Florida tenant credit reports

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Florida Tenant Credit Reports

When preparing to order tenant credit reports, Florida community associations and Florida property managers may receive rental applications or sales applications in which the applicant has listed an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).   It has become increasingly more common.  In these cases, Florida community associations and property managers place background screening requests in which the applicant listed the ITIN in place of the Social Security Number (SSN) on the rental application.  However, an ITIN is different from an SSN.  The difference has some bearing on tenant credit reports.

What is an an ITIN?

In 1996, the IRS created the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for foreigners who don’t have Social Security numbers but need to file taxes in the U.S.  The ITIN is a tax processing number.  It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9.  They were not created to be used for obtaining credit.  However, they are frequently used to apply for credit, get bank accounts or even buy a home.  Some banks allow applicants to open a bank account with an ITIN and establish a secured credit card.

SSN in Florida Tenant Credit Reports

Tenant background checks for Florida community associations and Florida property managers include credit reports, criminal records, eviction records and other searches.  Tenant credit reports require identifiers to match information in the databases and courts to the applicant.  One of the primary identifiers is the SSN.  The SSN is the primary identifier used to request an applicant’s credit report.  When the SSN and other identifiers are provided in a credit report request by Florida community associations, a full consumer credit report can be provided.

ITIN in Florida Tenant Credit Reports

Since an ITIN is issued for tax purposes only, the credit bureaus will recognize the ITIN as an invalid social security number in the credit report.  However, the credit bureaus match with identifiers other than the SSN.  The bureaus use all of the supplied identifiers including the date of birth, address and name, to match credit information to the applicant.  If there is credit report information in their systems linked to the identifying information provided, an applicant’s credit history can be reported, even without an SSN.  Since applicants with an ITIN may obtain credit, have a bank account or own a home, a full tenant credit report can be obtained.

ITIN begins with 9

So if the number begins with 9, it is an ITIN.  When an ITIN is provided on the tenant application, it is very important that all of the other identifiers such as the full name, date of birth and address be accurately input in the search request.  In closing, background screening agencies can provide tenant credit reports to Florida community associations and Florida property managers for an applicant who has provided an ITIN.