Landlords Help Tenants Gain Credit and Accountability
Landlords and Property Managers have the ability to Report Rent to Credit Bureau
For most people, a decent credit score is attainable. All it takes is a credit card from the person’s bank to earn a credit profile, and regular payments for a few months to show financial responsibility. But a decent credit score doesn’t earn the best financing rates — a necessary component to building wealth. That takes a great credit score. And a great credit score takes time and effort to build.
The higher a person’s credit score, the easier it is to get preferred mortgage rates, business lines of credit, or low-interest car loans. To get to that point, a person needs to show a history of on-time payments on installment accounts. For homeowners, that history may come from paying a mortgage each month. But for many renters, who typically dedicate 40% or more of their monthly income to rent, it’s as though they are invisible. That’s because the payments are not being reported to a credit bureau. Landlords need to report rent payments for tenants to benefit.
With other installment debts, on-time payments can grow credit in as little as 18 months. But renters can go for years paying on time each month — and get no credit for it at all.
Renters can continue to build good rental history for years, but their credit stays in limbo because it is not being reported. To add to the frustration, those responsible tenants still must compete in the rental marketplace with tenants who have missed payments or paid late because those delinquencies were never reported to a credit bureau, and the new landlord cannot easily distinguish a low-risk applicant from a high-risk one.
Credit bureaus have gotten wiser, and now — finally — landlords can report rent to a credit bureau so the information can be added to the tenant’s consumer credit report. Tenants who have participated in reporting rent payments have seen improvements in their credit rating by the end of the first year of their tenancy agreement.
Renters already are paying each month. They may as well get credit for it.
Renters are excited about the ability to report rent to a credit bureau. Many see this as an attractive amenity, even seeking out landlords who report rent payments. Long-term renters, those with thin credit files, or those seeking to rehabilitate credit, all benefit from reporting their on-time rent payments.
But tenants aren’t the only ones who profit from reporting rent payments to credit bureaus. Landlords have long suffered the worst delinquencies and income loss when compared to other installment creditors. This is largely due to rental regulations that make it difficult to terminate “service” when a tenant is chronically late or in default. The cost and delays inherent to eviction and the tendency of delinquent tenants to skip out without a forwarding address leave landlords with little hope of recouping the losses.
Tenants who know their rent history is being reported to a credit bureau take the rent obligation more seriously. Landlords that report rent payments to credit bureaus benefit on time tenants.
In fact, landlords that report rent payments through the Landlord Credit Bureau have reduced late payments and defaults by 36%.
Landlords typically spend the majority of their time chasing after a minority of tenants who don’t pay on time, instead of focusing on rewarding good tenants. By reporting rent payments, landlords can start fostering tenant retention, which adds value to the rental property business, and stop spending the bulk of their time weeding out problem tenants, which does nothing to improve profitability.
As is always the case with credit reporting, the rent payment history must come from the creditor — the landlord. Landlord Credit Bureau is a credit reporting agency and the only agency of its kind in Canada that provides rent reporting services to landlords. This service already is used by more than 30,000 landlords and property managers representing all sizes of rental property businesses. Even the smallest landlord businesses can profit from reporting rent payments.
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