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October 16 2018

$3m fine for firm’s failure to meet accuracy requirements for tenant screening reports

A Texas company has agreed to pay $3 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information that it provided to landlords and property managers, a violation of federal law that caused some potential renters to be falsely associated with criminal records.

The FTC’s complaint alleges that RealPage, Inc. violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information provided to its clients. The amount RealPage has agreed to pay as part of the settlement is the largest civil penalty the FTC has obtained against a background screening company.

“You shouldn’t get turned down for an apartment because someone has the wrong information about you,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case shows that, especially with today’s tight rental market, we will hold tenant screening companies responsible for the accuracy of their reports.”