After months of searching, you’ve finally found the perfect rental. Once you’ve toured the rental and discussed your options with the landlord, you’ll have to complete the application, and, nine times out of 10, they will run a credit check on you. If you have bad credit or no credit at all, having your credit pulled can leave you panic-stricken, but with a little knowledge of how the process works, as well as what you can do to rent with bad credit, you’ll be able to breathe easier once again. That’s why the experts at Ways 2 Rent have come up with this guide on landlord credit checks.

When and why do landlords check credit reports?

As we mentioned earlier, in the vast majority of cases, landlords will always check an applicant’s credit report before agreeing to rent to them, and in most states, they don’t need to obtain permission from you in order to do so when you fill out the rental application, although most landlords will still obtain written permission. For a landlord, pulling a credit report helps them to gain insight into a prospective tenant’s past rental and financial history. Tenants with better credits scores are more attractive and dependable to landlords. Here are a few things a landlord could learn from your credit check:

  • Delinquent or late payments for rent, auto loans, student loans, etc.
  • Evictions
  • Involvement in lawsuits
  • Crime convictions, and in some cases, arrests.

Who is responsible for paying for a credit check?

Although credit checks help to protect landlords, many landlords will pass the cost of credit checks onto the tenant by charging an application fee. If you’re applying for multiple rentals and you want to avoid paying multiple application fees, some landlords may accept a copy of your credit report, so you may save money if you obtain your credit report on your own and make copies. However, it’s important to keep in mind that landlords aren’t legally required to accept a copy of your credit report, so you may still have to end up paying an application fee or two.

What is included in landlord credit checks?

One of the reasons why some landlords won’t accept a copy of your credit report is because the credit checks conducted by landlords are usually more in depth than credit reports, and they are often referred to as “tenant screening reports,” rather than just credit checks. Tenant screening reports often include:

  • Standard credit reports
  • Criminal background checks
  • Employment verifications
  • Credit ratings or scores
  • Sex offender background checks
  • OFAC terrorist searches
  • eviction histories
  • unlawful detainers

Are you worried about the tenant screening report?

If you’re concerned that something in your credit history could keep you from finding a rental, then you always have the option to check your credit score before you fill out any rental applications. You’re entitled to a free credit report once per year from the three major reporting agencies, and pulling it prior to applying for a rental can give you insight into what information landlords will be privy to.

Is it possible to rent with bad credit?

Many people who have bad credit have given up on finding second chance rentals, but you should know that bad credit doesn’t make you a bad tenant, and there are steps you can take to find a rental, no matter what your credit report says. At Ways 2 Rent, we specialize in helping people with bad credit or no credit find the right rentals, and we offer a variety of programs to meet your needs, from our Renters Identification Number program to our Eviction Removal program. We can even help you find the right second chance rental through our listings and apartment relocation specialists.

Landlord credit checks can be intimidating, but don’t let them hold you back.

Finding the right rental can be challenging enough, but when you have bad credit or no credit and you’re facing a landlord credit check, it can be stressful and intimidating. But the good news is that a landlord credit check doesn’t have to hold you back from finding the right rental. Whether you have evictions, a low credit score or broken leases on your credit report, take the first step towards finding the perfect second chance rental for you by contacting the experts at Ways 2 Save today.