history and other factors allows you to make better-informed leasing decisions, reducing your chances of entering into a rental situation with a bad renter.

What do I need to do to use your services?

The first step is to complete our online signup process and pay our one-time $29 account setup fee. You need to provide accurate personal information such as your legal name and birth date. We use this information to confirm your identity and verify that you own the rental property.

Account Setup

Why do I have to set up an account?

Federal regulations and credit bureau policies require us to confirm your identity and confirm that you are the property owner before we can provide you with background screening information. It is through the account setup process that we fulfill these statutory requirements.

Are there any monthly, annual or hidden fees?

No. There is a one-time account activation fee of $29 and if you have your potential applicants pay for their reports, there is no other cost to you. If you choose to pay for the background screening reports, you will pay between $19.95 and $59.95 depending on the type of report package you choose to purchase. There are absolutely no hidden costs or recurring fees associated with using our service.

How do I log in to my account and view my report?

A password will be emailed to you after account setup. Simply enter the User ID provided in the email and use the temporary password we sent to you. There are login fields at the top of all pages on this website. If you've forgotten your password, please enter your email address on the Password Reset page.

Once Rental History Reports completes a background screening report you will receive a notification by email. For security reasons, we cannot send the actual report results via email. The email notification will contain a link for you to sign on to our site with your User ID and password. From there you will be taken right to your completed reports page.

When can I order a report?

You can order background screening reports on our website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! A lot of pertinent information will be returned to you within minutes, regardless of when you request a report.

How do I find my User ID and password?

Once you have completed our online signup process an email will be sent to you containing your User ID and a temporary password. Please save this email for future reference. If you have forgotten your User ID, please email newaccounts@rentalhistoryreports.com.

Background Screening Reports

What are all of your products and how do they help me choose good applicants?

To see a comparison of all of our products and packages, please click here. Click the Learn More button at the bottom of the page for a description of each package.

How long does it take to get my report?

A lot of pertinent information will be returned to you within minutes, regardless of what package you order. Some products take longer to process than others, so the exact turnaround time will vary based on what package you order. The turnaround times vary from 5 minutes to 72 hours. To see a description of all of our package options along with product description and turnaround time information, please go to the Package Details tab.

Will the applicant receive a copy of the background screening report?

Applicants do not automatically receive a copy of their background screening report, but they do have the right to request one through our office. If an applicant tells you he/she would like a copy of the background screening report, please direct him/her to our applicant copy webpage at www.rentalhistoryreports.com/applicant. It is important that applicants obtain copies from us rather than from you so that we can ensure they are given a statement of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act along with their report copies.

How much does it cost to run a background screening report?

There is a one-time account set-up fee of $29.00. Beyond that, Rental History Reports offers four different report packages. A single report ranges in price from $19.95 to $59.95. You decide who pays for the report - you or the applicant.

Can I have the applicants pay for their reports?

Absolutely! With our Invite Renter feature, you simply check the "applicant pay" option when you order a new report.

There is no exact credit score on the report, just a financial risk assessment. How does this help me?

At Rental History Reports, we developed our financial risk assessment product specifically because it provides landlords with valuable information about the risk level of their applicants without all the hassle of becoming certified to obtain full credit reports and exact scores from the credit bureaus.

We can provide you with a range of scores into which your applicant's score falls. We use the FICO scoring model which is the same model used by millions of auto finance companies, mortgage lenders, credit card companies and other lending institutions nationwide. Rental History Reports also provides you with a financial risk summary that lets you know if your applicant has collection accounts or public records (which can include bankruptcies and legal judgments).

Example:

If you feel you want a full credit report and an exact score, you do have the option of becoming certified to obtain that information from the credit bureaus. There is an annual $150 fee for certification. After you have completed our online account setup process, you can contact us to pay the annual fee and begin the certification process.

What are Federal Compliance Regulations and what does this have to do with viewing the Financial Risk Assessment on the report?

In order to view any applicant's credit information for the first time, you must be compliant (what's this?).

Don't worry, this only occurs the first time you setup an account with us and once you are compliant, you will always be able to view the credit section on your applicant's reports. Compliance only affects viewing the applicant's Financial Risk Assessment section, therefore you will be able to view all other sections of the report. You can also order as many reports as you want while we set you up to be compliant.

Landlord Questions

How do I verify an applicant's income/employment status?

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to ask the applicant to provide recent pay stubs. You can also contact the applicant's employer directly and ask to speak to the human resources department. Human Resources will be able to provide you with information such as the applicant's hire date and salary. Some companies require authorization from the applicant to release this information, so be prepared to fax or email your applicant's consent form in order to obtain the information. In our Landlord ToolBox, we provide an employment verification form that you can use to fax to employers along with the consent form.

What if I have more than one property?

No problem! If you own multiple properties at different locations, please enter one of the properties during account setup and email NewAccounts@RentalHistoryReports.com a list of the remaining property addresses.

My applicants are married. Is there a charge for one report or two?

Application fees are charged per person, regardless of marital status. Providing discounts to married couples and not to unmarried couples creates a risk of being in violation of local Fair Housing laws.

Is there any charge if I invite the applicant to apply online and they do not apply?

No, you are (or the applicant is) only charged when the background screening report is ordered.

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