TOPIC: Applicant Rental History Verification

Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3570

Just curious...

Does your company include verification of rental (or mortgage) history as part of its rental qualification process?

If yes:
    What kind of information do you require?
    How do you verify the information (computer system, screening company, fax verification, etc.)?
    How long do you go back?
    Specifically, what would cause an applicant to be declined?
    If your screening company (SafeRent, LeasingDesk, etc.) approved the applicant without any conditions is this verification necessary? Would you decline someone that was otherwise approved if they couldn't provide satisfactory information?

If no, why not?

Sorry for the long list. I'm trying to get some feedback about the subject.

I appreciate your feedback!

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3596

This is my first reply on the site, hope you like :)!!

We require verification as a part of our rental qualifications.

I require information regarding Move-in and out dates, complaints, NSF's, late payments, if notice was given, and much more. The previous property managers or owners must verify all of the information given. The most important question on my forms asks if the tenant is eligible for leasing again in the future. Giving someone a few blank lines to explain yes or no does wonders.

I verify with the previous property management company and with an online screening company.

I generally go back to the past two residences of the applicant.

We have a strict policy regarding approval with bad rental references. If an applicant has ever broken a lease, been evicted, or sued for rent or property damages, then they are declined.

The approval is necessary regardless if the applicant is approved. Checking someone’s’ background on paper cannot compare to what someone who has dealt with the person firsthand can tell you. though each person is judged on a case by case basis, I would not automatically decline someone who could not provide all the necessary background verifications to my leasing desk. I am happy to say I do have faith in our screening process online and it would not be necessary.

Well I hope all of this makes since and is helpful. Sorry if it is short and jumbled, I am working hard now and am back and forth to my desk lol!

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3597

This is a great reply Ashley. You are right an applicant can look great on paper then completely different with references. Residents who leave owing a property manager money will most likely leave your property money as well.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3600

Ashley Holt wrote:

I generally go back to the past two residences of the applicant.

We have a strict policy regarding approval with bad rental references. If an applicant has ever broken a lease, been evicted, or sued for rent or property damages, then they are declined.



If you use a service, like CreditRetriever, isn't doing residential verifications somewhat redundant?

If CreditRetriever finds an eviction in public records (or a prior landlord tells you the applicant was taken to court); but the applicant can show the judgement was paid (or no judgement was awarded), what do you do?

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3611

We do our credit screening in house. Using an online service, although fast, doesn't give you the whole picture. Rental references give you information that a credit report will not show. How many times were they late? Were they a disruptive resident? (and had many lease violations). Would you rent to them again? Sure a credit report can show whether someone skipped out owing a balance but there's a time delay. There's always a window where someone can apply owing a balance but because it hasn't been sent to the credit bureau we don't know about it yet. (They are getting ready to skip).

Although they can slow the credit process down resident verifications are invaluable.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3612

"If you use a service, like CreditRetriever, isn't doing residential verifications somewhat redundant?

If CreditRetriever finds an eviction in public records (or a prior landlord tells you the applicant was taken to court); but the applicant can show the judgement was paid (or no judgement was awarded), what do you do?"


Generally, any residential verification I complete will not show me anything different that what my service finds. Yet, I will occasionally receive word of damages or an eviction that have not been filed or processed at the time. I may even discover that the previous management company decided to cut their losses and not charge the tenants for damages that they are sure they would never have compensation for. So occasionally, I do find something unexpected with a simple fax to another office, but I can usually depend on our screening process to give me accurate information.
LOL, the redundancy of checking backgrounds personally and comparing to my results, just to find that they are the same… it does get old!
:) :)

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3613

Ashley Holt wrote:

Generally, any residential verification I complete will not show me anything different that what my service finds.


Really? That hasn't been our experience. What service do you use?

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3615

I understand that there may be gaps between what shows up on credit reports and what current landlords may say. A request for reference from you can indeed signal the current landlord your intent to leave (whether it is at the end of the lease or not). This would not be good for the applicant who may be looking to skip before legal action is filed.


Now let's give an example of what a previous landlord might say about a former resident:

Landlord had to file for eviction in 2002, and was awarded a money judgement. If the applicant has paid the judgement or not, it may also appear in public records. Let's say it appears in public records, but applicant can prove it HAS BEEN PAID. What do you do?

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3647

This is a good discussion. Multifamily is in a precarious position since the beginning of this recession - there are a large number of newly foreclosed people flooding the market. Yet, we want renters because we have vacancies. So many property management companies have found out the hard way that someone who didn't take a 15 or 30 year commitment seriously, failing to read the paperwork and what was required, isn't going to have much problem violating a measly 12 month lease. Accurate and THOROUGH verification has become all the more necessary. But it has also become all the more easy. Do any of you remember those fax request forms we had to fill out in detail, and then waiting next to the fax for the return cryptic “OK”? The internet and competition has made this process easier and quicker.

It is also important to verify criminal history. Many of us are operating crime-free properties, yet we don’t verify whether our new tenant has the same basic idea. A thorough and complete background check is your only defense.

Re:Applicant Rental History Verification 11 years 4 months ago #3651

Here is the problem with residential histories. There was a report on LAST week's (not LAST night) '60 Minutes' that talked about the number of people across the country who are literally underwater on their homes (meaning they owe more $ on the loan than their home is worth); and are deciding to simply walk away and hand over the keys to the thieves who hold the notes; because they refuse to renegotiate the terms of the loan. This decision is not being taken lightly by many, and is usually followed by a bankruptcy filing; but not before getting approved as a resident.

As far as criminal background checks are concerned; do you have specific guidelines as to what kinds of offenses would cause you to deny an application? What do you do if you discover an applicant is registered as a sex offender (or is required to)?

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