This guide is designed to help you understand the contents of a rental history report, and how it can be used to your advantage when you’re looking to rent.
When you apply to rent a home or apartment, the property manager (or landlord) wants to make sure that you will be a responsible tenant. Not only do they want to confirm that you can be expected to pay your rent on time, but also that you will care for the home and be a safe, courteous neighbor.
So, landlords and property managers will often utilize specialized reports to gather information about your:
- Rental history
- Credit score
- Eviction record
- Proof of income
- Criminal record
A rental history report is one of the most important – and most widely used – tools for determining whether an applicant is likely to make timely consistent monthly rent payments.
But exactly what is a rental history report? And what can you do if there are potential “red flags” on your rental history report? In this guide, Wan Bridge answers these important questions and more, so you can be well-prepared to secure the rental property of your dreams.
What is a Rental History Report?
A rental history report is a document that contains a detailed description of what you are like as a tenant/renter, generally compiled by a private consumer credit report agency (such as Experian).
The purpose of a rental history report is a screening process to equip a landlord or property manager with the information they need to decide if they want to rent to you. For example, the report can highlight issues such as past evictions, frequent moves, or other problem behaviors. It can also demonstrate that you are a reliable prospective tenant.
Key Details on a Rental History Report
Rental history report details typically include the following:
- A list of all the properties where you have previously been a tenant
- Information about each rental property’s landlord/property manager
- How long have you lived at each property
- How much rent you paid at each property
- Any issues that occurred during the rental agreement period, such as late rent payments, evictions, broken leases, etc.
- Positive or negative feedback from former landlords/property managers
What Do Property Management Companies Look for in Rental History?
Different property managers or landlords may take varying approaches to tenant applications. Some may conduct in-depth assessments of your rental history, while others may only complete a basic screening.
But in general, they look at rental history reports to see whether or not you will be a good tenant for the rental property in question. If you have a history of repeated evictions, late payments or failure to pay your bills on time, a property manager may opt to reject your application to avoid any potential issues. On the other hand, if your rent history shows that you consistently pay your rent on time and have never been evicted, you are likely to be considered a strong candidate.
How Do Landlords Check Rental History?
When you complete an application to rent a house or apartment, you will usually be asked to provide consent for the landlord (or manager) to conduct a background check on you. This allows them to take the necessary steps to request the information they need to decide.
For rental history, you may be asked to provide a detailed written account, including contact information for previous landlords/property managers. It is important that you submit accurate and complete information, especially because most landlords will contact your prior property management company to confirm all details. If it is found that you were not truthful, it is considered a major red flag and can result in you being immediately rejected as a potential renter.
In most cases, landlords look up rental history using a private consumer reporting agency. These online tenant screening services rely on multiple sources to compile a complete detailed report and picture of your history. When a prospective landlord requests a rental history report, the provider will typically gather details from sources such as background check providers and credit reporting agencies.
Can I Look at My Rental History?
Yes, you can look up your rental history report at any time. In fact, it is a very good idea to be aware of the details included in your rental history so that you can be prepared to proactively address any potential issues (or resolve them if possible).
How to Check Your Rental History
If you want to get your rental history report, you can:
- Request one from a private consumer reporting company.
- Contact your future landlord or current property manager/landlord to ask which provider they use for their reports and submit a request to the agency.
Most reporting companies include similar details in their reports, so you only need to request one.
What if I Don’t Have Rental History?
If you have never rented a property before, you will not have any sort of history. The best approach is to simply be honest during the application process and offer to provide any information that would be useful in proving that you would be an excellent potential tenant.
In many cases, a landlord or property manager will request other information in lieu of an established rental history, such as:
- Proof of employment
- Pay stubs
- Personal references
- A credit report
Additionally, they may ask that you secure someone to co-sign your lease.
How Knowing Your Rental History Helps You
Knowing what is on your rental history report can give you a significant advantage during the rental application process. Because you know what a potential landlord/property manager will see when they check your history, you will be ready to respond appropriately.
For example, perhaps you are aware that you failed to pay your rent on time on a few occasions, specifically after you were laid off from your job. You can communicate openly and honestly with the landlord/manager to address the situation, explaining what happened and why it is not something that will occur in the future.
Another reason to check your rental history is to ensure that it does not contain any errors. If you see any inaccuracies, there are steps you can take to correct them.
Do Rental Home Communities Check Rental History?
Yes, rental home communities are managed by professional property management teams, who will almost always check your rental history during the application process.
Contact a Wan Bridge Rental Community Today!
Are you searching for homes for rent in Austin, Houston, or Dallas? WB is transforming the tenant experience with our unique, built-to-rent communities located in the most desirable cities in Texas.
With options that include luxury single-family homes and townhome-style residences, our rental communities raise the bar regarding amenities, style, and convenience. Our homes feature designer-crafted floor plans with ample space and open-concept designs, upgraded appliances and finishes, and more. In addition, because we design, build, maintain, and manage all of our communities, you can look forward to enjoying a hassle-free lifestyle without the responsibility of home maintenance, landscaping, or repairs – it truly is the best of both worlds.
For more information about our available houses for rent in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, please contact the Wan Bridge team today.
Image Credits: Bogdan Sonjachnyj – Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock