Your OTHER credit report

The California Apartment Association asked us to write about a topic that is often misunderstood by renters and landlords alike. If someone is evicted from an apartment, does it go on his credit report?

The answer: It depends on the quality of your screener. This from the March issue of TCAA’s creatively named magazine Apartment Management:

The court cases that matter most to many landlords are eviction cases. Some screening reports include a search of millions of landlord/tenant litigation records. While these court cases are public information, they do not show up on traditional credit reports.

To a landlord, this data is invaluable: A study by a leading REIT showed that over 55 percent of renters who have been evicted will be evicted again. And with tenant-friendly judges on the bench in many locales, a key component of effective property management is to identify chronically problematic tenants before they move in.

Some companies look beyond court cases and credit files. In some markets, eviction court records are delayed by 60 days before they are made public. To address this inefficiency, some within the screening industry have empowered landlords to submit tenancy records to fill in the gaps.