People often lie, especially when they want to get into a new rental and cannot qualify. As such, it is vitally important that you verify everything that the tenant writes on their application. As discussed earlier, your application should include a “release of information” signature from your prospective tenant to allow you to properly check up on their claims.
Begin with their job. The application should include the name and phone number of their current employer, so call and speak with the manager, owner, or human resource manager. Many times you will be required to fax over the release of information signature. The important questions to ask are:
- How much do they currently make?
- How long have they worked there?
- Is this job considered temporary?
Next, call their previous landlords. Don’t simply call their current landlord – because many landlords will lie or embellish the truth in an effort to get rid of bad tenants. Instead, call all the previous landlords for at least the previous five years. Be sure to check their background check and credit check to see if any other addresses appear that might indicate they conveniently “forgot” to include a landlord that they rented from. When talking with previous Landlords, you might want to consider asking the following questions:
- How long did the tenant rent from you?
- What was their monthly rent?
- Did the tenant give proper notice when vacating?
- Did the tenant receive back their security deposit?
- Would you rent to this tenant again?