Except in certain circumstances, the act requires a landlord to accept from a prospective tenant a portable tenant screening report (screening report). A landlord may require that the screening report was prepared by a consumer reporting agency (reporting agency) within the previous 30 days, at the prospective tenant's request and expense, and made directly available to the landlord by the agency. The act specifies information that must be included in a screening report, including verification of employment and income, rental and credit history, and criminal history. If a prospective tenant provides a screening report, the landlord shall not charge the prospective tenant either an application fee or a fee for the landlord to access or use the screening report.
Prior to collecting any tenant information that would generate an application fee, a landlord shall advise a prospective tenant that the landlord accepts screening reports and is prohibited from charging an application fee or other fee to a prospective tenant who provides a screening report.
A landlord is not required to accept a screening report or to provide the advisements required in the act if the landlord does not accept more than one application fee at a time for a dwelling unit or, if a dwelling unit is rented to more than one occupant, does not accept more than one application fee at a time for each prospective tenant or tenant group for the dwelling unit, and if the landlord refunds the total amount of the application fee to each prospective tenant within 20 calendar days after written communication from the prospective tenant or the landlord declining to enter into a lease.
If a prospective tenant submits a rental application that results in a landlord obtaining a consumer report relating to the prospective tenant, the landlord shall also provide a copy of the consumer report to the prospective tenant and advise the prospective tenant of the tenant's right to dispute the accuracy of the consumer report with the reporting agency.
A landlord that violates the provisions of the act is liable for $2,500, plus court costs and attorney fees, but if the landlord cures the violation within 7 calendar days after receiving notice of the violation, the landlord is to pay the prospective tenant a penalty of $50 and is otherwise not liable for damages. The act authorizes the attorney general to independently initiate and bring an action to enforce the "Rental Application Fairness Act".
APPROVED by Governor May 4, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)