Applying for an apartment? Odds are you’ll have to submit to a tenant background check. Most landlords want to make sure that they only accept responsible, trustworthy tenants so they can count on rental payments. In most cases, tenant background checks go smoothly.
But what if yours doesn’t due to the mistake of a tenant screening agency like TurboTenant? In that case, you need to know how to fight back and how background check error attorneys can assist. Read on to learn more.
TurboTenant is a third-party tenant screening agency. TurboTenant, Inc. was originally founded in Colorado in 2015, and it has since offered various tenant screening services to property owners, managers, investors, and landlords. It’s essentially a third-party specialized screening agency for landlords looking to only accept the best tenants, such as those without extensive criminal histories, those without a lot of debt, etc.
TurboTenant originally launched with a digital rental application, an online marketing platform, and tenant screening services that were integrated through TransUnion: one of the big three credit bureaus. Today, TurboTenant serves over 400,000 landlords and tenants and is growing.
Depending on client needs, TurboTenant may provide different types of tenant screening checks, such as credit reports, criminal record investigations, eviction records, and much more.
TurboTenant doesn’t actually provide tenant screening services itself. Instead, it provides tenant background checks through TransUnion’s rental screening solutions. TurboTenant has a special partnership with the credit bureau to access this information. It uses the TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions (TURSS) system for most background check services.
What does that mean for you, a prospective tenant? In a nutshell, if you are denied a rental opportunity, you’ll receive an adverse action report and a copy of your tenant screening background check from TransUnion, not TurboTenant. That said, if the landlord requests additional background information for you based on your application, you may receive a secondary report from TurboTenant.
TurboTenant background screening errors are any mistakes that might be made in the course of investigating a tenant’s background, credit history, criminal records, and more.
For example, TurboTenant (or TransUnion) might mistake your identity with that of another individual. They might confuse your Social Security numbers or your names, though the latter scenario is more common and possible if you have a very common name that can easily be confused. If that happens, your tenant screening report might return inaccurate information for you since it is based on the history and activities of the other individual.
Alternatively, TurboTenant might return inaccurate or out-of-date information about things like your credit report. For instance, say that you filed for bankruptcy 20 years ago. That record should be gone by all accounts, but it shows up in your tenant screening report, causing your landlord to deny you an apartment or other housing.
Background screening errors from TurboTenant include:
These errors can occur from time to time because of computer glitches, human mistakes, or any other factor. Even though TransUnion is one of the biggest and most important credit bureaus, the people who work for it still make mistakes occasionally.
That’s no excuse, and you don’t have to accept inaccurate information, especially when it comes to something as important as an apartment application. If you believe inaccurate information has compromised your housing opportunities, you have the right to file a dispute and get the information fixed ASAP.
If there are background check errors from your TurboTenant or TransUnion tenant screening report, you could be denied housing because of that mistaken information. For instance, if a landlord sees a false record of a criminal conviction, they might decide not to accept your apartment application on that basis.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the landlord must use accurate, up-to-date background information when making decisions like this. But if the information is accurate to the best of the landlord’s knowledge, they are entitled to deny you housing because of it.
Therefore, it falls to you to fix the inaccurate information. Fortunately, the FCRA also allows you to do just that.
If TurboTenant or TransUnion made a background check mistake, they are required to fix the issue ASAP, regardless of whether or not it resulted in you not receiving an offer for housing. Here’s a breakdown of the background check error dispute process, plus some reasons to hire Fair Credit.
Before filing a dispute with TransUnion, be sure to read through your screening report in detail. If you already noticed one mistake, it’s possible that TransUnion made another mistake, particularly about something related to the initial error.
Say that you discover an out-of-date debt line item, stating that you still owe a lender money. It's a good idea to look through the rest of your financial background report information, such as your credit score, history of debt payments, bankruptcy reports, and more.
If you find more errors, write them down and keep them in mind. You can include all the erroneous information in a single dispute with TransUnion.
As noted above, TransUnion provides tenant screening services for TurboTenant, not TurboTenant itself. Therefore, you’ll need to file a dispute with TransUnion. This is the same process you would use to file a credit dispute with the bureau.
You can do this online, which is always recommended. When you file a dispute online, TransUnion will receive the erroneous information more quickly, which means it may also correct the false information more rapidly. You can also file your dispute by mail if you so choose.
In any case, it’s a good idea to include as much information and proof of the erroneous info as possible. The more information you provide, the faster TransUnion can locate the inaccurate information, fix it, and report the results to the landlord or homeowner who denied you housing (or was thinking of denying you housing).
Your last step should be to contact background check lawyers. It's a good idea to contact background check lawyers before filing a dispute, in fact – they can ensure you go through the process properly and include sufficient evidence.
If TransUnion doesn’t find the inaccurate information or refuses to fix it, however, you’ll need lawyers on your side to successfully file a lawsuit against TransUnion or TurboTenant.
Fair Credit’s knowledgeable, experienced attorneys can provide many benefits to consumers just like you. We understand how tough it is to find an apartment that you can afford in a great area, and it can be disheartening to be denied housing on the basis of inaccurate background information.
If TransUnion made a mistake and refuses to fix it, you could have grounds for a successful lawsuit, which may lead to up to $1000 in damages and much more. Fair Credit can help by:
With all this assistance, you’ll not only be more likely to file a successful dispute. You’ll also be more likely to win a lawsuit if push comes to shove.
But wait – won’t you have to pay money in order to hire our services? Not at all. In fact, Fair Credit offers a no-cost guarantee to clients just like you.
In a nutshell, you don't have to pay us a dime unless we win a case and money for you. When you and a monetary award, we'll take a small commission for our services and leave the rest. If we don't win, you don't have to worry about paying us at all.
We don’t believe you should have to pay to exercise your rights. That’s why we are available right now if TurboTenant or TransUnion have caused you to lose out on an apartment or housing opportunity.
If TurboTenant’s tenant screening service returned with one or more mistakes that have jeopardized your housing opportunities, you should contact Fair Credit today. Our trustworthy attorneys can help you take a closer look at your tenant screening report, identify any further errors, and file a dispute with TransUnion or file a lawsuit depending on your needs. Contact us today to learn more.