Just ran across this while checking up on the competition on Craigslist:
We obviously run all our applicants’ credit checks ourselves, so we’re not particularly vulnerable to this kind of behavior. But many landlords will take a credit check form provided by the tenant and that’s definitely unwise, given the above.
With rent control and the sorry state of the LA eviction courts, letting some psycho into your unit can be an incredibly costly mistake. You’re looking at some combination of 2-3 months of unpaid rent, a few thousand dollars in legal expenses, potential damage to the unit, and, most importantly, a lot of your precious time.
For what it’s worth, credit check companies ought to provide a service where the credit is checked once (or periodically) and then the person whose credit is being checked should have the right to designate landlords to see the report, possibly at a low, per-viewing price. That way, the tenant is spared the negative effect (and cost) of a ton of credit checks, while the landlord can be confident that the report is legitimate.