The reporting of rent history could actually help many people who have a very limited credit history. One group in particular - students - often have little or no history. What they often do have is several years history of timely payment of rent. This could help tremendously when these consumers emerge from school and start applying for credit.
Of course, not all landlords will report, so the actual impact of the rule change could be highly variable. Many small landlords in communities like Andersonville will likely not be reporting to the bureaus. Rather, it will be the large apartment complexes and high rises like those downtown in the loop, in Lakeview and in Lincoln Park. It will be interesting to see how this impacts consumer behavior.