RENT Magazine Q3 '23


I had a promising applicant for my vacant unit, so I decided to do an employment verification and called the number they provided as a reference. The reference answered with a simple “hello” instead of a company name. They seemed caught off guard when I asked if it was Art (the employer named on the application). He said, “Yes,” so I asked if George (the prospective tenant) worked there. HOW TO SPOT FAKE PAY STUBS AND VERIFY EMPLOYMENT

Art said “Yes, George works for us, and he is a great employee.” I said, “Awesome, what does he do for the company?” There was a pause as if he was trying to remember the story or perhaps was reading a script. He did answer in line with what was written on the application, and I asked how much George made and how many hours he worked. Art paused, started to talk, then said, “Well, I will need to check into it.” The whole call was sketchy, so I got off the phone and dug into the rest of the application. Since an unqualified tenant can cost you thousands of dollars, tenant screening is critical. It is your opportunity to ensure a great tenant

and property management experience. Think of a lease as a loan. Would you loan this person thousands of dollars based on their word and a handshake? Keep your guard up, be immune to the charm, charisma, or persistence of the prospective tenant. If a tenant takes offence to your screening process, walk away. Prior to turning over the keys, the burden is on the tenant to prove they will be a responsible, amazing tenant. As soon as you turn over the keys, the burden will be on you to prove why they are not a responsible, amazing tenant.


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