Your job as a landlord just got a lot more bureaucratic and burdensome regarding tenant screening reports that you receive to help you select tenants.

Most landlords may know nothing about two federal laws that were enacted to protect consumers against identity theft, a growing concern in our electronic age. These laws are the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)

In brief,

1. Keep all tenant applications, credit reports and other screening documents under lock and key for three years.

2. Shred them when you dispose of them.

3. Give all turned-down tenant applications a written notice stating why they were turned down (if the reason was a report from a third party agency it must be disclosed)

4. For real estate offices you must have an on-site inspection of your rental business office area to confirm that you are following the above rules.

Source: Small Property Owners Association Newsletter.

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