Before offering a rental unit to a prospective tenant, verify some, if not all, of the application information, including previous employment. Some landlords use third-party specialists to perform background checks and employment verification, but you can do it yourself. The key is to prevent tenant fraud when a tenant enlists his family / friend as an employer impostor. If you follow the following steps, however, you dramatically reduce the fraud risk and you can rent out your unit worry-free.
Look up the companies listed on the application on the Internet using a business directory or Yellow Page service. Sometimes Google search is good too. Match the company name with the numbers on the application. It’s not unusual for the last four numbers of the business phone to be different. Some companies have many phone lines. If the business is not listed on yellow pages or business directories, do not panic. They are dying species anyway. Look for business websites, social media profiles (facebook, linkedin, google local listing, yelp, etc.). If they can pass your guts feeling to be a real profile, go with it.
Call the verified phone number and politely greet the operator. Give your name and title, and request the contact person listed on the application. If the person is not available, leave a call back number, name and good time to reach you. Either way, you get a positive confirmation that the person works there.
When Step 2 does not work (the person on the other side declines due to privacy concern), that is fine. You are not at the end of the world. You will make another call, and ask operator to direct you to the HR department. In the US, most HR departments WILL verify employment (I suspect it is required by law, but do not quote me on that). Greet the contact person when he gets on the line. Ask him to verify the employee’s job title and duties.
Once it is done, finish the conversation politely. I recommend that you do not disclose the context of the verification. Nothing wrong with it, but it is typically not a required element to get a positive verification, so why spill the beans?
How Tenantify can help?
If you prefer not to do employment verification yourself, you can enlist Tenantify to do so. We have years of experiences conducting employment and income verification.
Tenantify empowers landlords to make informed decisions by verifying tenant’s employment and income. Tenantify is different from a traditional tenant screening service, as we focus on tenant’s current financial situation and assess tenant’s ability to make monthly rent payment. It should not replace the traditional credit check, but we believe that employment / income verification is superior because it reveals tenant’s current (rather than past) ability to pay.