On March 1st, 2020 you will see an update to the tenant screening system to automatically expire all reports 90 days old or older in your property management software account. This new update helps you stay compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on consumer reports.
Currently, all credit reports expire after 90 days, and the new income verification reports expire after 14 days. Some other reports that previously were not classified under specific FCRA rules had no expiration date.
We are implementing an expiration date on all reports in an effort to ensure that we, and all of our clients, are following procedures outlined by the FTC for data retention of consumer reports.
Effective March 1st, 2020 the default expiration for reports will be 90 days.
- TransUnion credit reports will expire after 90 days, no change.
- Income verification reports will expire after 14 days, no change.
- NEW – Eviction and Criminal reports will expire after 90 days.
- NEW – Other miscellaneous tenant screening reports will expire after 90 days.
If you do need to retain a report for longer than it’s active period, you will want to download the report onto your computer and/or print it out and store it safely. Keep in mind, printed reports are also supposed to be disposed of when no longer necessary. So if you save it or print it, as soon as you no longer need that information (ie.. have successfully qualified a new tenant), it is advised to dispose of it.
Why Do Tenant Screening Reports Need to Expire
The FTC sets rules and regulations related to consumer reports for various reasons, but they advise disposing of reports as soon as they are no longer necessary. This is to ensure that data does not fall into the wrong hands.
The fewer consumer reports that exist in cyberspace means greater security for consumers, decreasing the chances of a bad guy accessing them.
The tenant screening industry and credit bureaus have identified 90 days as sufficient to analyze the reports and determine if the tenant meets your criteria so we have matched this 90-day guideline.
Who Has to Comply with Tenant Screening Report Expiration Guidelines?
Everybody. The FTC is a federal agency and these retention rules are applicable to all landlords and property managers, regardless of the tenant screening solution one might choose to use.