Your Questions About Credit Reports For Landlords

Susan asks…

How do I go about getting my rent pay history reported on my credit report?

I am taking the necessary steps to resolve the credit issues I have and would like to have my positive rent pay history added to my credit report. I will use this in lieu of a mortgage to bring my score up. Any ideas if this can even be done and how?

John answers:

First, it IS NOT a lack of bad news that makes a good credit score. You dont want bad things on there, but if you dont create a new, good history, simply deleting the bad news does nothing. Your landlord would have to agree to report it and then do so. Howver VERY few do this– its a hassle for them. Also, Rent is not a debt to be repaid– it is paid monthly AS you use it, just like utilities, which are also not generally reported.

Here is some more detailed info about it –

Take care.

Lisa asks…

When you dispute a judgment with credit bureaus, who validates it the court or the creditor?

I have an old unlawful detainer judgement from 2003 that was paid in full. On my credit reports it shows as “NOT SATISFIED” I can’t find my old landlord anywhere, and this is really hindering my FHA loan approval. HELP!!!!! I have the paycheck stubs to show the withholdings from my pay, should this be enough? If the original creditor is not around, can it be easily disputed and deleted?

John answers:

If you ask the credit reporting agencies (CRAs), they will tell you that judgments are verified directly with the courthouse. The fact is they have 3rd party agents they contract with in each major metropolitan area (think process server and registered agent) and when you dispute a judgment, they send their contract agents over to the courthouse to verify the judgment.

This is a load of crap for a few reasons. Not the least of which is that the FCRA requires the CRAs to disclose the name, address and phone number of the person they verified the information with. When you call the courthouse, they will all tell you they do not allocate any resources to verifying judgments with CRAs, so when the CRA claims to have verified the info with the courthouse, this is a lie and is, IMO, a violation of the FCRA section that requires them to verify with the data furnisher and disclose the contact info for the person they verified with.

To my knowledge this has never been challenged in court, so there’s no case law to back this up.

So what you can do is dispute this with the CRA and see what happens. If it comes back verified, talk to a lawyer about your legal remedies.

Ruth asks…

What information are on credit reports when you are trying to lease a home?


I am planning to rent a home in California (Orange County) area and I know the home owner/listing agent will be checking my credit to see if I quality.

My question is…what information are shown in the credit report? Does it show how many credit cards or which type of credit cards I have? I am wondering if detailed information shows or if it is simple as qualified/unqualified.

Thank you!

John answers:

It is pretty detailed. All of the accounts, balances and payment history (on time, late, over 30 days late, over 60 days late, etc) will be listed. Your employers, previous addresses, applications for credit and any legal (civil only) cases you were involved in.

The landlord determines if you are qualified or not.

Nancy asks…

Can landlords see if you broke a lease if its not on your credit report?

Is there another database or something landlords look at other than your credit report to see if a lease was broken?

John answers:

They would only know if you give that landlord you broke a lease with as a reference.

If it isn’t showing on your credit report as owing that landlord money from a judgment or collection agency, you should be OK.

Sandra asks…

Is it the Landlord or the Landlord’s Insurance Co. that can send poor comments for your credit reporting?

Landlord is not willing to negotiate the fire damage bill.
1) If I let it go to collection, negotiate with collections and pay the amt, will my credit report be impacted?
2) Can the rental office send anything that will impact my credit score/history if I let it go to collections?

John answers:

All of the above. They will most likely sue you anyway, not just try to collect.

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