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Why was there no credit file on my prospective tenant?
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Question:I did a credit check on someone who filled out a rental application and could not retrieve anything. Why was there no credit file on my prospective tenant?
Answer:There are several possible reasons for a person not having credit history.
- Prospective Tenant is very young and has not yet established a credit history.
- Prospective Tenant has been for a long time on a Disability or Income Assistance Allowance and does not have a credit file.
- Prospective Tenant has been incarcerated for a long period of time.
- Prospective Tenant has not been able to establish a credit history because of poor/sporadic employment. This is often the case when no credit history is available.
- Prospective Tenant is a new arrival to the country and has not yet established a credit history. This happened to the author personally.
- Prospective Tenant has provided you with false information to ensure that you do not find his/her credit history. Many bad/delinquent tenants misspell their name, provide a wrong date of birth and will leave out the last one or two addresses that they have been at because they know that the reference will not be a good one. Be aware that this could happen to you and that this is something you should guard against. Look at two pieces of I.D. and request a pay stub or income tax return from the previous year.
Look at your prospective renter and try to determine which of these possible reasons apply. Obviously some of these are dark red flags. You might want to do an extended criminal background check and visit www.criminalfraud.com - this site has some good advice for landlords to prevent fraud.