A landlord may require payment of an applicant screening charge solely to cover the costs of obtaining information about an applicant as the landlord processes the application for a rental agreement. (ORS 90.295) This activity is known as screening, and includes but is not limited to checking reference and obtaining a consumer credit report or tenant screening report. The landlord must provide the applicant with a receipt for any applicant screening charge.
The amount of any applicant screening charge shall not be greater than the landlord's average actual cost of screening applicants. Actual cost may include the cost of using a tenant screening company or a consumer credit reporting agency, and may include the reasonable value of any time spent by the landlord or the landlord's agents in otherwise obtaining information on applicants. In any case, the applicant screening charge may not be greater than the customary amount charged by tenant screening companies or consumer credit reporting agencies for comparable level of screening.
A landlord may not require payment of an applicant screening charge unless prior to the accepting the payment the landlord:
- Adopts written screening or admission criteria
- Gives written notice to the applicant of:
- the amount of the screening charge
- the screening or admission criteria
- the process that the landlord typically will follow
- the applicant's rights to dispute the accuracy of any information provided.