When screening tenants you’ll want to verify the accuracy of the information supplied on the rental application.
A landlord employment verification (sometimes referred to as tenant employment verification) is a simple phone call to verify employment of the tenant.
It is important to get as much information from your applicant as possible when they are filling out a rental application.
If you are looking to do an employment verification, then you’ll want the following information on the rental application filled out.
- Place of employment
- Address of employer
- Phone number of employer
- Name of supervisor
Now with this information, the first step is to Google that data.
Can you find the business on Google?
Do the address and phone number match?
Does the supervisor have a LinkedIn profile that matches to that business (past or present).
What to say on a landlord employment verification call
In the video below I go through a mock phone call for a landlord employment verification call.
NOTE: RentPrep no longer provides the verification call add-on to our tenant background and credit reports. If you’d like to still run a background check through our service please use promo code “TWENTYOFF” to get 20% off your first report with us. Just sign up for a free account to get started.
The first 2:50 of the video is explaining the rental application and why it’s necessary to get the proper authorization before making any calls.
At the 2:55 mark we begin with the tenant employment verification mock call.
I mention our RentPrep rental application that you can download for free.
Here are the questions I ask in the video above:
- Can I speak with Tony the supervisor?
- Can I have your name please (HR)
- Is this the current employer?
- Is he full-time or part-time?
- What is the hire date?
- What’s his position there?
- What is his hourly or annual salary?
- How do you prefer I send you the signed rental application?
- Do I need to send that to attention to anyone?
- Do you require any other type of form I need to fill out?
- When will you be able to get that back to me?
- I emailed you yesterday a release and wondering if we could complete the verification over the phone now?
- What is the salary?
This mock phone interview is just part of a guide we’ve created on making calls to verify renter references.
Word of caution…
I can’t tell you how many applicants try getting away with putting down their friend’s phone number.
Usually, it’s easy to tell that this is the case, either you’ll get a personal voicemail or they pick up and at first deny being their employer, and then quickly “remember” that the applicant is in fact employed full time and has been for at least a couple years.
If this happens, and you are only given that they work at McDonald’s, but not which location, there is not much you can do.
But when the address is provided, it is very easy to use Google and cross-reference the information.
Getting signed consent from the applicant is the second important part of the employment verification process.
Many employers will not give out any information over the phone, not even a simple “yes they are employed.”
They will ask you to fax over the signed consent before they say another word to you. So without this, you will get nowhere in most cases. See our page on FCRA compliance to learn more about written consent here.
Now keep in mind, some landlords don’t like going through the process above, and would much rather get copies of pay stubs handed over to them. This is a good and acceptable practice to use, but you also need to remember that these documents can be altered. Verifying the information from pay stubs with an employer is the safest route.