How automated background checks freeze out renters

Source: Lauren Kirchner & Matthew Goldstein, The Markup and N.Y.Times (Paid Registration)

Regulators forced credit bureaus to follow standards for matching records to a person, and the kinds of records the bureaus can legally report are limited. Rules for employment screening, which some of the tenant-screening firms provide, require employers to share the negative report with a rejected applicant.

None of those restrictions applies to tenant screening.

Federal law requires landlords only to tell tenants if they were turned down because of a negative report and who produced it. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, screening companies have 30 days to respond to tenants’ requests for corrections. By then, a landlord may have given the apartment away.

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