Has your rental application been turned down? Wondering why you didn’t get accepted? Know your Minnesota tenant rights – view your tenant report, make corrections and get back on track to your new place.
Tenant Screening Reports:
What can be in a tenant screen report:
- Consumer credit report (with or without a score) – from one of the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or Transunion).
- Eviction records search
- Criminal records search
- Sex offender registry search
- Specially designated nationals search (frequently referred to as an OFAC search)
- Rental references
- Employment verifications
- Recommendation – based on the landlord’s criteria (parameters)
If the landlord charges you an application fee, they have to give you the name, address and telephone number of the tenant screening company they use. If you are turned down because of your tenant screening report you have the right to review and correct, if necessary. Ask the tenant screening company for a written copy of the report by mail, phone or in-person. Helpful hint: if you ask within 30 days of being turned down for housing, the copy is free. Otherwise, you must pay for a copy of the report.
Ways to get your report:
- By mail – the tenant screening company must mail you a copy of your report within 5 business days. If sending your request by mail, make sure you send a copy of your identification with the request.
- In-person – if you go to the company during business hours, they should give you the report that day. Bring your ID with you.
- By phone – ask for a “phone disclosure.” This means they will read your report to you over the phone. In order to receive a telephone disclosure, send a written request (that you want the report read to you on a specific date) along with a copy of your ID. If you ask for phone disclosure, the tenant screening company has to read the report to you by phone on the day you stated in your written request. Your phone disclosure does not protect your rights to get a free written copy of the report – still ask for your free written report.
Read the tenant screening report carefully to identify any errors or misinformation. The report should have all information the company has about you including where the information came from. If there is any inaccurate information, ask the tenant screening company, in writing, to investigate it and and keep a copy of your letter. The tenant screening company must investigate any information that you say is wrong. If the investigation results in inaccurate or unconfirmed information, the tenant screening company must delete that information from the report. If there is information that cannot be taken off, you have the right to tell “your side of the story” in a written explanation that is 100 words or less. The tenant screening company has to add your explanation to your tenant screening report that will be included in all future reports.
Ask the tenant screening company to send a notice to everyone who got a copy of your report within the last 6 months. The notice should tell them that the information is wrong and has been taken off your report. It is important that you ask them to do this, since the company will not do it automatically.