Frequently Asked Questions about SmartMove

We’re committed to helping you make smarter business decisions. Get answers to many frequently asked SmartMove questions below. And if your question isn’t answered here, please contact one of our customer service representatives.


SmartMove is an online screening service for independent landlords and their rental applicants. It was designed to help smaller landlords make educated leasing decisions by giving them access to the same tools for renter screenings that larger property management companies use.

SmartMove is used when someone is interested in applying to rent a property. In order to begin the process, the potential renter MUST provide an email address to the landlord. Once the email address has been provided, the process generally goes as follows:

  • Landlord initiates a renter screening request using the email address provided by the applicant. (If the landlord is new to SmartMove, he or she must create an account and add at least one property.)
  • Renter is sent the application request via email and chooses to accept or decline the screening. (If the applicant is new to SmartMove, he or she must create an account in order to accept or decline the request.)
  • By accepting the request, the applicant initiates the release of his or her credit and criminal record information to the landlord through SmartMove. By declining, he or she cancels the rental application. Either way, most personal identifying information such as a Social Security number is not released
  • If the applicant accepts the request, the landlord receives credit and criminal history information and a SmartMove leasing recommendation to assist them in making a decision on whether to accept or decline the applicant.
  • Renter is notified of the landlord’s decision

Both the landlord and the renter will log into SmartMove throughout the screening process mentioned above. As a consumer-initiated service, SmartMove requires both members to play an active role in confirming the validity of the application process. This ensures the service remains secure.

Unlike other renter screening services, the consumer is the one who actually initiates the release of his or her credit and criminal data with SmartMove. This arrangement benefits both landlords and consumers. For landlords, it reduces the paperwork and long approval process required to initiate a credit inquiry on a consumer. For consumers, initiating the release of their own data results in a “soft inquiry,” which does not impact their credit score.

To keep the process secure, SmartMove is an online service. Landlords and renters will need to have:

  • Access to the Internet
  • Individual email addresses

If either party does not have access to the Internet, they may wish to consult a local library or management office. If either party does not have an email address, they will first need to establish one, which can be accomplished by using one of many free online email services. If there is more than one renter on an application, each renter must have a separate email address. Each renter will then log in separately to confirm or decline the authorized release of their individual data to the landlord.

SmartMove provides instant results after the renter has confirmed their application and passed identity authentication online. The only delays are due to either party not completing one or more steps throughout the process.

SmartMove is online whereas larger property management firms have custom-built solutions that they host and maintain. By tapping into the powerful rental screening capabilities of TransUnion CreditRetriever, the expert screening service for larger management firms, you access the same credit data and decisioning tools, but it’s online so you don’t have the cost of hosting and upkeep.

Yes. SmartMove combines the powerful data and analytics of TransUnion to provide you with a quick and reliable tenant screening service. You get all the information you need to make more informed screening decisions in less time. And SmartMove enables you to screen effectively without compromising the privacy or security of the applicant’s personal identifying information.

Only those landlords to whom the renter grants permission will have access to the renter’s credit and criminal record information.

The advantages SmartMove offers make it a valuable tenant screening service for independent owners and smaller management groups that may not need daily, weekly, or even monthly access to their screening solution. SmartMove offers cost-effective, web-based access to the same data and analytics used by the largest property management firms resulting in quick and reliable leasing recommendations.

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

You may call or email SmartMove if you have additional questions.

Phone: 866-775-0961

Landlord FAQ

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 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 renter 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 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.

Renter FAQs

Landlords often request to view the credit history and criminal record history of an applicant to determine if there is a financial or safety risk before completing a lease agreement with a new renter. SmartMove allows landlords to request permission from the renter for such an apartment credit check. The renter will have the option to confirm or decline the request to proceed with the screening process.

No. This is one of the things that makes SmartMove such a valuable tenant screening service. Since the rental applicant initiates the release of his or her own data, the resulting inquiry is considered a “soft inquiry,” which does not impact his or her credit score. On the other hand, when a landlord initiates a credit check on a rental applicant, it results in a “hard inquiry” on the applicant’s credit report which can negatively impact his or her overall score depending on other variables. (This is similar to the process involved when a consumer applies for a loan or a credit card.)

SmartMove uses the email address entered by the landlord to send the rental applicant an email request. If the renter does not receive the email, either the landlord did not enter the email address correctly or the renter’s email service may be blocking the email. Please check Spam folders or Junk Email folders to make sure that the email has not been filtered out. Note that the sender will appear as SiteAdmin. To ensure future emails continue to reach the Inbox, please add the email address to an address book or safe sender list. If that doesn’t fix the problem, either request that the landlord correct the email address he or she entered or go directly to and click on any of the “Create an Account” buttons if an account has not already been created. A renter account will need to be created using the email address to which the landlord sent the request. For renters who are unsure what address the landlord used, we recommend contacting him or her for confirmation. Once the renter creates an account, there will be an option to complete the process.

If the renter receives a request to be screened by a landlord and does not wish to proceed, there will be an option in SmartMove to either Confirm (proceed) or Decline (cancel) the screening process. No parties are charged if the application is cancelled by either party prior to the screening taking place.

At this time, SmartMove only has the ability to process an application for renters who have a valid U.S. Social Security number. Please contact the landlord to discuss how he or she wishes to proceed with the application process.

All renters who create SmartMove accounts are asked to verify their identity online to ensure the process is secure. This helps prevent fraudulent access to consumer data.

When a renter sets up a SmartMove account, he or she is required to answer a series of personal questions to authenticate identity before TransUnion can release the credit report and criminal record data to a landlord. If any difficulty transpires with this process, contact SmartMove for further assistance. We suggest renters obtaining a copy of their TransUnion credit report to verify all information before attempting any further authentication. A renter may obtain a copy at or by calling TransUnion at 800-916-8800.

Other services may have a renter provide personal identifying information, like a Social Security number or account numbers, directly on a landlord’s application. This means the renter can’t control who has access to that information once provided. With SmartMove, however, the renter provides his or her information directly to TransUnion in a secure, online environment. It stays between the renter and TransUnion—a trusted credit reporting company that already maintains safe files for nearly 500 million people worldwide.

Only those landlords to whom the renter grants permission will have access to the renter’s credit and criminal record information.

SmartMove provides landlords with a leasing recommendation based on factors related to a potential tenant’s ability to fulfill lease obligations. In addition, SmartMove offers landlords the option to view a renter’s credit and criminal background data. However, none of these services affect the renter’s credit score and they do not include personal identifying information such as their Social Security number or account numbers.

After the renter provides approval for screening, the landlord only has access to their credit and criminal record information for 60 days.

No. SmartMove is only for tenant credit and background searches. This means that only a landlord can have access to reports, and only with the renter’s permission.

Yes, SmartMove will disclose the contents of a criminal and/or credit report retained by SmartMove to an individual who requests a copy of their report. To verify your identity and obtain a copy of your report(s) or dispute any information within that report, please contact customer service at 866-775-0961.

Pricing & Payment FAQs

Cost is only incurred when you use SmartMove for your online tenant screening needs. There are no monthly service charges, set-up fees, or other hidden costs. Simply create an account and use SmartMove only as often as you need to.

When a landlord begins a new application request, he or she chooses whether to pay for the service or whether he or she will request the renter to pay for the application. Based on who is chosen, credit card entry information will be displayed to that party at the time of the transaction.

No matter who is selected to pay for the transaction, the charge is incurred after the renter has completed the application request, entered their information and successfully passed their identity authentication online.

A charge is an electronic transaction whereby an amount of money is transferred from the purchaser’s account as part of an online process.

With an authorization, the funds remain in the purchaser’s account (they are only kept aside temporarily while the validity of the credit card and availability of funds are verified), whereas with a charge the funds are transferred out of the account as part of the purchase.

Some credit cards operate under the dual debit-credit system (that is, the same card can function as a debit card or credit card), which is why it is possible that an authorization may appear in the purchaser’s online bank account summary, despite the fact that the amount hasn’t been debited. SmartMove representatives do not have the ability to remove authorizations. The purchaser will need to wait until the bank removes them, which can take up to 7 business days.

SmartMove will issue the credit within 24 hours. The purchaser’s bank may take up to seven business days to reflect the refund in the online summary of the credit card.

While it may appear that the credit card has been charged twice for a report request, the pending item the purchase may notice on a bank statement is actually an authorization. Authorizations are the initial communication between SmartMove’s billing system and the bank’s billing system. While the purchaser may see multiple pending listings in the account, only one charge will be deducted after the authorization is completed. When this final deduction occurs, the charge will be posted to the account as successful. SmartMove will not bill an account until we receive an approved authorization from the bank. Authorizations are processed each time a potential renter successfully passes authentication. When a purchaser checks his or her bank account, payment authorizations will often be listed as pending. These authorizations can remain on in the purchaser’s account anywhere from 7 to 10 days, depending on the bank. The purchaser may contact his or her bank to confirm the charge for the report request with SmartMove or to check on the authorization status.

In most cases, an email is sent to the party paying (landlord or renter) the night of the transaction. Unfortunately, at this time, SmartMove does not issue formal receipts on the website or have the ability to generate a duplicate email receipt. Purchasers have the option to print the Payment Confirmation screen after entering credit card information to serve as a receipt if necessary.