Tricks Renters Use on Rental Applications

Tricks renters use on their rental applications

Photo credit: Ian.Kobylanski (Flickr)

During the rental application process, we want to believe that everybody is true and honest from the first point of contact. While most renters are honest, unfortunately, not all will be.

According to our recent survey of renters across the United States, 10 percent admitted to lying on a rental application. To put this into perspective, out of every 100 applicants, 10 of them could contain inaccurate information. This is huge news, considering you don’t know what information they could be dishonest about.

To avoid being cheated on a rental application, be wary of the following situations:

No valid social security number. You can learn whether a person has a real or fake social security number during the credit checks you perform. Without a security number, you won’t be able to find credit history, previous evictions, or a criminal history. If you get some lame excuse for providing a security number or get a fake one, this should be a major red flag of hiding a suspicious history.

No bank account. So, your applicant puts all of his or her money underneath the mattress, huh? Try to count how many responsible adults you know that don’t have a bank account. Can you think of any? That’s because no professional, responsible person would never not have one.

People with no bank accounts could be trying to hide a paper trail for their cash. This could possibly come from illegal activities like selling or producing drugs.

No current address. Even a person still living with parents can produce a current address. An applicant who can’t give you a current address is likely to be hiding something, like the failure to pay bills or a bad rental track record.

The wrong contact information. We all can make mistakes when giving out the contact information of previous landlords and employers. It’s okay to give people the benefit of the doubt. For example, people change their phone numbers and previous employers could have changed jobs.

However, when you start to notice that none of the phone numbers are real or information is omitted (such as address, phone number, or names), be cautious. They could be deliberately trying to hide previous information from their past. One great way to confirm previous history with landlords or employers is the perform a thorough reference check.

The solution to avoiding all of these applicant tricks is to execute an efficient tenant screening. This will help you prevent any less-than-honest applicants from slipping through the cracks. Download our free tenant screening kit.