6 Easy Ways to Verify an Applicant
Jul 19, 2023
When it comes to renting a property, it is important to verify the applicant's background and financial stability before making any decisions. Thoroughly verifying applicants can ensure that landlords are selecting tenants who are trustworthy and responsible. Looking into an applicant's past can help determine if they will be able to consistently pay rent on time and can provide valuable insights into their past behavior as a tenant.
Modern tools and technology can make this task more efficient. A property management company can use online background check services to quickly access an applicant's criminal record, credit history, and rental background. They can utilize financial software that analyzes an applicant's income and expenses to assess their financial stability and ability to pay rent on time. These tools can help streamline operations and save time without sacrificing quality.
Verifying applicants helps landlords make informed decisions and minimizes the risk of renting to unreliable tenants. This is crucial to ensuring a positive and successful rental experience for both the landlord and the tenant. Keep reading for some easy ways to verify an applicant.
1. Background Check
A background check can provide a lot of information about an applicant, including their criminal record, credit history, employment history, and rental history. This information can give landlords a better understanding of an applicant's reliability and trustworthiness. This step is essential in protecting the property and ensuring a safe and secure environment for all parties involved.
Verify the applicant's identity by requesting a copy of their driver's license or ID card. Verifying the applicant's identity is crucial for ensuring that the background check is conducted on the correct individual. This helps to prevent cases of identity theft and confirms that the applicant is who they claim to be.
Conducting the background check yourself can be time consuming and requires knowledge of the proper procedures. You can hire a professional service to do it for you or use online screening services to run background checks on applicants. Using a professional service can save you time and ensure that the background check is done thoroughly and accurately.
2. Employment and Income Verification
Employment and income verification is an essential step in the tenant screening process. It allows you to assess the applicant's ability to meet their financial obligations. Requesting proof of income, such as pay stubs, bank statements, or tax returns, can help determine if the applicant has the financial stability to pay rent on time.
Verifying employment details can help confirm the stability of the applicant's income source. An employment verification letter from their current employer can provide valuable information about their job stability and confirm their income. Consider contacting previous employers to verify the information provided and to gather more insight into the applicant's work ethic and reliability.
Verifying applicants can be time consuming. Using online platforms that specialize in employment and income verification can make the task simple. Taking these steps can help ensure that you are selecting a tenant who is financially responsible and capable of meeting their rental obligations.
3. Request References
An applicant's previous landlords are in the best position to provide meaningful advice. Ask for references from previous landlords so that you can inquire about the tenant's rental history. This can give you valuable insights into their payment history, maintenance of the property, and overall behavior as a tenant.
Keep in mind that previous landlords may have their reasons to withhold negative feedback. If the applicant is still living there, a disgruntled landlord might be willing to lie just to get a bad tenant off their hands. Prior landlords might also be concerned about retaliation if they are too harsh. Previous landlords are in the best position to know what kind of tenant an applicant will be, but it's important to view their input along with hard facts.
4. Credit Checks
Verifying applicants with a credit check will help determine if the applicant has a history of financial responsibility or if they have a habit of not paying their bills on time. A good credit score can indicate that the applicant is responsible and reliable, while a poor credit score may be a red flag. Be sure to obtain the applicant's written consent to run a credit check first.
Look for any red flags such as outstanding debts or a history of late payments. These can be indicators of potential financial instability and may suggest that the applicant is not a good fit. However, it's important to consider the applicant's overall financial situation and not solely rely on their credit score, as unforeseen circumstances or financial hardships may have temporarily impacted their credit.
5. Social Media Search
Searching for the applicant on social media can give some insight into their personality and lifestyle. It can reveal any red flags such as irresponsible behavior or inappropriate content that may be concerning for a potential landlord. Additionally, a social media search can also provide a glimpse into the applicant's social circle and whether they have a history of disruptive or problematic relationships.
It's crucial to approach social media searches with caution, as personal information can be misinterpreted and privacy concerns may arise. It's important to focus on relevant information that relates to them as potential tenants and not discriminate against the applicant based on personal characteristics protected under fair housing laws. Ultimately, a balanced assessment of all available information should be conducted to make an informed decision about the suitability of the applicant.
6. Personal References
Personal references can provide additional insight into the applicant's character and reliability. They can give valuable information about the applicant's behavior, responsibility, and ability to maintain a good relationship with others. Contacting these references can help verify the information provided by the applicant and provide a more comprehensive understanding of their suitability as a tenant.
Verifying applicants allows you to make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and successful renting process for both parties. This information can help you assess their potential as a responsible tenant who will be respectful, pay rent on time, and take care of your property. Tools and resources can help with this task. Find out what Property Matrix can do for you.