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ChecklistTENANT BACKGROUND CHECKS: A Quick Tips Checklist for Finding Red Flags

While nothing takes the place of tenant screening reports and employment and personal references, here are some quick ways to check whether your prospective tenant is giving you valid information:


Ask the prospective tenant for rent receipts for the past three months at his current address:

  • Did he pay on time?
  • Is the address the same as on the application?
  • Is the name exactly the same as on the application

Take a look at the license plate on the prospect’s car:

  • Is the state consistent with the information on the application?
  • Is it the same number, and same make and model as the car listed on the application?

Look at the first three digits of the applicant’s social security number. Compare the number to the Social Security Chart provided:

  • Is this information consistent with the address history?

Cross check the social security number with other information received. Is the SSN the same as:

  • The screening reports
  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 or tax return
  • The Social Security Card provided

For more information on how to conduct tenant background checks, see our feature from Real Estate Investment Secrets, Tenant Background Checks: Little Known Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment, including tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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  • Ernest T. Weimer

    Found some interesting information.

  • Judy Lanier

    Very helpful. Thanks,

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