SmartMove Tenant Screening Report – Dispute False Info or Errors
Unfair Tenant Background Checks: Know Your Rights
SmartMove is one of numerous tenant screening background check agencies you’re likely to face during your search rental apartment search. Find out who they are, what they do, and what rights you have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
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What is SmartMove?
SmartMove is a service of TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, Inc., (TRSSI) which is a subsidiary of TransUnion, LLC, a subsidiary of TransUnion, one of the “big 3” credit reporting agencies. SmartMove provides tenant screening and background check services to small businesses nationwide. According to its website, SmartMove “allows resident screening reports to be delivered” to the property owner or manager “in a matter of minutes” and it is “completely paperless and online.”
The company provides tenant screening reports delivered directly from TransUnion and national criminal background reports based on “200+ million criminal records searched, both from both state and national databases.” The company boasts that SmartMove credit reports come directly from TransUnion, a “company with more than 40 years of experience in the credit reporting industry” and that its criminal background checks are “reliable” because its “credit bureau strength record matching delivers fewer false positives.”
Housing is a basic need. Whether you are approved to rent or lease a house or apartment often depends on the information learned from a tenant screening report. A tenant screening report can come in many shapes and sizes. It may be as simple as verifying your social security number. Or it may include a detailed report of your credit and criminal history, or even information gathered from interviews of your prior landlords, neighbors,or friends about your rental and rent payment history or your character and reputation.
Whatever the scope of the background check, the FCRA sets strict standards for how landlords and tenant screening companies get consent for and conduct background checks, and what they can do with the information they find.
If a tenant screening company like SmartMove fails to meet those standards, the FCRA gives you rights.
If you feel you have been harmed by this Tenant Screening Agency, click 844-685-9200 ☎ NOW to call us or go ahead and fill out our Contact Form. We will fight for your rights. Our services are absolutely FREE to you.
What are my Tenant Screening Report Disclosure and Consent Rights?
You have a right to know if a landlord uses information from a tenant screening report against you and a landlord cannot obtain screening information from a tenant screening company unless the landlord certifies that it will only use the report for housing purposes.
If a landlord takes “adverse action” against you either by denying your rental application or imposing more stringent rental conditions on you (e.g., requiring a co-signer, a higher deposit or increased rent) based partly or completely on information in a tenant screening report, the landlord must give you notice of that fact. The adverse action notice must include the contact information for the tenant screening company and an explanation of your rights to dispute the report.
Your Right to an Accurate and Legally-Compliant Report
A tenant screening company must take reasonable steps to ensure its report is as accurate as possible.
The FCRA also puts limits on the negative information a tenant screening report can include. A report cannot list civil suits, judgments, arrest records, paid tax liens, accounts in collection or most other negative information (except criminal convictions) after 7 years, or bankruptcies after 10 years. It also cannot list expunged convictions
Your Right to Dispute an Unfair Screening Report from SmartMove
If your rental application is denied or a landlord or property management company imposes more stringent conditions on your application because of information in a tenant screening report, you are entitled to a copy of the report. You also have the right to dispute the report if it has errors or includes information it shouldn’t.
If you dispute a report, the tenant screening company must investigate and correct any errors within 30 days.
Your Right to Sue SmartMove if your report includes inaccurate or illegal info
If you were denied rental housing or subjected to more stringent financial or other conditions to rent a house or apartment because a tenant screening report included inaccurate or illegal information, you may be able to sue in federal court. If you sue and win, you may be entitled to your actual damages or statutory damages up to $1,000, plus punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Honest, hardworking people just like you who lost housing opportunities due to inaccurate or unfair tenant screening or credit reports have already sued TRSSI and its TransUnion parent companies for FCRA violations. Pacer lists at least 16 federal civil lawsuits against TRSSI and many more against TransUnion, including many cases that allege violations of the FCRA due to improper tenant screening reports and other improper consumer reports.
Many of the lawsuits allege that TRSSI or its TransUnion parent companies failed to properly protect personal information and identifying data including Social Security Numbers. Others allege that TRSSI or TransUnion falsely labeled consumers as terrorists or drug traffickers in consumer reports and/or did not allow consumers to dispute the false reports. Some of the lawsuits are similar tolawsuits against other tenant screening companies that allege, for example, that the tenant screening companies did not take reasonable steps to verify criminal background information and, as a result, falsely listed felony convictions, including expunged, outdated, or incorrect information, or misidentified the subject of the report. Others allege that tenant screening reports contained inaccurate credit or other personal information,or that the company was not responsive or did not properly handle disputes about inaccurate information. Some complainants have filed their lawsuits as class action complaints, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated people.
In December 2017, a federal district court judge upheld a $60 million jury verdict against TRSSI and TransUnion, LLC in a federal class action that alleged that the companies violated the FCRA by falsely tagging consumers as terrorists and drug traffickers in credit reports. Also in December 2017, TRSSI and TransUnion, LLC agreed to pay $8 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged that they violated the FCRA by disclosing “Alert List” information about consumers who had submitted rental applications to landlords
Ready to Assert Your FCRA Rights?
Denied Housing because of a SmartMove Tenant Screening Report? If so, you’re in the right place.
● Our 12-year track record of helping hardworking, regular people just like you speaks for itself. We have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to get you the best results possible.
● We’ve helped more than 25,000 consumers recover more than $50 million.
● We work to restore your reputation and get you the compensation you deserve. You focus on living your life.
● We care because we know what it’s like to lose out on a job because a faceless company didn’t follow the law.
● We will fight hard for you and won’t stop. We are not afraid to stand up to big, powerful companies. That’s what we do.
● It won’t cost you a penny out of pocket – you pay nothing until we win money for you.
Our mission is to fight for your rights. ✊
If you’re ready to assert your rights and fight incorrect information in your tenant screening report, we can help you get justice. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200 NOW
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.