You may not have the best credit history—maybe you even have an arrest or two in your past—but you still need a place to live, and landlords are required by law to give you a fair shot at renting one of their units. However, landlords CAN reject your application if they find something in your background check that makes them think you won’t be able to pay your rent or that you will compromise the safety of the community. While these kinds of rejections are perfectly legal, here’s the kicker—the landlord or rental agency must by law tell you why they are rejecting your application and give you a copy of the report that provided the negative information. This is known as a notice of adverse action, and if you don’t get one, you may be able to sue for damages.
When a Landlord Owes You a Notice
You may have been turned down flat for an apartment, or you may have been approved, but with additional conditions because of poor credit history or something else in your background check. Either way, the landlord must give you a notice of adverse action, which provides the following information:
- An explanation for why you are receiving the notice
- Whether you are outright denied or given additional conditions to be accepted
- The name of the credit reporting agency (CRA) the report was run through (Trans Union, Experian or Equifax) and contact information for the agency
- Notice that you have a right to dispute the information with the CRA if you believe they have inaccurate information on file
- Notice that you have a right to a free credit report within 60 days
- Acknowledgment that the CRA did not make the final decision
Far too often, people are turned down for an apartment because of something found in a background check that is not even accurate. That is the reason for the federal law that requires this notification. It gives you a chance to dispute the information that led to your rejection. If a landlord rejects you based on something on your credit report and doesn’t tell you about it, you may be able to sue for damages and legal fees. Contact the Cardoza Law Corporation to find out if the landlord or rental agency that rejected your application broke the law. We will take a look at what happened at no cost to you. We will only get paid if we end up filing a lawsuit and it results in you being awarded damages, so you have nothing to lose! Call us today at 855.982.2400.