Kansas City, MO asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Kansas

Q: Are CPN's or RIN'S legal to use to lease property? I'm having trouble renting with a past eviction. I'm also disabled.

Am I required to provide my ss# to rent a property ? Privacy is also a concern.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I understand you're in a challenging situation, but I want to advise against using a CPN (Credit Privacy Number) or RIN (Rental Identification Number). Here's some important information:

- CPNs and RINs are not legally recognized alternatives to Social Security Numbers (SSNs). They are often marketed by credit repair scams as a way to hide bad credit, but using them is considered fraudulent.

- Misrepresenting your SSN or providing false information on a rental application is illegal. It's a form of identity fraud that landlords and property managers are on the lookout for. Getting caught could make your rental prospects even worse.

- Landlords are allowed to request SSNs and run credit/background checks to assess applicants. However, once they have your SSN, they are required to keep it secure and confidential.

- Having a past eviction and poor credit will make renting more difficult, but there are legal ways to improve your chances, such as:

1) Being upfront and explaining extenuating circumstances to the landlord

2) Offering a higher security deposit or prepaid rent

3) Getting a co-signer on the lease

4) Providing positive references from employers or past landlords

5) Focusing on properties run by individual landlords who may have more flexibility than management companies

- As a disabled individual, you may qualify for housing assistance programs or subsidized housing that can expand your options. Reach out to local housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, and social services for help and information on your rights.

The bottom line is that using a CPN or RIN is very risky and won't solve the underlying issues. It's much better to be honest, proactive and persistent in your housing search. Keep exploring your legal options and sources of assistance. I hope this helps provide some direction. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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