The California Apartment Association has stopped legislation that would have prohibited landlords from using credit reports as part of the tenant-screening process.
At the request of CAA, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, agreed Monday to shelve the proposal, AB 2527.
AB 2527 would have prohibited property owners from asking about anything that would be included in a report, such as payment history or evictions.
“A credit report is the primary tool a rental property owner has to make the most objective determination about the ability of a potential tenant to pay the rent,” says a CAA opposition letter.
An article about the bill appeared in CAA’s electronic newsletter this past Friday, spurring a flurry of online comments.
“If this passes, it is the last straw for me,” one reader writes of AB 2527. “I will be taking my rental off the market. A bank wouldn’t give you a loan without first screening your credit. And that is completely fair.”
Another reader commented: “The financial solvency of rental property owners is directly linked to the financial responsibility of the renters. We depend on the proper cash flow provided by monthly rents to meet the many expenses of operating a rental property – mortgage, taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance and repairs. A bad tenant is a sure route to bankruptcy.”
While AB 2527 is off the table, two other bills that take aim at using credit reports during tenant screening remain at play: AB 2203 by Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, D-San Fernando Valley, and SB 1335 by Sen. Susan Eggman, D-Stockton. These bills, however, would be limited to instances involving a government rent subsidy. Stay tuned for updates on these proposals and ways you can help CAA’s opposition.
Also, three members of the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unveiled proposals that would prohibit landlords from considering an applicant’s criminal record, credit report or eviction history during the tenant-screening process in the city. CAA denounced the measures as unnecessary new layers of bureaucracy that would worsen the city’s housing crisis.