To access these services, users must agree to all of the following terms and conditions.

No Warranties:

Our reports are based on information obtained from credit bureaus, criminal and eviction data providers. Neither Rental Research, Inc./ Background Research, Inc. nor its affiliates make any representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever as the content. We make no guarantee of the accuracy of the reports and do not offer refunds when it comes to data believed to be inaccurate, incomplete or missing.

 

Indemnification

Users agree to indemnify and hold Rental Research, Inc/Background Research, Inc. harmless from and against any and all third party claims, demands, actions, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising out of or resulting from the User’ s (or their affiliates) actions under this agreement.

I understand and agree that my use of this site is entirely at my sole risk.  Rental Research, Inc./Background Research, Inc. will not be responsible to me or any third parties for any direct or indirect, consequential, special, or punitive damages or losses I may incur in connection with its system, my use thereof, or any of the data or other materials transmitted through or residing on its system, regardless of the type of claim or the nature of the cause of action.

 

Payment

Payment is due at the time of service. All charges are non-refundable and that consumer credit reports will not be made available to me until I have provided all required documents including the tenants signed consent. Payment is not dependent on the results returned. I understand I will be charged for each report which I or those authorized users on my account submit to Rental Research Inc. I may elect the to pass on the fees to the applicant. Rental Research, Inc. may from time to time adjust these fees at its discretion. All payments are due at the time of service. I understand that I am responsible for credit card charges that are declined or disputed by the applicant. I shall pay any and all taxes (excluding federal income taxes) or other similar assessments or charges payable or ruled payable by any government authority in respect to transactions contemplated hereunder, including all interest and penalties. I may elect to pass such taxes onto the applicant. I also understand that I will be charged a $25 Late Charge Fee that will be added to my account, each month, for balances past 30 days. I also agree to pay reasonable attorney and/or collection fees if my account should go to collection.

 

FCRA Compliance

By using Rental Research, Inc.’s/Background Research Inc.’s site, you agree to follow and obey the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

I hereby certify that I am the owner/manager of residential rental units or that I am an employer. I understand that Rental Research Inc. is a reporting service specializing in Landlord/Tenant/Employment information, regulated by Federal Law (some states may have additional state or local laws) to which I must adhere. I have read the FCRA rules and understand them, and will abide by and make them known to those working under my supervision. Although the FCRA primarily regulates the operations of consumer credit reporting agencies, it also affects you as a user of information. You may want to review https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/using-consumer-reports-what-landlords-need-know.

You may find a full text of the FCRA at: https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-

Please pay special attention to the following clauses:

  • 604. Permissible Purposes of Reports
  • 607. Compliance Procedures
  • 615. Requirement on users of consumer reports
  • 616. Civil liability for willful noncompliance
  • 617. Civil liability for negligent noncompliance
  • 619. Obtaining information under false pretenses
  • 621. Administrative Enforcement
  • 623. Responsibilities of Furnishers of Information to Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • 628. Disposal of Records

Each of these sections is of direct consequence to users who obtain reports (credit, criminal, eviction, and etcetera) on consumers (also known as consumer reports). As directed by the law, credit reports may be issued only if they are to be used for extending credit, review or collection of an account, employment purposes, underwriting insurance or in connection with some other legitimate business transaction such as in investment, partnership, etc. These are what the FCRA refers to as permissible purposes. It is imperative that you identify each request for a report to be used for employment purposes when such report is ordered. Additional state laws may also impact your usage of reports for employment purposes. We strongly endorse the letter and spirit of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. We believe that this law and similar state laws recognize and preserve the delicate balance between the rights of the consumer and the legitimate needs of commerce. In addition to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, other federal and state laws addressing such topics as computer crime and unauthorized access to protected databases have also been enacted. As a prospective user of consumer reports, we expect that you and your staff will comply with all relevant federal statutes and the statutes and regulations of the states in which you operate. We support consumer-reporting legislation that will assure fair and equitable treatment for all consumers and users of credit information.

End User (You are the End User) certifies that they shall use any sex offender records delivered by Reseller within a consumer report only for the permitted purpose(s) certified by the End User and in accordance with all local state laws and regulatory restrictions that may restrict the use of sex offender records. End User is solely responsible for compliance with local state laws and regulations that may further limit the use of sex offender records within consumer reports.

End User has a permissible purpose (Permissible purpose is the sole purpose that you have for evaluating the reliability and credit worthiness of your applicant.) for obtaining consumer reports in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15U.S.C §1681 et seq.) including, without limitation, all amendments thereto (FCRA).

End User will always obtain a signed application authorizing the screening process and I will always obtain a copy of the applicants Identification. (Applications obtained by utilizing the “Quick APP” application online qualify as having a signed application because your applicant will digitally sign before the application is processed.) I agree to keep the rental application and rental reports in a secure locked location for at least five (5) years, not allow access to them by any unauthorized person and make them available on request from Rental Research Inc. Record Retention: The Federal Equal Opportunities Act states that a creditor must preserve all written or recorded information connected with an application for 5 years. When conducting an investigation, particularly following a consumer complaint that your company impermissibly accessed their credit report, Authorities will contact you and will request a copy of the original application signed by the consumer or, if applicable, a copy of the Rental Agreement. You may also be subject to periodic audits by TransUnion and/or Rental Research, Incorporated which may require you provide us with the original application.

End User shall use the consumer reports: (a) solely for tenant/employment screening; and (b) solely for End User’s exclusive one-time use. End User shall not request, obtain or use consumer reports for any other purpose including, but not limited to, for the purpose of selling, leasing, renting, or otherwise providing information obtained under this agreement to any other party, whether alone, in conjunction with End User’s own data, or otherwise in any service which is derived from the consumer reports. The consumer reports shall be requested by, and disclosed by End User only to End User’s designated and authorized employees having a need to know and only to the extent necessary to enable End User to use the consumer reports in accordance with this Agreement. End User shall ensure that such designated and authorized employees shall not attempt to obtain any Consumer Reports on themselves, family, associates, or any other person except in the exercise of their official duties.

End User is not a reseller of information. I agree that I will not resell credit or any other information obtained from Rental Research Inc. End User shall use each Consumer Report only for a one-time use and shall hold the report on strict confidence, and not disclose it to any third parties. End User shall not disclose to consumers or any third party, any or all such scores provided under such agreement, unless clearly required by law. I further agree that I will not disclose any information I receive from Rental Research Inc. to the applicant or any other third party, which complies with the provisions of Public Law #91-508, the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

End User shall use each Consumer Report only for a one-time use and shall hold the report on strict confidence, and not disclose it to any third parties; provided, however, that End User may, but is not required to, disclose the report to the subject of the report only in connection with an adverse action based on the report. Moreover, unless otherwise explicitly authorized in an agreement between Reseller and its End User for scores obtained from TransUnion, or as explicitly otherwise authorized in advance and in writing by TransUnion through Reseller, End User shall not disclose to consumers or any third party, any or all such scores provided under such agreement, unless clearly required by law.

End User will request Scores only for End User’s exclusive use. End User may store Scores solely for End User’s own use in furtherance of End User’s original purpose for obtaining the Scores. End User shall not change the Score. All Scores provided hereunder will be held in strict confidence and may never be sold, licensed, copied, reused, disclosed, reproduced, revealed or made accessible, in whole or in part, to any person.

End User will follow RCW 59.18.257 which says the following:

  1. 1. Prior to obtaining any information about a prospective Tenant, the prospective landlord shall notify the prospective tenant in writing, or by posting, of the following:

(i) What types of information will be accessed to conduct the tenant screening;

(ii) What criteria may result in denial of the application; and

(iii) If a consumer report is used, the name and address of the consumer reporting agency and the prospective tenant’s rights to obtain a free copy of the consumer report in the event of a denial or other adverse action, and to dispute the accuracy of information appearing in the consumer report.

  1. 2. If a landlord uses a tenant screening service, then the landlord may only charge for the costs incurred for using the tenant screening service under this section. If a landlord conducts his or her own screening of tenants, then the landlord may charge his or her actual costs in obtaining the background information, but the amount may not exceed the customary costs charged by a screening service in the general area. The landlord’s actual costs include costs incurred for long distance phone calls and for time spent calling landlords, employers, and financial institution
  2. 3. Nothing in this section requires a landlord to disclose information to a prospective tenant that was obtained from a tenant screening service or from entities listed on the tenant application which is not required under the federal fair credit reporting act, 15 S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.

The End User agrees to protect the privacy of consumers (Applicants) by implementing security protocols aimed at minimizing unauthorized access to their information. At a minimum, I agree to follow these measures:

  1. 1. You must protect your account number and password so that only key personnel employed by your company know this sensitive information. Unauthorized persons should never have knowledge of your password. Do not post this information in any manner within your facilit If a person who knows the password leaves your company or no longer needs to have it due to a change in duties, the password should be changed immediately.
  2. 2. System access software, whether developed by your company or purchased from a third-party vendor, must have your account number and password “hidden” or embedded and be known only by supervisory personnel. Assign each user of your system access software a unique logon password. If such system access software is replaced by different access software and therefore no longer in use or, alternatively, the hardware upon which such system access software resides is no longer being used or is being disposed of, your password should be changed immediate
  3. 3. Do not discuss your account number and password by telephone with any unknown caller, even if the caller claims to be an employee of Rental Research/Background Research Inc.
  4. 4. Restrict the ability to obtain credit information to a few trained key personne
  5. 5. Place all terminal devices used to obtain credit information in a secure location within your facilit You should secure these devices so that unauthorized persons cannot easily access them.
  6. 6. After normal business hours, be sure to turn off and lock all devices or systems used to obtain credit informati
  7. 7. Secure hard copies and electronic files of consumer reports within your facility so that unauthorized persons cannot easily access them.
  8. 8. Shred or destroy all hard copy consumer reports when no longer needed (All records should be shredded after 5 years.).
  9. 9. Erase and overwrite or scramble electronic files containing consumer information when no longer needed and

when applicable regulation(s) permit destruction.

  1. 10. Make all employees aware that your company can access credit information only for the permissible purposes listed in the Permissible Purpose Information section of your membership application. You or your employees may not access their own reports. Nor should you or your employees access the report of a family member or a friend unless it is in connection with a credit transaction or for some other permissible purpos

End User understands that they must notify consumers when adverse actions are taken. The term adverse action is defined very broadly. “Adverse actions” include all business credit and employment actions affecting consumers that can be considered to have a negative impact as defined by Section 603(k) of the FCRA- such as denying or canceling credit

(tenancy is considered credit under the broadest terms) or insurance, or denying employment or promotion. Changing of terms such as asking for an additional security deposit is considered adverse action.

If a user takes any type of adverse action as defined by the FCRA that is based at least in part on information contained in a consumer report, Section 615(a) requires the user to notify the consumer. The notification may be done in writing, orally, or by electronic means. It must include the following:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the CRA (including a toll-free telephone number, if it is a nationwide CRA) that provided the report.
  • A statement that the CRA did not make the adverse decision and is not able to explain why the decision was made.
  • A statement setting forth the consumer’s right to obtain a free disclosure of the consumer’s file from the

CRA if the consumer makes a request within 60 days.

  • A statement setting forth the consumer’s right to dispute directly with the CRA the accuracy or completeness of any information provided by the CRA.

If a user takes adverse actions based on information obtained from third parties who are not consumer reporting agencies: Information contained in a consumer report, Section 615(a) requires the user to notify the consumer. The notification may be done in writing, orally, or by electronic means. It must include the following:

If a person denies (or increases the charge for) credit for personal, family, or household purposes based either wholly or partly upon information from a person other than a CRA, and the information is the type of consumer information covered by the FCRA, Section 615(b)(1) requires that the user clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer his or her right to be told the nature of the information that was relied upon if the consumer makes a written request within 60 days of notification.     The user must provide the disclosure within a reasonable period of time following the consumer’s written request.

If Adverse Action is taken based on Information obtained from Affiliates:

If a person takes an adverse action involving insurance, employment, or a credit transaction initiated by the consumer, based on information of the type covered by the FCRA, and this information was obtained from an entity affiliated with the user of the information by common ownership or control, Section 615(b)(2) requires the user to notify the consumer of the adverse action. The notice must inform the consumer that he or she may obtain a disclosure of the nature of the information relied upon by making a written request within 60 days of receiving the adverse action notice. If the consumer makes such a request, the user must disclose the nature of the information not later than 30 days after receiving the request. If consumer report information is shared among affiliates and then used for an adverse action, the user must make an adverse action disclosure set forth above.

When a consumer has placed a fraud alert, including one relating to identity theft, or an active duty military alert with a nationwide consumer reporting agency as defined in Section 603(p) and resellers, Section 605A(h) imposes limitations on users of reports obtained from the consumer reporting agency in certain circumstances, including

the establishment of a new credit plan and the issuance of additional credit cards. For initial fraud alerts and active duty alerts, the user must have reasonable policies and procedures in place to form a belief that the user knows the identity of the applicant or contact the consumer at a telephone number specified by the consumer; in the case of extended fraud alerts, the user must contact the consumer in accordance with the contact information provided in the consumer’s alert.

Section 605(h) requires nationwide CRAs, as defined in Section 603(p), to notify users that request reports when the address for a consumer provided by the user in requesting the report is substantially different from the addresses in the consumer’s file. When this occurs, users must comply with regulations specifying the procedures to be followed. Federal regulations are available at www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore.

Section 628 requires that all users of consumer report information have in place procedures to properly dispose of records containing this information. Federal regulations have been issued that cover disposal.

If a person uses a consumer report in connection with an application for, or a grant, extension, or provision of, credit to a consumer on material terms that are materially less favorable than the most favorable terms available to a substantial proportion of consumers from or through that person, based in whole or in part on a consumer report, the person must provide a risk-based pricing notice to the consumer in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Investigative consumer reports are a special type of consumer report in which information about a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living is obtained through personal interviews by an entity or person that is a consumer reporting agency. Consumers who are the subject of such reports are given special rights under the FCRA. If a user intends to obtain an investigative consumer report, Section 606 requires the following:

  • The user must disclose to the consumer that an investigative consumer report may be obtained. This must be done in a written disclosure that is mailed, or otherwise delivered, to the consumer at some time before or not later than three days after the date on which the report was first requested. The disclosure must include a statement informing the consumer of his or her right to request additional disclosures of the nature and scope of the investigation as described below, and the summary of consumer rights required by Section 609 of the FCRA. (The summary of consumer rights will be provided by the CRA that conducts the investigation.)
  • The user must certify to the CRA that the disclosures set forth above have been made and that the user will make the disclosure below.
  • Upon written request of a consumer made within a reasonable period of time after the disclosures required above, the user must make a complete disclosure of the nature and scope of the investigation. This must be made in a written statement that is mailed, or otherwise delivered, to the consumer no later than five days after the date on which the request was received from the consumer or the report was first requested, whichever is later in time.

 

End User that the FCRA (Section 621 (a) (2) (A)) provides that any person who knowingly and willfully obtains information on a consumer from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses shall be fined under title 18 of the United States Code or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Any person that violates any of the provisions of the FCRA may be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per violation.”

End user understands that Rental Research Inc. gathers information from other services, bureaus, individuals, financial institutions, and government agencies over which it has no control, and therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. Any information furnished is in response to an inquiry for the purpose of evaluating credit risks has been obtained from other sources which are deemed reliable. I agree to indemnify Rental Research Inc., TransUnion Inc., and any other source from which Rental Research Inc. gets information, for errors, mistakes, or any damage arising from the acquisition, distribution or misuse of this information, and all reports are furnished in reliance upon that indemnity.

End User takes responsibility for knowing about and complying with any other state or local laws that may apply to me or my applicant. End User will not use consumer information in violation of any state or federal law, including equal employment opportunity laws.

With Just cause, such as violation of the terms of the End User’s contract or a legal requirement, or a material change in existing legal requirement that adversely affects the End User’s agreement, Reseller may, upon its election, discontinue serving the End User and cancel the agreement immediately.

 

Disclosure

All materials on this website are for your general information only.  The information provided is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such.  We recommend that you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice.