Zillow Advice: Landlords - How do you check he credit worthness of a renter? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Zillow Advice | Zillow Real Estate BEWARE, TRANSUNION SMARTMOVE ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ <u><strong>BEWARE, TRANSUNION SMARTMOVE IS RUBBISH.</strong></u><br/><br/><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50140748n" rel="nofollow">http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50140748n</a> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle">d440 million mistakes; &middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 20 million significant mistakes</p><br/>onto the criminal background process.&nbsp; you now realize &nbsp;the credit reporting system is broken take a look a at the criminal background investigation.&nbsp; let's use transunion dumbmove, i'm sorry, forgive me, i mean smartmove.&nbsp; a so called simple, reliable, safe, credit/background check process for landlords and tenants.&nbsp; the only thing anyone is getting is a relatively quick and easy non solution. <p class="MsoNormal">TU will ask you (the landlord) to provide the renters name email and phone number.&nbsp; you set up your account.&nbsp; that will prompt an email to the renter to set up his account. &nbsp;you have done little more than initiate the permission (CYA) process.</p><p class="MsoNormal">you (the renter) create your account and have request of you your social security number (SS#), your date of birth and your (the tenant) name and your permission and consent to the check releasing TU of liability.&nbsp; then it will run that name, with if provided, or more likely without a middle name or initial, + date of birth (DoB).&nbsp; but this DoB does not run your real DoB it either runs your age or your birth year. &nbsp;the conclusion?&nbsp; a result including anyone having your name and same age or birth year as a potential "hit".&nbsp; what?&nbsp; you ask?&nbsp; where's the reliability and validity in that?&nbsp; the answer?&nbsp; there is none.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">what you (the landlord) are NOT told is that you have to STILL do the homework and get to the bottom of a spool of guilty party name(s) who may but are likely not your applicant, in whatever fashion you deem necessary.&nbsp; you could have done this with a simple internet search of name + DoB + state + arrest records.&nbsp; the search database that TU uses does not give you any better result as you could on your own--FOR FREE!&nbsp; and nothing a savvy landlord or assistant shouldn't be already taking the time to do anyway.</p><p class="MsoNormal">for example.&nbsp; name + age or birth year results in a hit of a first name last name aged XX with an arrest record in XX state for grand theft auto and fraudulent check writing comes to your attention.&nbsp; no match against an SS#, a real DoB, a DL#.&nbsp; nothing.&nbsp; you better be d@mn sure this is the person who submitted before you let your potential renter know he or she has a criminal record that he or she needs to clean up or get fixed.&nbsp; this record doesn't even BELONG to your potential renter.&nbsp; and there goes your 3 or 4 figure monthly rent right out the door.&nbsp; and possibly, if you really pissed off and insulted your applicant, a lawsuit or lessor but still irritating a magistrate or bbb complaint. &nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">remember, websites for online products are not in business to provide service, they are in business to make money.&nbsp; and sales and product managers will make sure they make it what whatever way they can.&nbsp; <em><u>especially</u></em> when you start looking at credit reporting bureaus, agencies whatever, even with the newly filed complaints against the BBB ratings raquet a supposed non profit where high level leaders are making in upwards of $250,000 dollars.&nbsp; don't believe me?&nbsp; take a look for yourself. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/business-bureau-best-ratings-money-buy/story?id=12123843" rel="nofollow">http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/business-bureau-best-ratings-money-buy/story?id=12123843</a></p><p class="MsoNormal">what is that saying <strong><em>Caveat emptor&nbsp; let the buyer beware?&nbsp;</em></strong> it doesn't only apply to you as renter proviso but a service proviso.&nbsp; be sure as a TU dumbmove, sorry, smartmove customer you know what you and your potential customer are getting for the money.&nbsp; do you really need scads of (possibly inaacuarate and if so, not necessarily a predictor of rent payment reliability) credit history or a autopayment or bank ledger of past paid rents.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br/></p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 20:05:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2013-10-08T20:05:00Z Transunion Smartmove does ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Transunion Smartmove does not work! It's horrible! The response to my questions about how to get it to work does not make sense. The voice mail at their phone number is full, can't leave a message, but I only found that out after going through four different menu options. If I hear them spell Transunion Smartmove one more time I'll scream. Stay away! Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:56:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2013-04-24T13:56:00Z I used transunion smartmove ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ I used transunion smartmove for&nbsp; the first time for perspective tenants, they were charged 30$ ea and I never recceived the report and ended up exploring the tenants background myself and refunded the 60$ , I will NEVER use smartmovers again, waste of money Sat, 23 Feb 2013 14:37:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2013-02-23T14:37:00Z [website removed by Zillow ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ [website removed by Zillow moderator] is a web-based application for small landlords like you. You create an account with your property information and email your renter a rental application with a background check request. Your applicant runs and pays for the background check but you receive the results.<br/><br/>When you approve the tenant, it creates a lease document already filled with your tenant's data and it's ready for e-signatures.<br/>It saves ton of time and it's very reasonable. Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:30:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-08-12T22:30:00Z You need to be able to run ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ You need to be able to run a credit report (your local investor group may have a way for you to sign with with a credit reporting service), or hire a <br/>Realtor that is a property manager so they can run it for you.&nbsp; If the<br/>prospective tenant gives you a former landlord to check with make sure<br/>that person actually owns the home they lived in.&nbsp; You can do that by<br/>checking the tax records for that county.&nbsp; I have seen cases where the<br/>name and phone given for the reference was a buddy not the real<br/>landlord.&nbsp; If you cannot run a credit report and don't want to hire a <br/>professional then at least make them show you a few credit cards to<br/>prove they have been able to get credit elsewhere.&nbsp; If they don't use credit<br/>cards they are probably not a good credit risk from my experience. Wed, 03 Aug 2011 16:44:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-08-03T16:44:00Z Although I agree that lying ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Although I agree that lying about former tenants is not the best policy in an ideal world, I would imagine that tenants from hell, when finally extricated from a dwelling, are like warts that go away... unless you scratch them. In other words, a landlord may fear a litigious former tenant (removed by Zillow Moderator), or&nbsp;may fear a psychotic former tenant that will exact revenge on a former landlord.<br/><br/>Also, tenants can hire a private investigator to call a former landlord and pose as a prospective landlord seeking references, and if properly verified may be admissible in a court of law. It's not the "good" ones to worry about, but the "bad" apples who are precisely the ones you hope to screen out.<br/><br/>Interviewing a former landlord is like interrogating someone who may be of interest to a crime. Listen for halting tones, hesitation or awkward moments of silence, nervous voice, or haste to get off the phone to avoid questions.<br/><br/>We may not like Vince's admission but if there was no candid admission, perhaps a deeper problem would not be revealed as possibly festering under the surface, waiting to rear its ugly head. Chris from Phoenix has the right sentiments; honesty is the best policy. Those willing to bear the possible brunt of steadfast honesty to the letter are commendable and their possible eventual sacrifices to unscrupulous litigious (perhaps psychotic) former tenants are a choice they're willingly made to uphold their impeccable standards. Vince sounds like a more pragmatic "survivor" type who doesn't want to step into a gaping hole in the ground because he is too fixated on upholding perceived standards of ethics, sort of a realist who just wants to perform as a landlord in a sadly corrupt world. That's my take. Tue, 02 Aug 2011 20:18:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-08-02T20:18:00Z Vince you said, "RE: Calling ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Vince you said<em>, "RE: Calling the old landlord - IMHO in my experience, that never works. Landlords (and I include me in that) lie or dont tell the entire truth,"</em><br/><br/>I have to ask, why, as a landlord, would you <strong>lie</strong> to a prospective landlord enquiring about a crappy tenant? We have a policy of telling the whole truth to protect other landlords, I would expect other landlords to do the same. <br/><br/>We&nbsp; don't often get calls from prospective landlords on our worst tenants. I expect they are either lying to their new landlord or finding one who's dumb enough not to do a background check. Because if the prospective landlord called us, they'd hear the WHOLE truth. Tue, 02 Aug 2011 19:52:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-08-02T19:52:00Z Thanks for the headsup Vince ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Thanks for the headsup Vince and csantillo. SmartMove looks like a pretty good service. There is more information on their website <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.mysmartmove.com/Pricing.aspx">here</a>. Tue, 26 Jul 2011 19:30:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-07-26T19:30:00Z Thanks, Vince Curtis, for ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Thanks, Vince Curtis, for point me to TransUnion SmartMove. It was really easy (and relatively cheap) to ask my applicants to submit their information for a credit and background check. Tue, 26 Jul 2011 17:29:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-07-26T17:29:00Z Your realtor will always ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ Your realtor will always begin with the standard application. This will have room for the potential renters SSN, current landlord contact info, and job info. Then you would run credit, verify employment, and contact their current landlord to make sure everything is on the up and up. If the credit is really bad ask for an explanation and perhaps an increased security deposit. It is much easier to get a bad renter into a property than out of one. Tue, 19 Jul 2011 20:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-check-he-credit-worthness-of-a-renter/379406/ 2011-07-19T20:54:00Z