Screening possible new tenants who have recently come from another country can be challenging.
1. Dates: When most Americans write a date, they normally put it in month/day/year order. In other countries, however, often the month and day are inverted so that dates are printed day/month/year. The American military also uses a dating system that shows day/month/year.
Also be aware that the numbers themselves may look different than the way you are accustomed to seeing them. Many other countries put a hook on the bottom of a 9 or a line through the middle of a 7.
Since several types of screening reports are matched to birth dates, you can understand that entering the wrong date could hinder your ability to receive complete data about your applicant. I prefer a rental application that clearly asks for the day, month and year.
2. Hyphenated names and spelling: Other than possibly nicknames, most of us print or write out our name the same way every time. Not so in some other countries. Often the name is hyphenated to combine the maternal and paternal names; others may use a combination of the married and maiden name. The way the name is written is sometimes dependent upon the purpose for writing their name.
Always ask for a U.S. or international driver’s license to verify the name spelling. Also make a copy for your records. If your prospect does not have a driver’s license, a visa is better than nothing.
Make sure you go over the application with your prospective tenant so that you are very clear on the dates and how everything is spelled. If you do this, you will increase the possibility of purchasing a much more accurate tenant screening report.
See our seven part series, Vital Tips to Increase Your Debt Collection.
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