Current CDC Guidance on Common Questions About Ebola

17 Oct
2014
Note that this is the latest information from health officials as of 5:00 P.M. EDT, October 16th, 2014

cdc logo

  1. If someone in an apartment building is diagnosed with Ebola, will other residents become infected as well? What are the real risks?
  2. Continue reading

Using Information from Data Brokers? Beware the FCRA and the FTC …

9 Oct
2014

By Elizabeth M. Bohn

Reprinted with permission from Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.

iStock_000016048301_LargeAs sellers and Internet service providers gather increasing amounts of consumer information, the data broker industry has expanded. Identifying themselves as “market research” firms, data brokers buy, analyze, sort, aggregate, and resell public and non-public information and analytics about consumers to companies that use the data to target their marketing efforts. Continue reading

Selecting a Reliable Commercial Vendor – Doing Your Due Diligence

2 Oct
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry
 
Experian-Business-IQ-VideoWhen selecting a commercial vendor, it is important to feel confident that you are entering into a contract with a trustworthy company.  As the nation’s leading provider of data solutions to the multifamily housing industry, CIC is committed to helping clients vet companies before entering into business agreements.

Evaluating business credit data is an essential part of the vendor selection process. This allows you to analyze any financial risks before entering into a contractual agreement and hiring outside services. Conducting research before agreeing to work with a new vendor can save you a lot of heartache and money in the back-end, by avoiding contractor fraud, poor workmanship, or a vendor on the brink of bankruptcy. Continue reading

Promote Vacancies Using Unique URLs

29 Sep
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry

advertise rental vacancies with a unique linkApplyConnect, a revolutionary alternative to traditional tenant screening for landlords and real estate agents announced a product enhancement this week, providing landlords and real estate agents with a unique web link for use in advertisements. The link can be utilized by multiple renters and no longer requires landlords and real estate agents to create an invitation for each applicant. Continue reading

Three Tech Security Components to Protect Your CIC Credentials

17 Sep
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry

tips to protect against identity theft

The Home Depot® confirmed September 8, that a breach occurred with its payment data systems. This is merely the latest example of data breaches that have made national news headlines. As the nation’s premier provider of property management data solutions, CIC encourages clients to take proactive measures to protect devices and their CIC credentials. Continue reading

Credit for Renting

19 Aug

The Impact of Positive Rent Reporting on Subsidized Housing Residents

By:  Experian®  RentBureau®

apartment-housingFor many Americans, financial exclusion is a reality. These Americans, many of whom consistently meet their financial obligations as agreed, operate primarily on a cash basis and are exempt from mainstream financial services products due to limited or no credit history. Therefore, these individuals are dependent on high-cost, short-term credit, and they pay a premium for access to basic services such as utilities and telecommunications. Continue reading

Rental Payment History Reporting: In an Increasingly Competitive Market, Giving Property Managers and Millennials an Edge

15 Aug
2014
Written by: Ryan Green

CIC_logo_200x100The fourth annual national credit score knowledge survey, released May 12, 2014 by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, LLC, determined that millennials age 18-34 are far less educated about credit scores than other adults. With this generation trading home ownership for freedom of renting, their lack of knowledge of credit scores could prove to be somewhat risky for property managers. Continue reading

365 Connect Brings the Power of Decision to its Online Leasing Platform with CIC Resident Screening Integration

6 Aug
2014
Written by: Kerry Kirby

365 ConnectThe integration of 365 Connect’s Leasing Platform with CIC brings together best-of-breed technology solutions to simplify the process for property managers to lease vacant apartment units. The integration eliminates data entry redundancies to help qualified applicants move into their new homes faster. The solution allows prospective residents to apply online, pay application fees and send data directly to CIC for immediate decisions. It eliminates the burden and expense of traditional paperwork flow by automating the application process into a completely paperless environment. Continue reading

CIC Offers Clients Experian RentBureau® Rental History Reports At No Cost with All Experian Credit Reports

18 Jul
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

CIC tenant screeningCIC, the nation’s most trusted supplier of information solutions for the multifamily housing industry, provides Experian RentBureau® data at no additional cost to clients receiving Experian® credit reports. Providing property managers with the most comprehensive reports, CIC helps mitigate undesirable rental risks. Continue reading

CIC Now Offers Fraud-Defender to Clients’ Applicants: Increases Property Management Companies’ Revenue Stream

27 Jun
2014

CIC, the nation’s premier tenant screening provider, is pleased to announce that clients may now include Fraud-Defender’s industry-leading identity fraud research, remediation and recovery systems in their application process. By partnering with Fraud-Defender, property managers will automatically provide each rental applicant numerous consumer protection benefits, while increasing their revenue stream from each rental application. Continue reading

CIC’s Industry-Leading Resident Screening Now Available Through ResMan® Residential Property Management Software

13 Jun
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

CIC_logo_200x100CIC, the nation’s leading provider of resident screening for multifamily housing, is pleased to announce this week, integration with ResMan®, a product by Ensoware, LLC offering clients a cloud-based residential management application. CIC’s integration partnership with ResMan ensures clients benefit from a software solution that promotes growth for management and suppliers, as well as gives property managers the ability to make informed decisions with industry-leading screening solutions. Continue reading

CIC’s Resident Screening Professionals to Lead Learning Zone Session at 2014 NAA Conference and Exposition on the ‘Five Legal Pitfalls to Avoid’

4 Jun
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

NAA-2014_bigAttendees at the 2014 National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference and Exposition are encouraged to stop by booth #1609 to find out more information about CIC’s best-in-class resident screening and integration partnerships. Industry involvement remains a top priority for CIC and among sales and marketing team members Caryn Bennett, CIC compliance manager will be on-hand, assisting at the National Credit Reporting Agency (NCRA)‘s exhibit, located at booth #457. Continue reading

CIC Partners with Identity Guard®, an Industry-Leading Identity Theft Protection & Recovery Service Company

2 Jun
2014

CIC, the nation’s most trusted tenant screening provider, now offers Identity Guard®, a leading identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. For nearly three decades, CIC has proudly led the tenant screening industry in data security and wants to offer their customers an opportunity to sign up for Identity Guard. Identity Guard offers added security measures to monitor credit activity and public records, help protect personally identifiable information (PII) and help identity theft victims recover.  Continue reading

ApplyConnect Simplifies Tenant Screening for Landlords & Agents, Launches a Multiple Invite Function

21 May
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

[1C] Postcard Adding Co-AppA recent product enhancement launched this week for ApplyConnect, a revolutionary tenant screening solution which delivers comprehensive reports at no cost to landlords and real estate agents. ApplyConnect now has a multiple invite function that further simplifies the screening process. Continue reading

ApplyConnect Delivers Comprehensive Tenant Screening to Association of Realtors and Offers a Revenue Share

12 May
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

Offical Applyconnect Logo

CIC, the nation’s premier tenant screening provider for the multifamily housing industry, announced today an opportunity for Associations of Realtors to earn a monthly revenue share from ApplyConnect tenant screening reports. This mutually beneficial marketing partnership makes it easy to earn a passive source of revenue for the association while providing a valuable service to its membership and protecting their clients’ rental properties. Continue reading

CIC Announces Participation at NAA Education Conference & Exposition

5 May
2014
Written by: Bill Bower

NAA-2014_bigCIC, the nation’s leading provider of resident screening solutions, is pleased to announce participation at this year’s National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference & Exposition, which will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, June 18-21. Continue reading

Exercise Caution with Internet Explorer and your Emails

28 Apr
2014
Written by: Chad Walters

Microsoft announced over the weekend a vulnerability in the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) application that affects all versions from IE 6 to IE 11. This is how it works: Hackers set up a website that installs malware when you visit it. If you’re duped into visiting the website while using the Internet Explorer program, malware seeps into your computer and gives a stranger total control. You might not even notice. Continue reading

CIC’s Online Systems Not Vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug

24 Apr
2014
Written by: NAPBS

heartbleedCIC’s online systems (Securecontinfo.com, RentProtect and ApplyConnect) are not, and were not, affected by Heartbleed.

For the Ready2Apply Online Rental Application System, we took immediate action to ensure our servers and network appliances were patched and not vulnerable.

The security of your data and your applicants’ personal information is our top priority. CIC is actively involved with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Their Data Breach Subcommittee released this helpful article: Continue reading

Legislation Affecting the Screening of Tenants

15 Apr
2014
Written by: Caryn Bennett

The consumer reporting industry, despite what critics, media and the general population may believe, is a highly regulated business. Although this article should not be perceived as legal advice and is certainly not a comprehensive list of new legislation, we will do our best to highlight bills, ordinances and mandates across the U.S. that have recently come to our attention. Continue reading

Receiving FCRA Certification

10 Apr
2014
Written by: Caryn Bennett

NCRA FCRA CertificationIf reading a study guide and passing a 30 question test could save you thousands of dollars in potential lawsuits and legal fees, you and your staff would all do it, right? Continue reading

Illinois HB 4778 Threatens Property Managers with Additional Restrictions

7 Apr
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Rep. Chris Welch, introduced Illinois House Bill 4778 back in February of 2014, in an attempt to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act, which would mean big changes for property managers and the tenant screening community. If the legislation passes, additional restrictions will be enforced on property managers throughout the state. Continue reading

Take Control of Your Tenant Screening Report

4 Apr
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Offical Applyconnect Logo

 

Feeling empowered is a wonderful thing, particularly when it comes to finding and moving into your new home. Thanks to technology and ingenuity of many people aiming to make the process less cumbersome, the modern-day apartment hunter has numerous resources at their disposal to empower their big move. Continue reading

NAA and NMHC Joint Legislative Program Outlines this year’s Regulatory Priorities at 2014 Conference

28 Mar
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Cap-Con

With the apartment industry’s $1.1 trillion contribution to the U.S. economy, which supports more than 25 million jobs – it’s important for the multifamily housing industry to stay in the know about ongoing legislative matters. To help industry experts stay in the know, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) held their annual conference March 9-12, where the regulatory priorities of 2014 were outlined. Continue reading

Ready2Apply Offers Property Managers a Customizable Solution to the Hassles of Rental Applications

13 Mar
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

CIC, the nation’s premiere tenant screening firm, is pleased to announce that Ready2Apply, a convenient online rental application and lease generation solution, has been updated to improve overall usability. With the new changes taking effect this week, Ready2Apply helps property managers quickly and efficiently process qualified tenants by eliminating data entry redundancies. Continue reading

Leveraging the Power of Technology Helps Property Managers Fill Vacancies Fast in Multifamily Communities

11 Mar
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

365 ConnectDeveloping a strong online presence is crucial for property managers looking to advertise vacancies, but it can be difficult to make sure that visibility is targeting the right renters and valuable opportunities aren’t being overlooked. Fortunately for property managers, there are valuable tools, which leverage technology to not only get your properties noticed, but they help expedite the rental process. Continue reading

Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know

10 Mar
This article originally appeared on http://www.ftc.com
By: Lesly Fair

When someone mentions the FTC, the EEOC, and the FCRA in the same sentence, it may sound like a ladle of alphabet soup.  What’s really being served up is a new joint publication by the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that talks about how the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks in personnel decisions. Continue reading

Washington Regulation Update – Keep up the pressure

5 Mar
2014
Originally Seen at www.NCRAinc.org

The two bills pending in Washington State legislature reported over the last couple weeks did not make it to the floor by the required timeline and time is running out for them, it is crucial to continue the pressure on the State legislature as some senators are pursuing options to overcome the opposition by our allies. Continue reading

Three Simple Ways to Drive Applicants to your Vacancies

27 Feb
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

Filling vacancies is a continuous struggle for property managers, and apartment hunting is no small task for renters. With so many properties and websites to sort through, renters are looking for a quick and easy way to move into their new home. Continue reading

A Position on Washington HB 2537 and SB 6291 “An Act Relating to Tenant Screening”

26 Feb
2014

Update: On Feb. 27th the bills did not make it out of the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing, and Insurance Committee. The bills are therefore (likely) dead.

The Problem:  There have been reports of some consumers who have experienced delays in obtaining rental housing due to the costs associated with consumer reports obtained by property managers and landlords to qualify the consumer’s tenancy. The state of Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA), which regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants, acknowledges that screening reports are an important part of this relationship.  Further, the Washington State Legislature has “…found and declares comprehensive tenant screening reports are a necessary and fair solution for both applicants and landlords”[1]. Despite the importance of these documents to all parties, legislation now pending in the Washington state legislature (H.B. 2537)) would both lower accuracy and increase the potential for fraud in these documents, exposing both landlords and the prospective tenants to incorrect housing decisions.      Continue reading

CIC Celebrates 28th Anniversary as Nation’s Fastest Growing Tenant Screening Firm

20 Feb
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

28th AnniversaryCIC, a nationwide leader in tenant screening for the multifamily housing industry and wholesale data market announced today that February 16, 2014 marked 28 years of industry excellence, delivering innovative solutions to protect its clients’ properties and investments. Continue reading

Lock, Stock, and Peril

18 Feb
2014
This article originally appeared on www.ftc.com
By Lesley Fair
February 18, 2014 – 2:05pm

In old movies, ransom notes came in the form of pasted letters cut from newspapers.  There’s a new kind of ransom that could pose a substantial risk to your business.  Have you alerted your staff about how to protect one of your company’s most valuable assets? Continue reading

Five Tips from the FTC on Protecting Personal Information and Preventing a Data Breach

13 Feb
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

As Americans go throughout their day, filling up gas tanks, shopping online and visiting the grocery store, a  trail of information is left behind – names, dates of birth, credit card numbers, addresses, online login names and passwords. Continue reading

CIC’s ApplyConnect Offers Revenue Share for Real Estate & Apartment Associations

31 Jan
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

As a nationwide leader in tenant screening since 1986, CIC strives to deliver the most comprehensive tenant screening reports to not only large property management companies, but also to real estate and apartment associations through ApplyConnect marketing partnerships. Continue reading

ApplyConnect makes Tenant Screening Quick and Easy

28 Jan
2014
Offical Applyconnect LogoWritten By: Laura Mowry

CIC, a nationwide leader in tenant screening for the multifamily housing industry, recently partnered with Experian® to launch ApplyConnect, a free tenant screening solution for real estate agents. ApplyConnect builds on a process created by Experian whereby credit reports can be requested and viewed on an individual basis and combines it with CIC’s industry leading tenant screening products. Continue reading

CIC Founder Discusses Tenant Screening in Free MultifamilyBiz.com Webcast Conference

27 Jan
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

Learn fromCIC_logo_200x100 special guest and industry leader, Bill Bower, CIC founder and Chairman of the Board, as he teams up with property management expert Ernest F. Oriente of PowerHour® and multifamily technology innovator Kerry W. Kirby, CEO of 365 Connect and MultifamilyBiz.com, for a free 60-minute recorded webcast. Continue reading

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

13 Jan
2014

January-13-17-2014-National-Tax-Identity-Theft-Awareness-Week-403511-2.png 1385456892Did You Know It’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week?

Ready for tax season? If you haven’t heard about tax identity theft, you may not be. Continue reading

New California Laws to Impact Multifamily Housing

6 Jan
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

CIC, a leading tenant screening provider to the multifamily housing industry, wants to keep you informed of California legislative changes that take effect in 2014 and 2015. Continue reading

2014 Brings Change to Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law

23 Dec
2013
Written By: Laura Mowry

CIC_logo_200x100

CIC prepares for changes in tenant screening, keeps clients compliant.

 Oregon landlord-tenant laws are changing in 2014. Continue reading

Real Estate Agents and Individual Rental Owners Need Tenant Screening Too

5 Nov
2013

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By: Ryan Green

In the United States more than half of the country’s non-buying population is made up of real estate rentals.  Some owners choose to hire a property management company to take care of the complete rental process, but oftentimes real estate agents and individual landlords are the ones tasked with filling vacancies.  No matter who is renting a property the fact remains that applicants have rights that are protected by law.  The same criteria must be used for all applicants so no arguments can be made alleging discrimination took place.  Important questions still need to be answered though about whether the applicant will pay their bills on time, or if they have a past that would make them a risk to the property.

Continue reading

How Digital Applications Drive Business Part 1

1 Aug
2013

By: Ryan Green

Anyone who has been to a multifamily educational conference in the last few years will have noticed a common session.  Such classes go under different titles, varying in focuses on social media, viral campaigns, or even the latest and greatest apps to be familiar with, however, all promote the necessity technology is if managers wish to be successful with the renter nation of today.  The demographic of tech savvy applicants is expanding exponentially by the year, forcing a shift in what works when trying keep occupancy rates high.  This is why successful property managers are utilizing online technology to simplify the approval process. They have found the benefits in:

Continue reading

Finding the Best Renters: By the Number

1 Jul
2013

By: Ryan Green

A recent study of Experian RentBureau data found that more than 50,000 renters who initiated their leases over a six year period ended their leases owing money. Continue reading

CA Fee Increase on Public Records

21 May
2013

By: Bill Bower

Governor Brown’s 2013-2014 budget could prove catastrophic to California’s property management companies, real estate agents, landlords and employers if passed as currently proposed. The budget includes a “per case” search fee for criminal and civil court records which will create an undue burden on California businesses and increase the threat to public safety in the rental housing community. Continue reading

Federal Trade Commission Highlights

8 May
2013

By: Caryn Bennett

This week, the FTC published their annual “highlights”. These highlights showcase what the FTC has been doing for the past year to protect American consumers.  Here is some of what constitutes a government regulatory agency’s “highlight”: Continue reading

FTC Warns of False Charities During Disasters

22 Apr
2013

 

By: Caryn Bennett

Recent tragedies, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas power plant explosion, bring out the best in Americans. People want to help, unfortunately, these sort of devastating incidents tend to bring out malicious opportunists as well.

Continue reading

Streamlining your Screening in 2013

6 Mar
2013

In this advancing technological age, developers across the country are innovating greater, faster methods of providing information.  For the property management industry this translates into the creation of a vast network of information on potential applicants, equipped with the delivery of increasing speeds and accuracy.  However, the difficulty with this specific type of data is that it largely includes regulated content that is scrutinized by governing entities (to ensure the protection of the consumer’s identities and rights). Continue reading

Guns: Residents Rights or Managers Rights?

21 Feb
2013

By: Caryn Bennett

The second amendment is stated in the Bill of Rights as: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. However, in the wake of recent, horrific events like the Cinemark shooting in Colorado and the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, the 2nd Amendment has been debated as either necessary or outdated.  With more than 6 million people in the United States estimated to have “right to carry” permits, this issue is on the minds of the entire nation. Continue reading

HUDs New Ruling on Fair Housing Standards

11 Feb
2013

Since 1968, the Fair Housing Act has both protected the rights of individuals seeking a home and simultaneously given landlords and property managers a code of ethics with which to conduct business.  This policy has been modified to cite specific groups of people who should not be discriminated against, as well as provide guidance as to what may constitute taking improper adverse action against an applicant for reasons beyond your requirements to gain housing.  Now taking a new step in this guidance, HUD is formalizing rules that follow a national standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing law based on an unjustified discriminatory effect. Continue reading

Irregular Activity on my Bank Account

5 Feb
2013

By: Caryn Bennett

This past weekend I received an email from my bank stating that I had “irregular activity” on my debit card and that I should contact the fraud prevention team at my bank. Immediately, those little bubbles of stress started forming in my belly. As it is toward the end of the month and bills are due on the first, the few worries that circled my head were: how much did they get? Will this affect my credit? Today is Sunday so the bank is closed. I have little gas in my tank and usually don’t carry much cash. Ultimately it soured my whole day. Continue reading

How the Superbowl Can Prepare Property Managers

23 Jan
2013

It’s that time of year again where even the most uninterested individuals will tune in for the yelling, junk food, hilarious commercials, and all around epic events that surround the Superbowl.  What makes this game feel so much bigger than other national sports titles is that it all comes down to a singular game – one afternoon spanning the course of a couple of hours to show whether or not someone will be going home for the day with the big “W”. Continue reading

Preparing For the Inevitable with Your Property

15 Jan
2013

Within the wake of numerous natural disasters over the last decade, it has become sadly obvious that a large majority of the world is not only unprepared for the worst, but remains unconcerned at the possibility of being struck by a natural disaster. Granted its understandable most forget when natural disasters hit at random, however, as a major communal threat, it is imperative that your properties have a backup plan available. In aiming for the safety of your residents, staff, and assets, here are a few key points to consider when preparing your emergency plan: Continue reading

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