According to a recent survey conducted by TransUnion, 43 percent of landlords surveyed said they perform credit checks as part of the leasing process and 48 percent of landlords surveyed said the results of a credit check are among the top three factors used when deciding whether or not to accept a tenant's lease application. Additionally, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of renters surveyed said they will not purchase property in the next four years.*
As a tenant, it is important that you keep watch over your credit history. Get a copy of your credit report regularly, dispute any inaccurate information such as incorrect mailing addresses, misspelled names, inaccurate account information, etc, identify problem areas and set a payment plan. If there are unpaid bills that you feel require an explanation, consider adding a consumer statement.
As a landlord, visit Verify Tenant to check for a tenant's criminal history, eviction records, verify their employment and past rental history.
* extracted from http://newsroom.transunion.com/press-releases/transunion-reveals-almost-half-of-landlords-consid-1114781#.VCjz7fldXpU