That leaves us with employers and previous landlords. Of employers, make sure that you verify:
- date of hire
- current salary or hourly rate
- if hourly, average hours/week worked
- whether continued employment is expected, and if so, for how long (are they a contract worker?)
Of previous landlords:
- lease start/end date
- rent amount
- did they pay their rent on time
- any complaints or other issues
- would you rent to them again
If you talk to the right person and ask the right questions, anything negative about the applicant should rise to the surface pretty quickly. I would like to second Deb's strategy of asking for a manager (generally) rather than asking for the supervisor listed on the application. Same principle as with personal references applies - usually the applicant will list their favorite supervisor or buddy in the company.
For the landlords (I'm much more interested in the past landlord if the current is 2 years or less) I ask the basics: Did they pay on time? Did they take care of the unit? Did they bother other tenants? and Do you expect to return the security deposit in full? And my favorite last question is Would you rent to them again? I always look up on the tax records the owner of the property to be clear that I am talking with the owner.
Job references? Get those pay stubs with the year to date earnings on them if you can. I never ask for the person the application says to ask for, not at first. I try to get an HR department or ask for a manager THEN ask if they do work there, how long, how much they make, if they expect continued employment.
Hope that helps. I do work with rentals and if you need help finding that tenant let's talk.
Sohail A. Salahuddin | Group Founder
Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing
Jameson Sothebyâ€™s International Realty
425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 â€¨
O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030
"Locally Known, Globally Recognized"
As for paystubs, confirm employment period and salary with the renter's HR dept, and make sure that you are talking with the actual owner of the home or apt that the renter is currently renting (a realtor can help you confirm ownership).
The easiest way to rent out properties is to hire a broker like me who charges a minimal fee.. :-)
1. identify the name & position of the person providing the reference
2. Verify if the applicant is on a term lease, month-to-month or verbal agreement
3. Move in/Move out dates
4. Monthly rental amount
5. Was proper notice given?
6. Where they asked to vacate? If so why?
7. Any late payments, NSF's, noise complaints?
8. Notices served? How many?
9. Any pets? If so, what type, how many? pet damage?
10. Other damage? If so, nature & cost of damage?
11. Other balance owing? if yes, why & how much?
Remember to verify with current & previous landlords. Obtaining rental references can be a time consuming part of the tenant screening process. If you tenant screening provider offers this service it may be worth while to add it to your services.
MyScreeningReport.com is an innovative tenant screening solution that offers this service with their tenant screening reports. The investigative work is thorough and accurate! They attempt to verify all references listed by applicant as well as any additional rental addresses found on the applicant's credit report. Very valuable service!
2. What was the amount of rent? $___________________
3. Did Tenant(s) leave with good standing? Yes No Please Explain:__________________
Have any the above listed tenant/former tenant ever:
4. Late on rent payments? Yes No Please Explain:____________________________
5. Threaten not to pay rent? Yes No Please Explain:______________________________
6. Bounced rent check(s Yes No Please Explain:___________________________________
7. Had problems/issues with neighbors or other tenants? Yes No Please Explain:________________________________________
8. Have they ever been disrespectful towards manager/landlord? Yes No
9. Damaged property? Yes No Please Explain:__________________________________
10. Damaged Landscaping? Yes No Please Explain:_____________________________
11. Had any issues with the lease/agreement: Yes No Please Explain:_________________
12. Would you rent to them again? Yes No Please Explain:________________________
Of course your applicant would not list someone who they know would give them a bad review, so maybe just asking about how responsible and tidy the tenant is, and how well they got along with the neighbors or coworkers...is basically what we want to know. Of course this doesn't tell us much except you kind of get an impression of who their friends are, and if someone wants to bring up a character flaw, they have their opportunity.
1. Has Mr. or Mrs. Such and Such ever served as Governor of Illinois or discussed spending time with either current or former governor of Illinois?
2. Does Mr. or Mrs. Such and Such know the correct lyrics to 'Blinded by the Light?"
3. Can you elaborate on what Mr or Mrs. Such and Such does with their pet monkey?
4. Does Mr. or Mrs. Such and Such watch and or talk about the television show "Glee?"
5. How many times has Mr. or Mrs. Such and Such complained...about the weather, their job, their relationship, their family, their life?
Anybody answering No/None/Nope to all five questions should be considered tenant material.
I want to be sure the #'s work and I want to get a good 'feel' for the tenant. That has worked for me for many years.
their current employment, residence, income and assets. The tenants have to agree to
submit such info. Also, the credit report is being asked for (again, with the agreement of the tenant).
Of course, if the tenant does not agree to provide the info - the landlord does not have to accept the offer.
If the condo association/landlord has rules re. how many people can reside in a condo/apartment,
then the landlord may ask about kids (how many), but they can't discriminate.
Hope this helps,
Beachfront Realty, Inc.