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 amended several times. For many years, ICRAA was not an issue for rental housing providers because appellate courts in California had ruled that ICRAA was unconstitutionally vague and, therefore, compliance with it was unnecessary. However, in 2018, the California Supreme Court reversed those decisions and concluded that ICRAA was not unconstitutionally vague, thereby mandating compliance.
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