The National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) is now in effect! As of July 1, 2017, all new and existing public record data used by Experian®, Equifax®, and TransUnion® will be held to the new NCAP standards. While the implementation of these standards will occur over a three year period (with full implementation expected by March 2018), the three major credit bureaus have begun to take steps to improve data accuracy and quality.
Tenant Screening Advice
In celebration of “National Housing Month” and amidst the hustle and bustle of the National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference and Expo last week, the National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRA) has released their “Man on the Street” video series! Designed to provide the average person with a basic understanding of what is and isn’t included on a credit report and to emphasize the importance of positive and accurate information, the series is an educational resource for everyone.
As a property manager, you depend on credit scores to help you make the best rental decision, but how much do you know about credit scoring models? With this guide, you’ll not only learn some of the differences between FICO™ and VantageScore® 3.0, but how to use credit scores to uphold your rental standards and protect your community.
In this day and age, most Americans have become extremely critical about the type of information they receive. Whether they’re analyzing the true sugar amount of their favorite Summer-time drinks or the overwhelming number of articles coining the phrase ‘fake news’, unfortunately you can’t stop there. With a simple internet connection, your rental applicants can now forge their own credit reports.
With the credit bureaus’ new National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) hot on our heels, it’s starting to look like these future changes could actually improve millions of U.S. credit scores. While a score boost definitely rears in the rental applicants’ favor, these new standards might be a little disconcerting for property managers and property owners where tax liens and civil judgments play an important role in the rental decision.
Determining if your tenant screening provider has quality criminal and eviction data is essential if you want to maintain a standard when accepting applicants. With faulty or subpar data, you leave your community open to potential threats, which can include extensive damages, lawsuits, fines, and a loss in reputation. To discern if you need to shop for a new resident screening provider, check if your current provider is showing these 3 red flags.
In the multifamily housing industry, the advantages of having online rental applications and forms are massive. Rather than depending on the accessibility of paper applications (which oftentimes get lost or forgotten by applicants), online rental applications give you the freedom to work outside of the leasing office and attract applicants wherever you may be. While a large part of the rental housing world has already shifted to online applications, it’s important to insure that your applications are equipped with e-signature tools. Without it, you significantly cut down on the benefits of online applications.
Property managers like you take protecting their rental communities very seriously, and investigating their future tenants is a huge part of the leasing process. While some use shady (and potentially illegal) Facebook research as well as other social media accounts to vet potential residents, ultimately, you are your own Detective Gadget, and resident screening is your primary tool. With your applicant’s background screening report in hand, you can easily look for clues of potential “red flags.”
Minimizing liabilities within your leasing process is an important aspect of protecting the communities you manage. Without performing thorough tenant screening, providing Adverse Action Notices and a Summary of Rights, and being mindful of national and state-wide legislation, you can easily get you and your property management company in a whole lot of legal trouble. To avoid liabilities, be mindful of incorporating these few steps into your leasing process.
From enforcing “Ban the Box” regulations on Los Angeles employers to potentially prohibiting Texan counties and cities from enacting “Ban the Box” legislation, passed and proposed legislation has, for the most part, favored the movement. While the federal Fair Chance Act has been halted since it was proposed in 2015, many states, cities, and counties have enacted their own “Ban the Box” legislation this year.