Seattle renters commission proposes ban on credit checks in rental applications
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:21 am    Post subject: Seattle renters commission proposes ban on credit checks in rental applications

http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/Neighborhoods/Shared/SeattleRentersCommission/SRC_Letter_Credit-Check.pdf
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:42 am    Post subject:

Good decision. Credit scores have never really adequately gauged whether someone pays their rent (references work much better), and often, intentionally or not, is very discriminatory in practice.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:37 pm    Post subject:

this could backfire and lead to harsher discrimination
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:19 pm    Post subject:

Great One wrote:
this could backfire and lead to harsher discrimination


That’s what they say about any reduction in discrimination. Or raising the minimum wage, etc.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:49 pm    Post subject:

Credit checks have only existed since 1989 and come with the inherent flaw that you have to build a credit history in order to get credit. It forces a situation that puts people at a disadvantage at the start.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:59 pm    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
Credit checks have only existed since 1989 and come with the inherent flaw that you have to build a credit history in order to get credit. It forces a situation that puts people at a disadvantage at the start.


Really? What did they use before that?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:09 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
DaMuleRules wrote:
Credit checks have only existed since 1989 and come with the inherent flaw that you have to build a credit history in order to get credit. It forces a situation that puts people at a disadvantage at the start.


Really? What did they use before that?


References, previous landlords.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:19 am    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
Credit checks have only existed since 1989 and come with the inherent flaw that you have to build a credit history in order to get credit. It forces a situation that puts people at a disadvantage at the start.


Not to mention that rent is one thing that doesn’t actually show up on a credit report.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:23 am    Post subject:

It's embarrassing that as a former loan officer I don't know this but how were mortgages and auto loans done back then?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:32 am    Post subject:

Believe it or not, references, financial records (paper), and often a home visit.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:33 am    Post subject:

To be fair, there was credit reporting and even scores before 89, that’s just when it became standardized as a FICO score.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:02 am    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
Believe it or not, references, financial records (paper), and often a home visit.


Seems like an easier way to discriminate against someone.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Believe it or not, references, financial records (paper), and often a home visit.


Seems like an easier way to discriminate against someone.


Not really, since you can still discriminate on personal reasons after they make it through the automated segregator.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:42 am    Post subject:

I’m curious what, if any arguments people who are questioning this might have to support using credit scores for rentals.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:14 pm    Post subject:

If I were a property for rent owner I'd want to know if the person applying paid their bills on time. Owners have mortgages.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject:

My first thought goes back to the days before credit checks when if you weren't in the right church, part of the right race or knew the right people you had a problem. Or if you were a woman, if you didn't have the support of a male family member. This isn't ancient history, this is like the 70's. Things obviously won't go back to that, but I feel like this would make rentals more about who you know because landlords just won't list places for rent or will skirt the line on what requirements they can legally require.

I did a quick bit of looking around and found this on a realestate investing subreddit:

Quote:
Just because I live in Seattle I have my opinions on this. I do not rent in the city of Seattle.

With that out of the way. Who really cares? Landlords in the city of Seattle:

Already are limited to 1 month security deposit
That deposit and last month can be financed over 6 months
Must follow First In Line on screening criteria
Cannot Discriminate on source of income
Must take the "mobile screening application"
Have to register their rentals with Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (purposefully not Inspections and Construction)

Why does this make it harder to be a Landlord in Seattle? It doesn't all it will do is increase the rent that a Landlord is going to need to offset those. If you want to play it smart renting in Seattle, you change your income requirements to 4x the rents.

The Hud Voucher Limit on Section 8 in the Seattle MSA is currently $1529. [source] A 5 Second search of zillow shows multiple 1 bedrooms renting at $1600-$1700/mo.

The price movement to $2000/mo will be swift. (Well, as soon as we can raise rents) and may go higher since we also have to help cover move-out and moving costs if there is non-renewal of rents. I wouldn't be surprised to see 1 bedrooms going for $2300 in Seattle by 2022.


So I'm not sure what this will accomplish other than lowering availability and raising prices.

Also from what I'm reading apparently many landlords don't do credit checks so this probably won't have too much of an effect as to who's able to get a rental.. they just might cost more.

I'm firmly in the "meh" camp on this one. If it helps some people, I guess that's fine, but it may have tradeoffs.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:33 pm    Post subject:

This may also lead to smaller landlords being unable to compete with large corporations, but that may be by design too.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:34 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
savvy☭@sleepisocialist· Feb 11
I'm absolutely losing my mind that credit scores weren't established in the US until 1989. We really are the guinea pig generations for all the bad boomer ideas

https://twitter.com/sleepisocialist/status/1359914404062646275
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:36 pm    Post subject:

kikanga wrote:
Quote:
savvy☭@sleepisocialist· Feb 11
I'm absolutely losing my mind that credit scores weren't established in the US until 1989. We really are the guinea pig generations for all the bad boomer ideas

https://twitter.com/sleepisocialist/status/1359914404062646275


Said person who made the tweet would have likely had to receive a male relative's help securing a loan before. Like many things, the 50's-70's weren't all rainbows and sunshine. Well, it was if you were a white guy and the main criteria for getting a loan was "character references".
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:31 pm    Post subject:

jodeke wrote:
If I were a property for rent owner I'd want to know if the person applying paid their bills on time. Owners have mortgages.


Except nothing on a credit report indicates whether someone will pay their rent. In fact, people will usually default on the things that show up on a credit report first in order to pay rent, utilities, and buy food. Plus, you can access previous landlords and get an exact answer to your question.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:33 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
kikanga wrote:
Quote:
savvy☭@sleepisocialist· Feb 11
I'm absolutely losing my mind that credit scores weren't established in the US until 1989. We really are the guinea pig generations for all the bad boomer ideas

https://twitter.com/sleepisocialist/status/1359914404062646275


Said person who made the tweet would have likely had to receive a male relative's help securing a loan before. Like many things, the 50's-70's weren't all rainbows and sunshine. Well, it was if you were a white guy and the main criteria for getting a loan was "character references".


True, but now, if you’re poor and/or a minority, you need even more than that to get onerous, high interest debt to even cross the threshold of beginning to get a credit score. So rather than make credit more equal, it’s just another gate.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:37 pm    Post subject:

Fwiw, anyone who tells you not allowing credit scores (but allowing income verification and rental history screening) will increase rents is just scaremongering. Aside from the fact that defaults won’t be statistically that much higher if at all, rents aren’t based on these type of cost criteria. They are market based, on demand.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:39 pm    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
jodeke wrote:
If I were a property for rent owner I'd want to know if the person applying paid their bills on time. Owners have mortgages.


Except nothing on a credit report indicates whether someone will pay their rent. In fact, people will usually default on the things that show up on a credit report first in order to pay rent, utilities, and buy food. Plus, you can access previous landlords and get an exact answer to your question.

This is in a credit report. The gist of the post is in bold blue.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:41 pm    Post subject:

jodeke wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
jodeke wrote:
If I were a property for rent owner I'd want to know if the person applying paid their bills on time. Owners have mortgages.


Except nothing on a credit report indicates whether someone will pay their rent. In fact, people will usually default on the things that show up on a credit report first in order to pay rent, utilities, and buy food. Plus, you can access previous landlords and get an exact answer to your question.

This is in a credit report. The gist of the post is in bold blue.


No it’s actually not. Many people with horrible credit pay their rent on time (and that almost never gets reported to the credit agencies), and many renters have no credit score. Multiple studies have shown very little link between credit score and rent payment.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:47 pm    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
kikanga wrote:
Quote:
savvy☭@sleepisocialist· Feb 11
I'm absolutely losing my mind that credit scores weren't established in the US until 1989. We really are the guinea pig generations for all the bad boomer ideas

https://twitter.com/sleepisocialist/status/1359914404062646275


Said person who made the tweet would have likely had to receive a male relative's help securing a loan before. Like many things, the 50's-70's weren't all rainbows and sunshine. Well, it was if you were a white guy and the main criteria for getting a loan was "character references".


True, but now, if you’re poor and/or a minority, you need even more than that to get onerous, high interest debt to even cross the threshold of beginning to get a credit score. So rather than make credit more equal, it’s just another gate.


Yep.

Unaffordable and discriminatory housing is a symptom of a greater systemic illness in our country.
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