Home Economic Trends Have You Had Trouble Renting an Apartment and Don’t Understand Why? It...

Have You Had Trouble Renting an Apartment and Don’t Understand Why? It Might Be Your Tenant Screening Score. – Erin Smith and Heather Vogell (07/19/2021)

Have you had trouble renting an apartment and don’t understand why? It might be your tenant screening score, which landlords use to figure out whether to rent to you or how much to charge you for a security deposit. These are also sometimes called artificial intelligence, or AI, scores.

ProPublica is examining concerns about tenant screening. We spoke to one tenant who had an “excellent” credit score rating of 788 out of 850 with no criminal history or eviction records. A tenant screening company gave that same tenant a score of 685 out of 1,000 — about 68% or the equivalent of a D grade. Because of that score, the management at an apartment building wanted to charge the tenant an extra month of rent in their security deposit.

Did a tenant screening company, such as LeasingDesk, On-Site, Credco or RentGrow, send you a score or report? You may have received it by email or some other way. Did you get denied for an apartment or were you asked to pay a higher security deposit based on your score? Have you worked for a tenant screening company? Please fill out our brief questionnaire.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY: We appreciate you sharing your story, and we take your privacy seriously. We are gathering these stories for the purposes of our reporting and will not publish your name or information without your consent. Send questions to erin.smith@propublica.org.