It is great that now landlords have an easier way to lease out their properties to you as a potential renter by simply checking out your rental history. Credit reporting agencies have established programs whereby they collaborate with property management companies to secure information about your rental history, which acts as a score card for the landlord. In such agreements, the property management companies get into service level agreements with the credit reporting agencies whereby they feed your information directly into the latter’s database.
The notion of sharing your rental history with landlords is quite noble. However, it makes you wonder how justifiable this is especially in a situation where you have held payment for justifiable reasons. Think about that landlord who never bothers to make repairs on a property they have leased out to you regardless of your numerous phone calls and letters. And most of the time, these unattended repairs are health hazards to you and other occupants of the property.
In such a situation, don’t you think that it is only fair for you to take matters into your own hands? Meaning that you commence with incurring the expenses of the repairs and deduct the amounts from your rent payment, availing the necessary receipts and reports. That is justice right there, isn’t it? The only mishap in such a situation is that if your current landlord does not agree with such an arrangement, they may negatively influence your rental history report by labelling you as a renter who ‘withholds payment’ and when this goes on record, potential landlords will not want to look your way.
So where is justice for such renters? When you suffer a negative score card because of the nobility and acting in a justifiable manner to safeguard your well being. Such an act by an unscrupulous landlord can interfere with your rights as a renter making house hunting a painful experience.
How to defend your Rental History Record:
In the case where your landlord does not keep his/her end of the bargain before you act nobly by withholding payment, ensure you pursue the following:
- Jolt down a request to make repairs and submit it to your landlord and property management firm. While writing your request, tactfully get your landlord to act by indicating the potential risks like how it may cost more if the repair is unresolved or the safety risks that the situation can pose. You can put a more practical touch to it by inserting photos.
- If the landlord still turns a deaf ear and a blind eye, reach out to a mediating service that can help both of you come to an amicable agreement.
- There are local housing codes that your landlord is expected to adhere to and if he/she is not, then you can also report the matter to the respective state institution that handles such cases. This is an option to consider if the landlord persists in not keeping his word.
About the Author:
Megan Taylor is a realtor who is keen on advising tenants on maintaining their rental history report.