Tenant Screening – Lies About Employment & Salary! (Part 3 of 5)

October 24, 2009

Landlord Tenant Relations

Tenant ScreeningTenant screening can be very time consuming if you do a thorough job of it, but it’s well worth your time if it prevents you from having to evict your renters in the future.   Don’t misunderstand me – most applicants I’ve encountered are great and honorable people, but sometimes you come across a bad apple that will end up costing you thousands and thousands of dollars.  If you want to learn how to avoid these “bad apples”, tune in for the 5-part daily series about tenant screening.

Once all of the information listed in Tenant Screening – Don’t Let Them Lie To You! (Part 1 of 5) is collected, here’s how I proceed with verifying it:

Tenant Screening – Confirm Employment:

I usually require that copies of the last two paychecks be submitted to me for several reasons:  (1) To ensure that the prospective tenants earn sufficient income to afford the rents; (2) So I can be assured that the wages are garnishable if the renters default; and (3) To be able to verify their employment prior to approving the application.

I never call the employer’s phone number listed on the application, but rather do my own research. I have run into cases where the prospective tenants put their relatives’ name and phone number on the application, and warned them to be expecting an employment verification call.  Instead of using the info on the application, I use the following process to verify tenant’s employment status:

  • Note the name of the employer, as listed on the paycheck stubs
  • Google the employer, or call 411 and get the employer’s phone number
  • Call the number you obtained and ask for the HR department, then verify employment of the prospective tenant. HR usually will not disclose the salary, but will say “yeah” or “nay” regarding the salary if you give them a ball-park figure
  • If the employer is one of the companies that have automated employment verification system, call their main operator and ask to be connected to the person listed on the application as the renter’s supervisor.  If that person really works there, they will patch you through.

For Current Living Condition verification tips, please come back tomorrow and read Tenant Screening – How Messy Are They? (Part 4 of 5)

P.S.  If you have an experience or additional tips you would like to share with us, please do so.

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