Property Owners Frequently Asked Questions

Income Insights: Our proprietary tenant background checks offer Income Insights, a custom report that tells landlords which applicants need additional income verification. This report can help you save time and effort during the tenant screening process and can lower your risk of tenant payment issues.

ResidentScore: This credit measurement is built specifically for tenant screening and delivers a better assessment of tenant risk than a typical credit score. According to TransUnion research, ResidentScore predicts evictions 15% more often in comparison to a typical credit score in the bottom 20% score range where risk is greatest.•

Choice of Who Pays: You can opt to have renters cover the cost of tenant screening. SmartMove gives landlords flexibility to choose to pay or pass the cost of tenant screening services to your applicant. It’s free to sign up and there’s no fee to request a tenant screening report.

SmartMove is a consumer-initiated service, meaning the consumer (potential tenant) plays an active role in deciding when and to whom to release sensitive personal information. The process is conducted online, keeping this information secure. Other services that do not actively involve the potential tenant require more of the landlord and often have less secure methods of obtaining and returning sensitive consumer information.

At this time, SmartMove only has the ability to process an application for renters who have a valid U.S. Social Security number.

At this time, SmartMove does not have the ability to report rental history on a consumer’s credit report. We recommend contacting a collection agency or your local apartment association to inquire about how back rent may be reported on a consumer’s credit file.

At this time, SmartMove does not have the ability to report rental history on a consumer’s credit report. We recommend contacting a collection agency or your local apartment association to inquire about how back rent may be reported on a consumer’s credit file.

When renters set up an account with SmartMove, they are required to answer a series of personal questions to authenticate their identity and grant consent to screening before their credit and criminal information is made available to a landlord. If a potential renter has difficulty with this process, please have him or her contact SmartMove directly for further assistance.

If the potential tenant has not completed the confirmation and authentication steps, the property owner can proceed to step 3 — Make Decision — and Decline the application to cancel the request. The property owner may wish to add comments indicating to the potential tenant that there is no further need to respond or apply. An email will be issued to the rental applicant indicating that his or her application has been declined. Since the renter has not completed his or her confirmation or authentication at this point, no charge has been incurred.

If the potential tenant has already completed the confirmation and authentication steps, the property owner can proceed to step 3 (Make Decision) and select a decision. This does not remove the charge or the results, however it does mark the application as complete and issue an email to the potential tenant indicating a decision has been made. The potential tenant can then log into his or her account to view the decision and the property owner’s comments.

If the potential tenant has not yet received an email from SmartMove prompting him or her to create an account and/or to grant consent to the screening, he or she can still do so by going directly to the SmartMove site and clicking on any of the “Create an Account” buttons and creating a renter account (if the potential tenant does not already have a SmartMove account). The potential tenant must create an account using the email address that the property owner sends the request to. Once the potential tenant sets up an account, he or she will see an option on the homepage to complete the authentication process.

If the property owner has entered the incorrect email address for the potential tenant, he or she can add that potential tenant again with the correct email address and then delete the incorrect potential tenant profile. To accomplish this, first the property owner must log in to their account and click on the Application History tab on the top of the page. Select the application with the incorrect email address. Click on the first tab, “Step 1. Edit Requested Information”. At the bottom of the page, click on “Add Renter”. Enter the correct email address and click “Add Renter”. Once the property owner has added the correct email as a new renter profile, he or she should delete the prior renter profile reflecting the incorrect email address. The potential tenant should then receive his or her request to consent to the screening

ResidentScore assigns a score from 350-850, with 850 being the best score possible. Where your applicant's score falls on the scale can help you better assess their risk.

Income Insights Questions

Income Insights can help you save time and effort manually verifying applicant income. Income Insights analyzes the applicant's spending and payment behavior from their credit report to estimate their income. The Income Insights report gives you:

  • An estimate of whether or not the applicant’s credit behavior aligns with their self-reported income.
  • An estimated variance between the applicant’s self-reported income and the Income Insights estimate.
  • A recommendation of whether or not to request additional proof of income from an applicant.

Income Insights is based on a statistical model that analyzes the applicant's credit data, including their spending and payment behavior, to estimate the amount of income they likely make.

Income Insights provides an estimate of an individual’s income based on their past spending and payment behavior on their credit report over time. To validate the model, we developed our Income Insights estimates using salary information reported to the IRS. However, it is important to remember this is an estimate and not an actual verification of an applicant’s income. Income Insights does not access or directly view the applicant’s actual income.

The Income Insights estimate changes as new credit information becomes available on the credit report. Because Income Insights uses historical credit data to estimate income, very recent significant income changes may not be immediately reflected.

Income Insights can be returned for anyone with at least one credit tradeline account on his or her credit report. Applicants with no or light credit information may not return an Income Insights result.

No, Income Insights analyzes the applicant's credit behavior to determine whether or not it aligns with the income they've self-reported in SmartMove. If the applicant's self-reported income does not align with the Income Insights estimate, Income Insights will recommend you request additional proof of income from the applicant.

Yes, Income Insights uses credit report behavior to estimate an applicant’s total income. Therefore, non-work sources of income such as retirement distributions, pensions, social security, and alimony should be reflected in the results.

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