In August 2022, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 2559 (AB 2559) “to standardize reusable screening reports for rental applicants that can be used multiple times within a 30-day window,” according to a press release from the bill’s sponsor Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego). The bill now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom for approval.
AB 2559 defines a “reusable tenant screening report” to mean a consumer report prepared within the previous 30 days by a consumer reporting agency (CRA) at the request and expense of a rental applicant that is made available to the landlord for use in the rental application process or is provided through a third-party provider of reusable tenant screening reports.
“People are having to apply to multiple units to try and secure a place to live, and that can add up to hundreds of dollars. AB 2559 will allow would-be tenants to pay one fee and use one screening report for multiple rental applications, as well as verify that the information on the screening report is accurate,” Assemblymember Ward stated in the press release.
The reusable tenant screening reports would include the name, contact information, eviction history, employment, rental history, and last known address of the rental applicant, who would have the opportunity to review the report for accuracy and dispute any errors with the tenant screening company. The reports are available to landlords at no cost to access or use.
“More than two years into the pandemic, California’s rental market has become extremely tight for prospective tenants, with prices skyrocketing and limited availability. Many rental shoppers are required by landlords to pay fees ranging from $25 to $55 per adult for credit checks, employment verifications, and criminal background reports,” the press release explained.
The States of Washington and Maryland passed legislation in 2019 and 2021 to allow landlords to accept reusable screening reports. According to the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report for 2022, 26 percent of U.S. renters who moved in the past two years listed multiple application fees as the top stressor of a rental search. A copy of California AB 2559 is available here.
ClearStar is a leading Human Resources (HR) technology company that specializes in background, drug, clinical, and occupational health screening. ClearStar offers low-cost tenant screening services with exceptional turnaround times (TATs) and responsive client service to help landlords protect their properties. To learn more, contact ClearStar today.
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