Has your credit score been negatively impacted due to a soft credit hit recently? Do you have a long history as a renter?
If you answered yes to both of these questions you may be a victim of a major system glitch with the National Tenant Network.
The cause of the glitch is not yet determined but the issue comes about when a landlord decides to run a credit check on a new applicant.
At that point, any other past applicants whose information is stored within the NTN database and associated with said landlord are having their credit reports ran too. Ouch!
Clearly this type of practice is highly illegal. As a tenant you have certain rights and regulations that the landlord has to go by. Forcing a tenant to constantly meet a certain credit score is not one of these regulations that landlords can use.
A Further Look Into This Glitch Reveals There May Be More To The Story
On the surface, if this was truly just a glitch in the NTN online system, we could understand and move on. But… Some tenants are reporting that soon after their current landlord re-runs their credit, they subsequently get a rent increase lettter from the landlord. Sound fishy yet….
This deception is down right criminal and is a form of greed that even seasoned American’s are shocked by. Your credit history, after you sign your lease agreement is not your landlord’s business. He/she has zero rights to continue snooping in on your finances.
How Does The NTN Have This Access To Begin With?
You most likely agreed to a tenant screening service or landlord credit check on one or more of your past rental applications and somewhere in the fine print you agreed to let the NTN access your financial data. I’m sure you never imagined it would be open ended access and a violation of the Fair Credit Trade Act.
If you have noticed any strange activity in your credit reports, with soft pulls from NTN sponsored companies (they are all over the US, read more below) you should immediately seek legal counsel. Furthermore, it would be wise to monitoring your credit score reports for the future if you ever did business with a landlord who used NTN for their background checks.
Who Is The National Tenant Network?
The National Tenant Network was created to fill a void in the housing market. Basically, many landlords where jumping in blind with new tenants and had no idea if their renter would be able to pay rent on time each month. The NTN created a marketplace where the property owners could get a quick creditworthiness figure on applicants.
By and large, the screening services provided by the NTN do provide value for landlords and renters alike. However, the system can be manipulated and it is something that we as consumers must be diligent about. You do have rights though to access any and all information the NTN is providing to landlords on your behalf.
The NTN is officially a type of consumer reporting agency know as “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency” and they are bound by the governance of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. As such, they have to abide (Dude!) with the FCRA just like the three major credit bureaus do. With that said, free annual disclosures to the consumer are required and your legal right.
To secure your right, send a written request to NTN for any and all files they have in your file.
Your credit report is the key to your financial health and having multiple pulls over a short period of time can negatively impact your credit scores.