Background/credit check fees

4 Replies

I and my husband recently tried to rent a house. We filled out the application form that she had at the house that she handed us and I emailed them to her. She wrote back and said thank you I have reviewed it, but I also have another form I need you to fill out and I'm going to email it to you and I need you to email it back to a different email.  So, thinking we have already got the house since she also had answered yes to my question about a bed she might leave at the house for us saying we could use the bed if we needed it, I told her ok I will do that. She never told me what the other papers were or would be or if there were any fees involved.  She sent the form via email with a forward that stated simply "Tenant app, one to be filled out by each applicant" Well the form was titled "Beacon Background Screening Services Tenant Screeming Application".  The form nor the email, nor any of her texts, nor verbally, nor her original online ad for her house, mentioned any fees. I noticed her forward had originated from ...... group, but she had not specified which email to send the forms to. So, we printed out two forms, and I filled out one and my husband filled put one. I emailed the lady/homeowner and I said ok I have the forms all filled out can you clarify whom I am sending them to? She simply emailed back for me to send a copy to her and the other email. As to not bother her, I used common sense and sent the email to the .......Group email that her forward originated from and copied to her. Mind you, we had only 3 days to be out of where ee were living, she knew this and led us to believe we were moving in that Friday and these were merely formalities, I thought literaly it was just to do a background check and rental reference just to kind of back up everything we had on pur original apps. The next day was Wednesday and at 11am the ....... group called and got my rental reference. The property management company had told me this and that they of course gave us a great reference,  but stated it was highly unusual for someone to actually call and do one, stating it never happes but that maybe this ...... group was just really on the ball. Being excited, I texted the homeowner asking if she had gotten any information back and if everything was a go to move in Friday. She wrote back at 2pm that same day and said oh " the .....group needs 100 dollars or I can't get an answer for you. But if you can give me 100 today I can tell you by end of the day. Well, I told my husband and he was like 100 dollars for what and I said I don't really know but I guess for background checks and we will find out right away if we can move in Friday.  So he brings her the 100 to her work and she takes it and says ok tell your wife I contact her in the morning. So all Thursday morning I anxiously await. Nothing. Until 2pm she texts mecand says oh your credit is ..... and you are behind on your bills hope you find another house. Omg , I was like what the.......And I wrote her back a text saying well I am not behind on ANY bills and if you had called me I would have explained that just 3 months ago my car was totaled and the company is just now working on updating it with the credit bereau as to not show me as 3 months behind on a car I do not have or owe money on. On top of that I just recently found out thar my DEFFERED and in good standing sudent loans show up as 2 months behind on the credit checks, yet I am in good standing and not ever behind on payments because I do not make payments because it is deferred.  She never responded and we had to temporarily move in with friends. I waited a few days and then texted her explaining how I was never told of ANY fee until AFTER the .....group has already ran checks on me and she never said exactly what they were for or if they were refundable or not. Of course she claims she told me. Yet, no email,  no yext, no messages no nothing. Nowhere does it say that or did she day that.  So, do I have a right to get my 100 that I feel she should give us back?

Don't give money to a landlord/prop mgr or anyone without getting some type of written form/receipt explaining why you are giving money and what the conditions are.  You should have been notified that the $100 is non-refundable credit check fee.  However, $50 per adult seems high. 

Your explanation of events is long and a bit difficult to read (you may want to shorten to encourage more responses), but I would try to go over this person's head/chain of command and complain that they did not explain that the $100 was non refunadable.  If nothing else, you should be entitled to a copy of the credit report with written explanation as to why you were rejected.

good luck

I agree that $50 per adult sounds expensive. I would ask for a copy of the credit/background check report that was used to reject your application. Some of the other info you wrote really sounds like sob story material - the landlord has no obligation to find out that your student loans that are supposed to be deferred are in collection, or that your car note wasn't paid - but the LL does have an ethical obligation to provide you the information that was used to reject your application, since they collected your money. 

I would note that in the future, most LLs that I know have the applicant pay the credit check company directly so as to not be in this type of situation wherein they have collected money personally. 

Thank you JD Martin. Yeah I will shorten it. But I didn't think she had an obligation necessarily, just would have been nice to have been called and not texted so I could explain what parts of the check were incorrect. I really do not deal with credit and I was not egen thinming a ouyvit beog a part of her decision. That was my fault for not paying attention to what I was signing and sending back. AND for you to assume it is a sob story?  Um no...It is a slap in your face to have a rude homeowner text me and say I do not pay my bills on time. So the reason for being denied is actually based on incorrect information.  That if I had been told was going to be used in a determination of approval, I would have explained and not been told I do not pay my bills on time when I do. Not a sob story by any means. 

Thank you Fred Dray. I appreciate your response and yes I should have known better.  One of those live and learn kind of things. 

Originally posted by @Michelle Miller:

I and my husband recently tried to rent a house. We filled out the application forms we got from the homeowner at the house and emailed them to the her. She wrote back and said thank you, but that she had another form she needes us to fill out. She said she was going to email the form and needed me to email it back to a different email.  So, thinking we have already got the house, due to her going into details about us moving in that Friday, I told her ok I would do that. She never told me what this form waa for or that there would be any fees involved.  She sent the form via email with a forward that stated simply "Tenant app, one to be filled out by each applicant".   The form was titled "Beacon Background Screening Services Tenant Screeming Application".  The form, the email, herself, and her original online ad never mentioned any background screening fees. We filled the forms out, one for each of us, and I sent them back.  Mind you, we had only 3 days to be out of where we were living. She knew this and led us to believe we were moving in that Friday and these were merely formalities.  I thought literally that it was just to do a background check and rental reference, just to kind of back up everything we had on our original apps. The next day at 11am the ....... group called and got my rental reference, which was great. Being excited, I texted the homeowner asking if she had gotten any information back and if everything was o to go ahead and move in Friday. She wrote back at 2pm that same day and said oh " the .....group needs 100 dollars or I can't get an answer for you, but if you can bring me 100 today to my work I can tell you by end of the day. Well, I told my husband and he was like "100 dollars for what?" and I said "I don't really know, but I guess for background checks and then we will find out right away if we can move in Friday".  So he brought her the 100 to her work and she said "ok tell your wife I call her in the morning". So all Thursday morning I anxiously awaited her phone call. But nothing. Then at 2pm she texts me and says "oh your credit is .....(low nunber) and you are behind on your bills...hope you find another house.. I waited a few days and then texted her explaining how I was never told of ANY fee until AFTER the .....group had already ran checks on us (at least the rental reference I knew for sure) and she never said exactly what they were for or if they were refundable or not. Of course,  she claimed  she had in fact told me. Nowhere does it say that or did she say that.  So, do I have a right to get my 100 that I feel she should give us back?

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