Sorting Through Applicants

by Andrea West

Posted on 2016-10-20 08:34:53

The rental application process is not a sprint race. It may feel like it sometimes because you want to make sure your units are filled without any gaps. But treat it like a sprint and you’re more likely to have problems later. How? Run through the process quickly, skip steps, and you’ll miss important clues. When you go through all the steps of the application process and take time to notice the details, you’re less likely to miss the red flags that indicate potential liars and scammers. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.


Unsure what steps you might be missing and why they’re useful? Keep reading.


Tier One

  • Check that all information on the application for tenancy is filled out - if they have nothing to hide they won’t mind giving you the information you need.

  • Make sure the application fee has been paid - they’re serious about applying for your unit and you now have the money to run a screening report.


Tier Two

  • Run a tenant screening report - this will give you information on their rental history, work history, criminal history, and their credit score.

  • Research source of employment - this is important so that you know they’re not just making something up.

  • Verify source of income - if you ask them to show you a pay stub, you can check fonts and alignments to see if it’s real or something they fabricated themselves.

  • Talk with employer - another way to verify employment and income and ask how they are as an employee.

  • Talk with previous landlord - find out what they’re like as a tenant and how they treat the rental property. The catch is they might give a glowing report about the applicant just so they can get rid of them. The other steps act as checks and balances for this.

  • Talk with references - these are extra character testimonials about your potential resident. Since they are likely good friends with the applicant don’t put too much weight on what they say.


Tier Three

  • Interview applicant(s) - to help you get a sense of who they are as a person and find any potential holes in the information they’re giving you.

  • Check state of their previous apartment and/or their car - this will allow you to see for yourself how they treat their place of residence and personal possessions.