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Landlord Newsletter June 2006 Part 2 Credit Reports & Collection

The LPA Newsletter
June 2006 Part 2

Dear Fellow Landlord,

I hope you already downloaded your free copy of our new Essential Landlord Form, the Tenant-Finder™ Telephone Pre-screening Worksheet from Part 1 of this month's newsletter. Below is a link in case you missed last week's edition.

In this newsletter:

  • I've included an important Rental Application Clause in my short article, "Credit Reports for Collection Purposes".
  • In case you missed it last week, below is your Free Download of The LPA's brand new Essential Landlord Form, the Tenant-Finderô Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet in MS Word and Acrobat Reader (PDF).
    In next month's LPA Newsletter, we will introduce another Free Download of a new Essential Form, the Tenant-Finderô Prospect Qualifying Chart which will work hand in hand with the Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet!
  • Landlord Tips
  • Recent Tenant Excuses

    Today's edition is the second segment of a two part LPA Newsletter.
    I hope you enjoy both parts this month's LPA Newsletter. Please e-mail us if you have any questions or would like to add or share any material / information. Have a great month.
    John Nuzzolese

    Click here for Part 1 of the June 2006 LPA Newsletter


    Credit Reports for Collection Purposes

    Can I Run a Credit Report to Locate my Tenant who Owes me Money?

    by John Nuzzolese

    A common misconception landlords have is that they can run a credit report on a tenant if they have the tenantís social security number. You must have the applicantís written authorization explicitly for running a credit report. It is illegal to pull a credit report without the tenant's written authorization according to the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). There could be very serious ramifications if you order credit reports without written authorization.

    So, what if you have written authorization on your tenant's rental application to run a credit check?

    As you know, it is illegal to obtain a credit report on a rental applicant without his or her expressed written authorization. The same is true for banks and credit card companies, only they have you sign an authorization that allows them to continue to check your credit report.

    Most lending institutions run credit reports from time to time on their borrowers for various reasons. Sometimes, to determine eligibity for credit line increases or account renewals, and also to track down delinquent debtors.

    Why can't landlords do the same thing? They can, but most landlords are not legally prepared to do it.

    Here is the clause to insert into your LPA Rental Application, so that if in the future you have to chase down a tenant by checking his credit report for a forwarding address or employer.

    Just copy and paste the above updated clause into your LPA Rental Application over the original.

    Even with the permission to run ongoing credit reports on your tenant, the you should keep in mind that each report you pull will show up on the credit report as an inquiry. Excessive inquiries on a credit report are harmful to the subject's credit rating. The landlord must be responsible with this privilege which is only intended to protect the landlord in collection or renewal evaluation circumstances.

    Disclaimer: State and local laws may vary, so The LPA recommends you seek an attorney's advice before ordering additional credit reports on tenants.


    In case you missed Part 1 of this newsletter last week, The LPA would like you to have a Free Download our our latest...

    New Essential Landlord Form

    The LPA's Tenant-Finder™
    Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet

    "It is far better to have no tenant than to have a bad tenant."

    I've been asked dozens of times in the last year to create a new form to help landlords ask the right questions on the telephone to help determine if the caller is someone you'd like to set an appointment to show your rental to. The LPA's new Tenant-Finder™ Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet has developed from a simple prospect card into a handy and more complete screening tool for telephone interviews.

    Limited Time Only: Free Download for LPA Newsletter subscribers. (Exp. 6/30/06)

    Tenant Finder™ Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet

    Tenant FinderTenant Finder™ Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet

    Have you ever met prospective tenants at your rental property, shown it to them, had them fill out a rental application only to find that they were nowhere near qualified? A simple pre-screening telephone interview can be a major time saver. Why not focus your attention on the most qualified prospects?

    Before giving out the address of your rental property and committing your time to a doomed appointment with an unqualified renter, you have a chance to more carefully evaluate which prospects are worth meeting with.

    I feel very strongly about strict tenant screening, which begins at First Contact with the tenant. First Contact is when you speak with the potential tenant for the first time, usually when they respond to one of your rental ads. At that point, you have the opportunity to learn what you can about this person's current situation. Are they employed? Can they afford your rental? Do their moving dates correspond with your rental's availability? Is their credit rating acceptable? And so on.

    After completing your Tenant-Finder™ Pre-Screening Telephone Worksheet, you can use the scoring area to evaluate your new prospect. Print up a pile of them to screen your next tenant!

    Eliminate bad tenant risks before spending your valuable time on them.
    "Eliminating a bad tenant before I even have to meet him is what I consider the cheapest eviction I can have!" - John@theLPA


    Landlord Tip

  • Eliminate Move-Out Problems in the Beginning.
    When executing a new lease, remember to staple an "Intention to Vacate" form on the back of the tenant's lease. Reminding the tenant to give proper notice and proper move-out procedure can make your life a lot easier when it's time to start looking for a new tenant.- Dan A., OH

  • Give Legal Notice Legally
    An official dated notice should be delivered / "served" to the tenant,
    • in person (preferable)
    • sent by certified mail- return receipt requested
    • regular first class mail combined with the above. We recommend getting a certificate of mailing receipt from the post office whenever you mail an official notice by 1st class (regular) mail.


    Tenant Excuses

    "I'm expecting a death in the family pretty soon. After that, I'll be all caught up."

    She's talking about her elder neglected father who should be cared for and fed. - Sharona R., NJ

    "I can't pay the rent AGAIN this month, I need to buy another van in order to get to work."

    I told him to pay up or enjoy living in the van ' its better than the crappy car he parks in the driveway! - Diane/Long Island, NY

    "My computer crashed and cost me over a week of work."

    This tenant's business is involved with a website. I still need the rent. - Sondra E., Irvine, CA



    eleanor roosevelt quotes Yogi Berra quotes Thomas Edison quotes Benjamin Franklin success quotes

    "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." - Helen Keller

    "Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge." - Mark Twain

    "Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight" - Benjamin Franklin

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    "When someone asks you, A penny for your thoughts, and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?" - George Carlin

    A Way of Being
    - Gary Link, Attorney at Law

    "How much did your last tenant problem cost you?"
    - John Nuzzolese


    Books by LPA Members

    The Landlord Protection Agency is proud to promote the following landlord books written by LPA Members, Timothy Spangler, Tony & Sandy Midea and Dan Auito. Just click on the book for more information about it.

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    landlord books, landlording, landlord information, landlord tenant law, evictions


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    Feel free to view the LPA Newsletter Archive

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