Consumer Reports

Frequently, landlords (and their agents) may use consumer reports to evaluate prospective tenants prior to entering into a lease. Commonly, landlords will ask for authorization to do this in a lease or rental application. These reports can provide a wide variety of information about a person’s credit, rental, or criminal history.

If using consumer reports in the tenant screening process, landlords and their agents must comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules, along with provisions in the Texas Business and Commerce Code.  Under both state and federal law, if the landlord takes an adverse action based even partly on information in a consumer report, the landlord must provide the person notice.

What is adverse action and what are some examples?

An adverse action is any action taken by a landlord that is unfavorable to the interests of a rental applicant or tenant. Examples include: