Rental Application Denied due to SafeRent Errors? Get Legal Help and Get Back to Good.
Did errors in a SafeRent Solutions report result in your rental application being denied? Inaccurate, misleading, and false information in SafeRent reports have kept thousands of consumers from having access to rental opportunities. This unfair and illegal reporting can have big consequences. We explain what to do and where to find legal help.
When you’re in the market for a new rental apartment, condo, or house and are unfairly denied the opportunity due to errors in a tenant screening report, the impact on your financial and emotional well-being can be severe. Unfortunately, these errors are all too common despite federal and state regulations attempting to mitigate their frequency.
Chances are high that if you have just discovered errors in your SafeRent Solutions background check report and learned that these errors are the cause of your application being denied, you need legal guidance about what steps to take next and when a lawsuit might be in order.
At Consumer Attorneys, our team of highly skilled consumer protection lawyers has helped thousands of people recover from consumer data errors of all kinds and the denials that inevitably follow. And, with a nationwide practice, we’re wherever you need us to be. Call now for a free consultation, and keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what it means when SafeRent Solutions includes inaccuracies in your rental report and how to protect yourself if your application is denied because of it, including how to file a lawsuit.
What is SafeRent Tenant Screening?
SafeRent Solutions LLC is a company that sells tech-based solutions to landlords, property managers, and real estate agents to streamline the process of searching for, screening, and signing tenants. It primarily specializes in multi-family units. Along with search and sign platforms, it provides comprehensive applicant reports and assigns a SafeRent Score to quantify an applicant’s potential in numerical form.
Legally, SafeRent Solutions is a Consumer Reporting Agency.
Knowing what SafeRent does and how you, as a consumer and rental applicant, interact with it helps to understand its legal status. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), SafeRent is referred to as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). Basically, CRAs are in the business of gathering, reviewing, compiling, and selling consumer data.
For instance, SafeRent gathers data about its applicants by scanning public records or purchasing data from other entities that scan public records and buying data from other sources, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The latter are the three largest and most frequently utilized CRAs, and due to their size and impact on the consumer data industry, are also called credit bureaus.
Being designated as a CRA means that a business is expected to engage in the consumer data industry according to legal standards that are meant to safeguard consumers. When SafeRent and other CRAs gather and report on applicant data, they are expected to do so without inaccuracies, discrepancies, or errors to the best of their abilities. Producing a quality report that centers on reliability is key.
In addition, disputes are legally required to be investigated and corrections made without unwarranted delays. Rental applicants can file a lawsuit seeking error correction and compensation, and the law makes the wrongdoer pay for the legal expenses. In other words, if we file a lawsuit against SafeRent on your behalf and win, SafeRent is legally obligated to pay all of our legal fees, and you pay nothing. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.
What is Included in a SafeRent Screening Report?
SafeRent screening includes reporting on an applicant’s history regarding credit, criminal record, evictions, income, identity, and more. Because it draws from so many data streams in compiling these reports, there is a lot of opportunity for errors.
SafeRent Solutions uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze applicant data and assign a qualitative numerical score, which purports to correlate with an applicant’s likelihood of being a successful candidate. Much like a credit score indicates an applicant’s creditworthiness, a Rental Score indicates the likelihood of an applicant paying timely rent, not causing property damage, and not requiring eviction.
SafeRent Solutions provides credit reports that draw data from each credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
Prior rental and eviction history is part of the reporting results prepared by SafeRent. Eviction history is one of the areas of consumer background checks regulated more closely by state law. For instance, some states allow a further look-back period than others.
This means that if, for instance, you apply for a rental in a state that only allows a five-year look-back period for evictions, but SafeRent reports that you had an eviction event six years prior, then this would be considered a reporting error under state law. If you lost out on a rental opportunity due to this data, you could pursue a lawsuit against SafeRent even though the information is technically accurate.
SafeRent does consider a broad assessment of an applicant’s financial profile, including annual income, the amount of the monthly rent in question, prior payment history, and bankruptcies.
Again, for some of these categories, state and federal law will determine the look-back period, which factors into assessing whether data is appropriately reported in the first place.
SafeRent Criminal Resident Screening
By relying on multi-state criminal records screening, SafeRent purports to identify criminals who attempt to thwart detection of their criminal past by moving out of state to apply for housing.
Sex Offender Data
Similarly, applicants on sex offender registries will be identified and reported.
Social Trace and Subprime Credit Rating
SafeRent uses an applicant’s Social Security Number to complete a comprehensive identity analysis and verification. SafeRent can also use alternative sources to establish a risk assessment if the applicant doesn’t have a traditional credit history.
Other Criminal Records
Depending on the needs of the landlord or property management company, SafeRent offers the option of including a criminal record report that draws on data from a greater number of criminal record repositories.
Did SafeRent deny my application?
Many applicants who have been rejected from housing opportunities mistakenly believe that SafeRent Solutions denied their application. But this is not exactly how the process works.
SafeRent does not approve or deny any applications. It is simply a software and data company operating in the massive consumer data industry. Landlords and property management companies buy reports from SafeRent which include information about the applicant and generate assessment scores, SafeRent does not have any input on the decision-making process. If your application is denied based on the information in the SafeRent report, it is your landlord or property manager that has denied it.
This is not to say that SafeRent is not liable for the information it includes in the reports, because it is. But the decision about whether your application is approved or denied is made by the landlord or property management company.
Mistakes on My SafeRent Screening Report
Because of the wide variety of categories covered and the number of data streams utilized, SafeRent screening reports can, and frequently do, contain errors.
In addition, SafeRent, in particular, has been accused of discrimination in its practices and is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of relying on algorithms and assessment factors that unfairly devalue factors disproportionately impacting Black and Hispanic applicants in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
The lawsuit alleges that housing accessibility for Black and Hispanic applicants is adversely impacted by this foundational discrimination. In other words, the SafeRent algorithms were weighting data in a way that resulted in a disproportionate number of applications from Black and Hispanic applicants being denied.
Types of Errors
Some applicants harmed by erroneous reports or scores from SafeRent refer to these mistakes as “false positives” or “false negatives.” While this may be one way to conceptualize some of the errors, it is ultimately just the reporting of any inaccurate, misleading, false, or otherwise non-reportable information that violates the FCRA and makes SafeRent responsible for error correction, vulnerable to a lawsuit, and liable for compensation.
If your application is denied due to reporting errors, don’t worry about trying to classify those errors. Just contact a consumer protection lawyer to discuss the denial and the path forward.
What To Do If Your SafeRent Report Has Mistakes
Whether your application has been approved or denied, if your SafeRent report contains mistakes, you should initiate a SafeRent Solutions dispute, by doing the following:
- Contact a consumer protection lawyer. Our team at Consumer Attorneys can answer questions, offer legal guidance, and build a plan to protect your rights from the first notice of harm through filing a lawsuit. Being in direct communication with a lawyer throughout the dispute process is incredibly helpful for navigating the legal landscape and for peace of mind.
- Review your credit reports. If you learn that you’ve been denied a rental due to inaccurate, misleading, or false information on a SafeRent report, you should absolutely request and review copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). It’s possible that the errors being reported in your SafeRent reports are consistent across other reports, and knowing the full extent of the problem is important to mitigating the spread and assessing liability for a lawsuit.
Every consumer has the legal right to access and review their report from each bureau once per year without cost. There are three ways that consumers can request a copy of their free credit report: online at annualcreditreport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or by mailing a request form, which can be printed at annualcreditreport.com. Online requests should only be made through the above government-verified site.
- Dispute the incorrect data. See below for greater detail about the dispute process.
- Follow up with an attorney. Whether you’ve already spoken with an attorney to understand your rights and gather legal advice about how to proceed or you initiated the dispute process on your own, now is a great time to seek legal counsel and discuss the possibility of a SafeRent Solutions lawsuit.
Dispute Errors on SafeRent Screening Reports
SafeRent provides information on its website for how to dispute data in a report under “Rental Applicant Support.” It also provides a form to fill out, print, and submit.
We caution against ever using an online dispute platform with SafeRent or any other CRA because the use of this option (marketed as more expedient) is frequently predicated on you waiving your right to file a lawsuit against SafeRent. As a rule, waiving your right to file a lawsuit is a bad idea, especially at the outset of a dispute, before you know how it will be handled or resolved.
Be sure to adhere to timelines and provide all required documentation. You do not want to face technical challenges going forward because you did not follow the appropriate procedure.
Benefits of Professional Legal Support with SafeRent Solutions
Working with a skilled and experienced attorney can lessen the time it takes to resolve the matter, the financial impact of the errors, and the stress and anxiety of going it alone. With over seventy-five years of combined experience, Consumer Attorneys is one of the leading nationwide consumer protection law firms and we have dealt with the full spectrum of legal issues that arise under situations involving SafeRent and other CRAs.
We know all of the common tactics for stalls, delays, and shoddy investigations. We know what SafeRent’s legal obligations are, the statutory time frames imposed on SafeRent for responding, and how state and federal law combine to create the full portrait of your rights in the state where you live. If and when a lawsuit seems like a necessary course of action, we’ll be ready to get the lawsuit up and running as soon as possible.
If your rental application has been denied based on errors in a SafeRent report, contact us today.
Beware Credit Repair Companies
If you haven’t already, you will eventually find companies that market themselves as easy credit repair agencies. Frequently, this means that you guarantee them an amount of money upfront, and they don’t guarantee you anything, not even a successful resolution to the erroneous data in your report.
What they don’t tell you is that working with a consumer protection attorney means:
- No out-of-pocket cost to you. Ever. Not only are you NOT paying us up front, you’re not paying us any money ever. The law says SafeRent (or other CRAs) must pay for our legal bills when we win.
- Access to extensive legal training, knowledge, and experience. Our attorneys have the education, negotiation, and courtroom experience to take on SafeRent and win!
- Working with a professional who is bound by legal and ethical standards of excellence. As lawyers, not only are we committed to doing the very best for our clients, but we are also legally obligated to make decisions in your best interests and to act with integrity and zealous advocacy on your behalf.
- Being able to sue SafeRent for resolution and compensation. If a lawsuit becomes necessary (a common occurrence) due to inadequate investigation of the disputed information or insufficient error corrections, we are positioned to file a lawsuit on your behalf immediately.
When your rental application has been denied, it can be easy to fall for the marketing tactics of these Credit Repair Companies, but it is never in your best interests.
At Consumer Attorneys, we’re not just someone else looking to cash in on your bad luck. We’re the people that the FCRA empowered to help you.
How Much Does it Cost?
At Consumer Attorneys, we do not charge anything for your initial consultation. It’s completely free. We know that you need to talk to one of our lawyers before you know if you need one of our lawyers.
And, you will never pay anything out of pocket even after the free consultation because the law makes the companies we file lawsuits against pay the costs and fees when we win. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.
Ask for Our Help Now
With no out-of-pocket cost to you, there is nothing to lose in discussing your SafeRent reporting error with one of our skilled consumer protection lawyers. If these errors resulted in your application being denied, contact us today.
From coast to coast, we’re right where you need us to be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What credit scoring system does SafeRent use?
This question requires some nuance. SafeRent relies on credit scores from the credit bureaus to report strictly credit-related information. In otherwords, it does not generate a credit score based on its own data analytics. However, SafeRent does generate a Rental Score, which is the result of a proprietary data analysis incorporating your credit score and numerous other factors (including eviction history). The Rental Score is meant to denote the likelihood of you following through on successful completeion of a lease. It includes consideration for likelihood of staying on long-term, being evicted, and causing property damage, among other factors.
Can I sue SafeRent if my report includes errors?
This depends on the type of error and the extent of the harm. For instance, if SafeRent reports errors in your criminal record that cause your rental applicaiton to be denied and then undertakes an inadequate investigation of your dispute, causing you to suffer extended harm, you can fild a lawsuit against SafeRent for damages. However, the reporting of certain erroneous information is considered harmful regardless of damages and a viable lawsuit can be pursued based solely on the false reporting. A consumer protection lawyer, like those at Consumer Attorneys, can guide you through the legal nuance of which errors constitute a lawsuit trigger offense.
What should I do if SafeRent says I have a criminal record?
If SafeRent erroneously reports that you have a criminal record (when you do not), you should (1) contact a consumer protection lawyer, like the team at Consumer Attorneys, (2) review your free credit reports from the three credit bureaus to make sure the criminal history error in your SafeRent report is the only error, and rule out a wider identity problem, (3) dispute the error through SafeRent via certified mail (see above to learn why), (4) provide any necessary documentation in support of your position, and (5) talk to a lawyer if you haven’t already done so.
Can I dispute SafeRent errors in my report?
Yes, you can. As a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, SafeRent is legally obligated to provide you the opportunity to dispute any erroneous information in the reports it produces about you. It is also obligated to investigate the disputed information and promptly correct any errors. To dispute errors in your SafeRent report, you should (1) contact a consumer protection lawyer, (2) review your free credit reports from the three credit bureaus to rule out a wider problem, (3) dispute the errors through SafeRent via certified mail (see above to learn why), (4) provide documentation, and (5) talk to a lawyer if you haven’t already done so.