Rental-History Brokers Should Follow 'Fair Credit Reporting': FTC

Rental-History Brokers Should Follow 'Fair Credit Reporting': FTCData brokers that provide landlords with consumers’ rental histories may be subject to the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Federal Trade Commission warns.
The FTC has sent letters to operators of six websites to inform them that they are considered credit reporting agencies and are subject to certain legal requirements if they meet certain criteria.
The are primarily subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by collecting information on tenants and their rental history, and providing that data to landlords so they can make judgments about renting to those tenants.
Among the requirements cited in the letter are the companies’ obligation to protect the privacy of tenants, including ensuring that those requesting information about tenants have a legitimate reason to acquire it.
The letter reminds the companies that the information they provide must be accurate. They are also reminded to give consumers a copy of the information about them on request, and to allow consumers to dispute information they believe is inaccurate.
The companies must notify landlords of their requirements if they use the data to deny housing to a tenant, and to notify the sources of their information of the requirement that they provide accurate information.
Companies receiving the letters are: The BlueChip Group LLC (www.donotrentto.com), M & R Rental Properties (www.badtenantlistings.com), The Landlord Protection Agency (www.thelpa.com), National Tenant Network (ntnonline.com), 123 Rent Inc. (therentersblacklist.com), and Tenancy Bureau Inc. (www.tenancybureau.us).
The letters say that the FTC has made no determination whether the companies have violated the law, but encourages them to review their business practices to ensure that they comply with the FCRA.

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