When you decide to run a background check on a potential tenant, it’s always a good idea to obtain verification of his or her employment. In some instances, the employer refuses to verify employment due to their company policy.
Example: Employer refuses to verify employment
This happens quite a lot when calling employers for verification of employment. Sometimes the conversations go something like this:
Landlord: “John Smith filled out a rental application to rent my apartment. I need to verify his employment as part of my tenant screening process.”
Employer: “Sorry, but I can’t give you any information.”
Landlord: “Well can you point me in the right direction?”
Employer: “No, I’m sorry.”
Other times they will try to charge you a fee of $15-20 and won’t release any information until that is paid.
So what should you do if this happens?
Take Employment Verification into Your Own Hands
If an employer is being uncooperative or they just downright don’t have the answer to what you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to verify your applicant’s employment on your own.
Have Your Tenant Provide Proof of Income
When trying to verify your rental applicant’s employment yourself, it’s a good idea to ask the applicant for the following documents:
- A copy of their pay stubs (ask for multiple pay stubs for income verification purposes)
- A copy of an Earning Statement
If they supply you with this information, be sure to look at it carefully and never assume it’s always 100% factual. Look closely to be sure they didn’t use Adobe Photoshop and that it looks authentic.
Believe it or not, tenants lie on rental applications from time to time.
It is also up to you to spot the differences between what the pay stub tells you, and what the applicant has told you. You are no longer relying on the answers of the supervisor or Human Resource Manager. The easiest thing to notice is the number of hours worked. If they say they work full-time, yet are only being paid for 15 hours of work a week, there’s a good chance they are lying to you.
Ask for Bank Statements
When all else fails, you can never go wrong by asking for bank statements. This will obviously depend on the market and whether the property will attract the type of people ready and willing to share this information.
However, regardless of your market, you should never accept this answer: “I don’t have a bank account”.
This is a huge warning sign!
Why? Because everyone has a bank account. Besides, if they don’t how will they pay their rent every month?
Having the bank account information is super helpful, especially if the tenant stops paying you.
Once you receive a judgment for the money they owe you, freezing accounts and garnishments will be that much easier.