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What Is Rental Verification? Why Should You Review Rental History

  • July 12, 2023
  • James Beeson
  • Category: Rent & Security Deposits, Renter Tips

Rental verification is simply reviewing and verifying everything provided by the tenants on their application forms. As a landlord, you must double-check whether the information given by a tenant is completely accurate.

Picking up the right tenants not only brings peace of mind but also proves to be a valuable asset for your rental business in the long run. Similarly, having the wrong kind of tenants can create numerous issues and become an ongoing source of headaches for landlords. 

To better understand what rental verification is and why it’s crucial to review your tenants’ rental history before approving their application, continue reading this article.

What is Rental Verification?

What is Rental Verification?

Rental verification involves verifying the information provided by a tenant on their rental application. This process includes contacting previous landlords, cross-checking employment details, assessing creditworthiness, and conducting interviews.

Landlords can make sound decisions and minimize the risk of problematic tenants by obtaining accurate information about a tenant’s rental history.

The Process

The rental verification process often begins with the tenant filling out a rental application. This document gathers essential information about the tenant, such as their employment status, rental history, and financial condition.

Subsequently, the landlord or property manager cross-verifies this information by conducting interviews, contacting previous landlords, and reviewing public records.

Why Should You Use Rental Verification for Your Tenants?

Why Should You Use Rental Verification for Your Tenants?

There are multiple reasons for using rental verification during the tenant screening process. Let’s discuss these:

1. Prevention of Rental Fraud

The number one reason to conduct rental verification is to prevent rental fraud. Unfortunately, rental fraud cases have been on the rise. Scammers may provide false information, such as fake employment details or fabricated rental histories, to secure a lease.

By thoroughly vetting potential tenants, you can ensure you’re not dealing with someone with malicious intent. Rental verification acts as a deterrent to fraudsters and safeguards your property and interests.

2. Ensures Tenant’s Credibility

Rental verification helps confirm the tenant’s credibility. It provides a detailed picture of their creditworthiness, reliability, and trustworthiness, which can ease a landlord’s concerns about rent payment and property maintenance. By verifying a tenant’s past behavior, landlords can gauge their level of responsibility and determine if they are a good fit for the property.

3. Maintains Property Security

When you let someone rent your property, you want to ensure they’ll take good care of it. A proper rental verification helps protect your property by ensuring that it’s entrusted to responsible individuals.

You can identify any patterns of property damage, previous evictions, or negligence by reviewing a tenant’s rental history. This insight allows you to make an informed decision and select tenants who are more likely to take care of your property with care and respect.

4. Stability of Income Flow

Having a tenant who consistently pays their rent on time is integral to the stability of your income flow. Through rental verification, you can evaluate the potential tenant’s financial stability, ensuring that they can comfortably afford the rent.

Verifying their employment status, income level, and credit history gives you confidence in their ability to meet their financial obligations. This, in turn, minimizes the risk of rent payment delays or defaults.

How to Conduct Rental Verification

How to Conduct Rental Verification

So how can you actually verify a tenant’s rental record? What are the different methods you can employ for rental verification? Below are some of the valuable and practical ways of performing a rental verification

1. Rental Application

Well, a rental application is the primary tool that will provide all the essential information about prospective tenants. This application will give you all the necessary details about the applicant, such as employment history, income details, references, and the reasons for leaving their last rental.

It’s crucial to carefully review the application and ensure all required information is provided. Incomplete or vague responses can raise red flags and may necessitate further investigation.

2. Conducting Interviews

An interview allows you to further explore the information provided on the application. This conversation can give you insights into their character, lifestyle, and dependability.

Prepare a set of questions that delve into their rental history, reasons for shifting, and expectations as a tenant. Active listening and observing their responses can provide valuable indicators of their suitability as a renter.

3. Previous Landlords References

Contacting previous landlords can provide first-hand accounts of the tenant’s behavior. Reach out to the provided references and ask questions about rent payment punctuality, property maintenance, and overall tenant conduct.

These conversations can reveal important details that may not be evident from the application alone. If a potential tenant hesitates to provide references, it should raise concerns about their credibility.

Tips: Important Questions to Ask During a Landlord Reference Check

4. Checking Public Records

Public records can reveal red flags like eviction histories, criminal records, or significant financial issues. While respecting privacy laws, you can access public databases or hire a specialized screening service to obtain relevant information.

Checking court records, credit reports, and eviction databases can provide a comprehensive view of the potential tenant’s reliability. This step is crucial for minimizing risks and ensuring the safety of your property.

The Legal and Ethical Aspects of Rental Verification

While rental verification is a valuable tool, it’s essential to adhere to legal and ethical guidelines. Here are a few key considerations:

●     Consent and Privacy

Landlords must obtain the applicant’s consent before conducting rental verification. Respecting privacy and handling personal information securely is crucial to ensure compliance with data protection laws.

●     Fair Housing Laws

Ensure that rental verification practices comply with fair housing laws to prevent any form of discrimination. Treat all applicants equally, focusing solely on their rental history and suitability as a tenant.

Final Thoughts

Rental verification offers landlords a comprehensive understanding of potential tenants, enabling them to make the right decisions about their rental property.

By reviewing an applicant’s rental history, landlords can select reliable tenants, reduce payment risks, and maintain a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

Incorporating rental verification into your tenant screening process is an effective way to protect your investment and create a positive renting experience for both parties involved.