Friday, February 5, 2010

FTC nails tenant screening company -- $100,000 fine

A tenant screening company named First Advantage SafeRent must pay a $100,000 fine for rejecting tenant requests to check information on reports used by landlords to screen prospective tenants. According to the Federal Trade Commission's press release:

A tenant screening agency that rejected consumers’ requests for their files and failed to recheck information on their consumer reports after they had disputed it has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law. The settlement order requires the company to pay a $100,000 civil penalty and bars future violations.

The settlement also includes an order forcing the company to promptly provide copies of the report to tenants upon request, and to investigate disputed contents in reports.

Inaccurate tenant screening reports can have devastating contents, making it extremely difficult for tenants to obtain housing. Federal law allows tenants to get copies of their reports and challenge inaccuracies.

To learn more about your rights under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, check out the FTC's fact sheet.

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