Fair Credit Reporting Act (Relevant Portions)
. . . or at least the sections that apply to property managers pulling someone credit and other personal information. This act lays out the requirements for anyone pulling credit (and other private information) you’ll need to figure out whether or not you want to rent to them. This Is The Law everyone must follow when viewing, transmitting and storing applicants personal information including owners and property managers. Fines for violations of this act are $37,500 per event so the FTC is serious about compliance and claims of “I didn’t know” won’t save you.
Everyone knows managers Must Strive For Objectivity when approving/denying applicants but few have wrestled through the process of actually Putting It All Down In Writing … a document called Qualifying Guidelines.
For over our 35 years managing rentals in Atlanta we actually took the time to develop (and tweak for many years) the details of How To Treat All Applicants The Same to reduce the chances of a claim of discrimination. We make this document available to our students along with several of other tools for making these decisions Objectively and Safely.
Note: In 35 years, processing over 20,000 applications, Crown never had a Fair Housing claim. Clearly part of that is blind luck but the other part is consistently applying these written guidelines to all applicants, the same way, every time. Most of this happened before tenant screening companies were available so we learned how to do it in-house (codeword for By-The-Seat-Of-Our-Pants). These qualifying guidelines are the result of 25 years of perfecting the process.