Can landlords report to credit agencies? if so, how?

16 Replies

I have one rent house and my tenant has never been late in the 3 years they've been there. I was wanting to report the payment history to help them build credit. Is it possible?  If so, how would I go about doing this?  Not sure if it matters, but I'm in North Carolina

Yes they can.  This does cost money for the landlord and offers them really no benefit so if I were you and you wanted to benefit from this I would ask them if they would be willing to do it and offer to pay for the not only the service but for their time in making it happen.  That would give you the best chance of getting what you want.  Important to remember this would all be done for your benefit, not theirs.  

@Brian Hepler the short answer is not easily

Large Landlords (500+ units) can connect directly with one of the 3 major credit bureaus through a subscription service.

Small Landlords (less than 500 units) would need to both sign up for Experian's Rent Bureau service and allow rental payments to flow through this service to you (you will need to wait for payments). This would allow you to achieve what you are looking for but with hurdles for you. For any landlords looking at flagging a tenant's credit history for non-payment (I realize this was not your specific question), you would do this through a collection agency but the reason so many don't is that you will be lucky to see a small portion of your total funds due after paying the collection agency.

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@Brian Hepler I use Apartments.com and they let tenants opt into credit bureau reporting. This is great for tenants looking to build stronger credit, so we market it as an advantage. Many rent payment services include credit agency reporting, just look for that feature when selecting the right service. Direct reporting to bureaus can cost you money and may open you to legal compliance concerns, so I would avoid it.

@Brian Hepler As @Chris London mentioned you won't be able to report directly to the bureaus but there are services that will provide reporting for you.  If you use property management software check if credit reporting is included with the payment processing.  If you don't use a software program, please check the NerdWallet link provided by @Nathan G. for reporting-only services so that you don't have to change the way you collect rent.

For any service, make sure you or the tenants are able to report past history as the bureaus will accept up to 24 months of history.  By reporting the payment history and start date of the lease that will help the tenants build credit.  Any questions please let me know.  Thanks.  

Hi @Brian Hepler .

Renters can opt-in to report their payments to ( Experian, Transunion and Equifax) at no extra cost. Not only that. if they are paying on time they can be eligible for a loan if they happen to go through a hard time ( Vet bill, car repair, Med bill, etc.). if you are interested DM message me to tell you more.

How about the opposite. Somebody who owes you rent money but moved out. I have a tenant that promised me she would pay me back if I could let her stay a few more weeks. It’s been 3 years since and she’s only sent me a few checks of around $100. She still owes me around 5k.

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@John Morgan you need to take her to small claims and get a Judgement.  Often times just serving the notice gets you paid.  A friend of mine sued someone who conned her out of 750, and once the Sheriff served him, he paid up instantly. 

The Judgement will show up in her credit automatically, and even if she doesn't pay you can sell it, and offset your income with the loss.

Originally posted by @Maurice D. :

@John Morgan you need to take her to small claims and get a Judgement.  Often times just serving the notice gets you paid.  A friend of mine sued someone who conned her out of 750, and once the Sheriff served him, he paid up instantly. 

The Judgement will show up in her credit automatically, and even if she doesn't pay you can sell it, and offset your income with the loss.

She moved out 3 1/2 years ago. She’s only paid me back $375 since then. She sends me a $50-$100 check in the mail every once in awhile. I wonder if I can still take her to small claims court. I texted her today if she would just pay me $500 I would leave her alone and we’d call it good. Haven’t heard back from her. I wonder if I’d have a case in small claims court. But the total she owes me is about 6k. 

Statute of limitations for written contracts is 4 years in Texas.  the paperwork is super simple, you don't need a lawyer.  Chances are she won't show up and you win.  If anything do it the learn the process.  I believe the 4 years might count from when she last made payment, but to be on the safe side file soon.

Sue her for the entire amount plus costs (serving her, skip trace etc).  once she gets served is when you text her and offer her, say "hey, I will take 2500, in non-stop payments.  any failure and I sue again for 5000 judgement." for example.

Once you get her to agree to that in writing you ask the judge to "dismiss without Prejudice" and if she stops paying again you can sue again.