The California Apartment Association is urging its members to review their tenant-screening procedures, an exercise that could help them avoid costly litigation. CAA’s recommendation comes amid reports that consumer attorneys are suing landlords over alleged violations of the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, or ICRAA, during the tenant-screening process.
With the spread of “just cause” eviction requirements throughout the state, it has become increasingly important for landlords to develop and consistently apply appropriate screening criteria to potential tenants. Those screening criteria commonly include income requirements, rental history, and credit requirements, among other things. Landlords typically obtain much of that information through reports provided by third-party screening companies. However, a complex web of federal and state laws imposes detailed requirements on the collection and use of that information. One such state law is the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, or ICRAA, which was first enacted in 1975 and has been… Read More
The California Apartment Association today published revised versions of several forms related to the tenant-screening process. The revisions come in response to an Aug. 20 California Supreme Court decision in Connor v. First Student. The ruling expanded the application of a California law known as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act. Under this act, landlords, employers and consumer-reporting agencies must follow the procedures for “investigative consumer reports” when seeking and providing reports that relate to an applicant’s “character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living.” The law doesn’t define these terms, but in the rental housing context, unlawful-detainer eviction… Read More
Aug. 28 update: CAA revises screening-related forms to comply with state Supreme Court ruling In light of a California Supreme Court ruling this week, tenant-screening companies and landlords will want to review their procedures for vetting prospective renters. The state Supreme Court on Monday issued its decision in Connor v. First Student, and while the case that dealt with the use of investigative consumer reports in the employment context, it will have ramifications for the rental housing industry. Because of the ruling, landlords, employers and consumer-reporting agencies must now follow the procedures for “investigative consumer reports” when seeking and providing… Read More
Property owners can now charge a rental applicant up to $46.67 to cover screening fees, such as a credit check and time spent gathering information on the prospective tenant. The new maximum fee, permitted since December 2015, is 68 cents higher than last year’s fee and is based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Members can follow this link for a more in-depth explanation of what owners can do – and what they can’t – related to application charges.