If you have the future goal of home ownership (short term or long term) then this is one account that can definitely cause you some issues for several reasons.
FIRST thing is to understand is other than your credit score which may qualify you what is IN your report will affect the amount of money they want you for security deposits and other things (ex: utility deposits).
Each underwriting criteria for different industries will always pay more attention to delinquencies in their own industry, so while for example a 640 credit score may allow you to buy a car if there is repossession in that credit report then instead of perhaps an 8% interest rate it is now 10%.
But let’s get back on track here. When you move into an apartment complex there are many things the leasing agent tells you. While it is VERY possible they don’t tell you everything they are supposed to tell you the odds are they did and you just do not remember the full conversation.
Here are some of the highpoints of what they must tell you and you NEED to PAY ATTENTION TO:
- Notify you that you MUST give WRITTEN 30 or 60 day notice if you are leaving. (get a copy to keep for proof!)
- Provide you a MOVE –IN check list to go over any damage already in the apartment so you are not charged for it on your move out.
- Explain to you how you can break your lease by paying what is typically called a “re-letting fee” and how that works.
- How to schedule a “walk through” upon leaving the apartment with the manager and be provided a letter on site of the walk thorough with the MOVE-OUT check list.
The first two and the last one are in my opinion the ABSOLUTE most important as this is what will sneak up on you and kill your credit score and your credit report.
What you need to know mostly about all of the above as well as in general, in life and in relation to your credit report and credit score. This of course controls your financial life in majority of people is PROVE IT. If you don’t have any WRITTEN PROOF then YOU LOSE!
That is what you will be told; in credit you are guilty until you prove your innocence within the 7 year time frame of most items allowed to report on your credit report.
SOME STATEMENTS THEY WILL SAY TO YOU (bill collectors):
“Did you pay that last utility or cable bill when you left the service”? We have no record of you paying so if you don’t have a receipt then tough luck, you need to pay it or it will haunt you on your credit.
“Oh you say you returned those cable boxes to the company, they do not show that as true so unless you have a copy of the shipping tracking label you owe the money”.
“Oh, you say when you left the apartment you gave your 60 days written notice per your lease agreement? Our records show you didn’t so if you did just provide us the letter you sent the apartment complex along with the managers signature we will correct it. OH you don’t have that? Well then you owe the money and we will mark it on your credit report”.
“The apartment’s report that you left your apartment in disarray with several holes in wall as well as garbage. Oh you say that information is not correct? Well do you have your move out checklist with the manager signature and any pictures? Oh you don’t then according to terms of lease you signed you owe this money”.
These are just a few things that will most likely come back to haunt you unless you abide by the terms of the lease you signed and KEEP YOUR PROOF! Save it in a box and when you need it you can always look through the box.
If you don’t they will ALWAYS get you and if you want to move into another apartment then think about it, why would they let you into their apartment when history shows you don’t pay the previous places you have lived in?
You may be required to give a double security deposit in order for them to take a risk on you IF they want to.
Many times they will sue you for loss of rent and as legally unless you notify them of your new location and you can DOCUMENT and PROVE they know your current address then they will send notices to “LAST KNOWN ADDRESS” which of course you will never get as if you were smart enough to forward your mail with the post office you have to hope these dim wits do their job which is unlikely since LITTERALLY as we speak I took a call and a client who mailed me 3 letters I received last week got one important document back and they post office said the address does not exist? (INSERT confused look).
If you get sued? WELL then if you EVER want to purchase a home then you will have to pay it REGARDLESS of how unfair it is as NO BANK will loan you money for a home with a judgment, even if that judgment is $100.00
NOTE: many bank lenders look unfavorably on consumers who have a judgment on their credit.
I hope this is an eye opener for my readers and hope that this helps limit the damage to their credit from this apartment scam as I did not mention it before but I have interviewed several apartment complex managers over the years and they said corporate tells them to try to keep as much of the security deposit as they can.
One of my former employees told me when she was moving out that only the regional manager can schedule the walk thorough when moving out as the manager cannot do it and she said, you mean the guy behind that door that won’t come out to speak to me? ( true story )
NOTE: He refused to come out so we had to threaten a lawsuit while recording everything for a judge to view.
I hope this helps you, we live in a world with systems in place and with those systems ALWAYS hurt the little guy. So if you don’t keep track of things then you are the one who is going to get hurt.
Need to get your credit fixed or need just a few more points to qualify for what your goals are? I have been doing this for over 11 years now and have reviewed over 16,000 credit reports.
As long as you’re willing to hear the truth about the condition of where your credit file is today and the potential of where it can be then I believe it is worth your time to send me your credit report to review and go over with you the one thing I can promise is I will tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear.
Talk with you all soon!