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Home · Property Management · Tenant Screening : 4 Quick Ways to Spot Sketchy Applicants

For many landlords, fraud is a four-letter word. Thats because they know it spells getting ripped off, with precious little recourse but to attempt to collect the bad tenant debt.

Learn to recognize some common signs of rental applicant fraud:

In Your Face Fraud

The bolder forms of fraud involve stolen or fake ID and often are used by professional con artists. Always meet face-to-face with prospects to improve the odds youll notice discrepancies ” for example, a noticeable difference in appearance from the ID. People reveal themselves through common conversation. Ask questions someone their supposed age should know.

It Just Doesn’t Add Up

Do a full background check, so you can cross-reference many reports. Is their bank account older than they are? Are there gaps in their rental history? Do they have a blank credit report? The false information is likely blended with some truth. Often, if you check out multiple sources, including references, the inconsistencies will be glaring.

He’s Just Not That Into You

An applicant may reveal an attitude of fraud. Look for transposed numbers or omitted information. Was it an honest mistake or an attempt to defraud the property owner? Study how the prospect responds when you ask. Is he nervous? Evasive? Arrogant?

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Some applicants have their spiel down pat, but when you ask questions out of chronological order, that’s when inconsistencies emerge. When a person has memorized their fake pitch, they start to sound like a broken record, and can’t go off script to fill in the gaps.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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