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Personal Information when Qualifying Applicants

Some landlords do not understand our policies in regards to releasing information on applicants when asking our owners to approve or deny marginal applicants. We want to explain this a litle better for our landlords.

As Equal Opportunity Housing Providers, our screening policies are designed so we are in compliance with the many government regulations we are required to adhere to. We are subject to several privacy laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Additionally, we believe in the principles of fair housing. Here's a few of the laws we are subject to:

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that details how consumer credit information can be collected, given out, and used.
  • The Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination in housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because you get public assistance.

Often times, we are unable to communicate details that property owners would like us to about prospective applicants, as we are not allowed to release sensitive information to you regarding applicants. Common questions we get in opposition to Fair Housing Act include "How old are they?" and "Are they married?" We cannot answer these questions or any questions along these lines.

Tenants are not allowed to wave their right to privacy under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Because of these regulations, we are unable to give you a copy of the credit report (we can't even release it to the tenant!) or relay the exact credit score.

Both the FHA and the ECOA do not allow us to deny based off the type of income received. As long as the applicant meets the criteria outlined and the source of income is stable, the source is not a factor. That's why we aren't supposed to reveal what their income is.

As you can see, it get's really tricky in determining which information we can and cannot pass on to you, the homeowner, when approving or denying tenants. If the tenants meet all of our criteria, then we will approve them. If they do not, we will come to you for conditional approval or denial. If you don't feel comfortable making a decision off the information we limited information we are allowed to pass along, please feel free to deny the applicants and wait for someone qualified. In the lower rent apartments and homes, it is sometimes necessary to accept an under qualified applicants. In these instances, we already recommend a conditional approval with a double deposit.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this information! 

Nicole St. Aubin

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