August 29, 2006
The landlord says your rent is late . . . More Personal Credit Information
Posted by Fred Tung

Yesterday I was preparing to teach my first bankruptcy class of the semester, reviewing the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  And then last night at a parent conference for my sons' preschool, I ran into another parent who gave me an education about a new niche business related to credit reporting.  An Alanta startup called RentBureau collects tenants' apartment rent payment history for use not only by landlords to evaluate prospective tenants, but also for incorporation by the credit reporting agencies into their scoring models.  The business model seemed interesting to me:  RentBureau collects the information from owners and property managers and makes the entire database available to its reporting members.  So members have good incentives not to free ride re reporting.  Selling the information to the credit reporting agencies is in the offing as I understand.  Transunion also recently announced the creation of RentBridge, its own rent payment history database.  See also the report of

Just for fun, I googled a little to see what comparable firms were out there.  I found RentREPORTERS and RentReporting, which take a different approach.  They solicit applications from renters, pitching themselves as a free service that enables renters to get their good payment history into their credit reports to improve their credit scores.  This model seems to cast the firm as an information aggregator that puts renters and the credit reporting agencies together, whereas RentBureau gathers the information from the landlords' end.  I have no idea which model works best (or even details of exactly where the revenues come from).  Are there information privacy issues?  What's interesting to me is this new enterprise geared to filling information gaps in consumer credit scoring models.

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Comments (5)

1. Posted by KipEsquire on August 29, 2006 @ 14:50 | Permalink

I can't recall ever signing a lease that authorized the reporting of rent payment history to a credit bureau.

In order to participate in RentBureau's "member network," I would think that landlords would have to start including such authorization clauses in their leases.

2. Posted by Gerry on December 18, 2010 @ 12:30 | Permalink

Can landlords actually give out this kind of information without my approval?

3. Posted by Hermes Birkin on February 15, 2012 @ 9:47 | Permalink

So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :)

4. Posted by becoming a landlord on February 16, 2012 @ 1:13 | Permalink

Does this violate anything, if not then I see no problem with rent history as long as it is does not violate tenant rights...

5. Posted by rent barcleona apartments on April 23, 2012 @ 2:16 | Permalink

Hey there, BIG thanks for this nice list! This is what I’ve been looking for. For me as a new programmer, this will help much. Greets

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