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Reporting Non-Payment of Rent to Credit Bureaus

As a property owner or manager, there is little more frustrating than a tenant who does not pay their rent. The situation is costly, time-consuming, and aggravating. There are a few ways for a landlord or property manager to get a tenant's poor payment behavior to show up on the tenant's credit report and alert future would-be landlords.

Collection Agency

One effective way is to turn the tenant's debt over to a collection agency. Although chances are small you will recover the owed rent payment(s), the collection account will show up on the tenant's credit report and have a significant negative effect on the tenant's credit score. When selecting a collection agency, make sure that they report to the credit repositories (Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian).

File an Eviction

Another option, which can be done with the first option, is to file an eviction with your county courthouse. The eviction will often show up on the tenant's credit report under Public Records as a judgment which has a very negative effect on the credit score.
It's important to review the tenant laws for your state though before proceeding with an eviction.

Sue for Non-Payment

The final option, which can be frustrating and costly but effective, is to sue the tenant for non-payment, getting a judgment, which becomes public record and may eventually be picked up by credit bureaus. This will then show up on the tenant's credit report under Public Records as a judgment or a lien which has a very negative effect on the credit score.