The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

June 2, 2010

The Red Flags Rule

As of June 1, 2010, mobilehome park owners, landlords and property management companies who use consumer reports in their daily operations (i.e. to screen applicants), are required to create and implement reasonable policies and procedures to identify and assist in combating Identity Theft. The policy must include reasonable steps to be taken if the user of a consumer report receives a Notice of Address Discrepancy (“Notice”) from a consumer reporting agency. This Notice alerts the user that there is an inconsistency between the information obtained from the consumer/applicant and the information on the credit report.

This new law, called the “Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003” does not specifically state the steps the community’s policy must include, but some examples of recommended policies are 1. to ask the consumer to explain the inconsistency in the report or to produce further documentation to verify if the information is consistent with the credit report information and 2. compare documents such as notices of change of address or other third-party sources.  It is highly recommended that the community’s policy be in writing and include a requirement that all Notices received and all steps taken in compliance with the policy be documented. Make sure the community’s employees/managers understand and are familiar with the policy.

* If you would like assistance in creating your policy, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

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