Landlord FAQs

Find answers to landlords’ most frequently—asked questions below.

Three factors separate SmartMove from anything else you might find out there.

  • There is no lengthy enrollment process—landlords simply create an account and begin using SmartMove immediately.
  • SmartMove enables the rental applicant to initiate the screening process by giving his or her consent in a secure, online environment. This makes it so the landlord doesn't have to go through onsite inspections in order to screen a potential tenant.
  • Because the rental applicant initiates the screening, it posts to his or her credit file as a "soft inquiry" which does not affect his or her credit score.

SmartMove is a consumer-initiated service, meaning the consumer (renter) plays in deciding when and to whom to release his or her credit report. The process is conducted online, keeping this information secure. Other services that do not actively involve the renter require more of the landlord.

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 verify employment and/or rental history for potential renters. Please contact your local apartment association for more information on verifying employment and/or rental history.

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 renter has not completed the confirmation and authentication steps, the landlord can proceed to step 3 — Make Decision — and Decline the application to cancel the request. The landlord may wish to add comments indicating to the renter 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 renter has already completed the confirmation and authentication steps, the landlord 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 renter indicating a decision has been made. The renter can then log into his or her account to view the decision and the landlord’s comments.

If the rental applicant 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 renter does not already have a SmartMove account). The renter must create an account using the email address that the landlord sends the request to. Once the renter sets up an account, he or she will see an option on the homepage to complete the authentication process.

If the landlord has entered the incorrect email address for the rental applicant, he or she can add that renter again with the correct email address and then delete the incorrect renter profile. To accomplish this, first the landlord 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 landlord 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 renter 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 FAQ

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.

No, Income Insights cannot be used by itself to deny an applicant and is not adverse actionable. It can only be used to determine whether to request additional proof of income from an applicant.

Income Insights is available as part of our SmartCheck Premium package for $40, and also comes with a credit report, criminal report, eviction report, ResidentScore, and leasing recommendation. Income Insights cannot be purchased as a stand-alone report.

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.