New Law Allows Better Access to Tenant Screening Reports

by | Jul 11, 2011 | Tenant Screening

Recognizing how important proper tenant screening is to landlords, the Wisconsin state legislature has paved the way for landlords there to have easier access to tenant screening information.

A number of local laws have impeded landlords in their efforts to investigate their tenants. But now, a new state-wide law prohibits any city, town, village or county from enforcing ordinances that:

Prohibit a landlord from obtaining or using various types of information about a tenant or prospective tenant, such as household income, occupation, court records, rental history, and credit information;

Limit how far back in time a prospective tenant’s credit information, conviction record, or previous housing may be considered by the landlord; or

Prohibit the landlord from showing a rental property to a prospective tenant, or from entering into a rental agreement for a rental property with a prospective tenant, while the current tenant is living there.

Specifically, the law makes it clear that landlords are free to obtain and use any of the following information with respect to a tenant or prospective tenant:

Monthly household income. 
Rental history. 
Credit information. 
Court records, including arrest and conviction records, to which there is public access. 
Social security number or other proof of identity.

The measure also prohibits any law which restricts a landlord from entering into a rental agreement for a premises with a prospective tenant during the tenancy of the current tenant of the premises.

State law currently limits applicant credit check fees, including a requirement that a landlord cannot charge a credit check fee if the tenant obtains their own credit report within the prior 30 days. Landlords who have difficulty verifying such a report can order a tenant credit report, but have to pay for it out-of-pocket.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.


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