Posted in Blog  
  on Sep 05, 2014

Is There a Tenant Blacklist

Although it doesn't seem right to some, it is possible for a landlord to blacklist a tenant. This is typically done through an eviction process that is filed on a tenant's credit report, but there are a number of additional methods that can make a tenant become blacklisted. The most common practice is to archive names that appear in public records so that if a tenant has been in litigation with a landlord, they scan be screened out.

Not all of the blacklist options are legal, but for a tenant, there is also no way to keep yourself as a tenant off of the list. If a tenant tries to enforce their legal rights and a landlord sues in return, even if not justified, the tenant could be blacklisted.

There are some other reasons beyond this informal, sometimes illegal blacklist that can get a tenant rejected consistently by landlords. Here are some of the most common ways.

1. Bad Credit

Having a poor credit history is one of most common reasons why a landlord will reject a tenant. Some have application standards that require a 700 credit score at minimum with no ongoing collection efforts or bankruptcies. Other property managers might allow a tenant with bad credit to rent from them, but with a higher deposit amount. Either way, as a tenant with bad credit, it pays to be upfront about your credit report before there are any surprises.

2. Failed Background Check

Background checks encompass many of today's public records and can include previous foreclosure or eviction procedures that have happened. These checks will also look at past criminal activity to determine if a potential renter can even live at specific locations because of certain legal restrictions that might be in place. Because there's a fee to check most criminal offender records, many landlords rely on arrest records instead and that means someone could be rejected even though they were never charged with a crime or may have been acquitted.

3. It's the Same Name

If you've got a pretty common name, then it is really easy for a screener to think the information they've found about that name relates to the tenant who is applying for a property. These identity issues create blacklists that are problematic because people may be discriminated against improperly and rejected for an illegal reason. If this does happen, a tenant may be able to file an appeal and show that the records are not their own. There may be legal complications for a landlord or manager if the appeal is denied despite proof that a prospective tenant does not share the problematic identity.

Any tenant has 30 days to dispute denial information, but the burden of finding and then correcting incorrect information is actually on the tenant. The rental process doesn't grind to a halt because of an inaccuracy either, which means a home could easily be rented before the problem is fixed. That's why it is so important to know what public records say about you before you file a rental application because otherwise you might find yourself losing the perfect place to live.


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