Im moving and my perspective new landlord wants to talk with my current landlord to verify rental history. What questions can they ask?

Asked by Phtokat, Sacramento, CA Sat Mar 31, 2012

I want to know if things my landord and I discussed in private can be shared and what questions are old landlord allowed to answer? Is all my information allowed to be told or only yes I paid rent on time and no I never got any pay/quit notices etc

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Ed Favinger, Agent, Folsom, CA
Sat Mar 31, 2012

They can ask your landlord questions like these... and our property management folks will send a "rental applicant reference form" to your old landlord to fill out...

We require you to sign it and authorize us to check you out... the questions are as follows:...

***Move in date... Move out date...

***Did applicant live at your property during the period indicated above ( the dates you told us)...?
in no... from when to when...

***How many times during the past 12 months did applicant pay the rent late...?

***Was any check from Applicant returned due to "non sufficient" funds (NSF)..?

***Did you ever file for an unlawful detainer against Applicant for unpaid rent...?

***Does Applicant owe any amount for delinquent rent, utilities or damage to unit..?

***Did Applicant provide notice for ending tenancny according to the terms of the agreement>>?

***Did you ever serve a "3 day notice" to Applicant...?

and one more...


If you have a pet... I ask folks to bring their pets with them so I can see how well behaved they are...

I hope this helps...

Make it a great day...
5 votes
By law, can a landlord require you to sign verification form without the form being completed?
Flag Sat Jan 21, 2017
Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Mar 31, 2012
Personally, I don't even ask many questions of your last landlord. The reason? if you were a bad tenant, then that landlord is likely to give you glowing reviews just to get rid of you!!!

In most cases, the new landlord would be expected to ask questions like: did you pay your rent on time, were you ever late? how did you maintain the home? were there ever any issues during your tenancy? They might also just confirm whatever you had listed on your rental application as to the duration of your tenancy and things like that.

I can't imagine the new landlord asking personal questions, and can't imagine what they might care to ask personally except those related to your new rental application.

A landlord can select a tenant based on two criteria: your ability to pay, and your ability to maintain the property in the condition that the landlord expects. That assumes that you did not violate the lease by such things as having loud parties, extra people living there that weren't on the lease or things like that....but again, I never expect the last landlord to be my best reference for you. They have too much at stake on whether you stay at their place or move to mine. Hope that helps.
3 votes
Sue... that's always been the conventional wisdom and was taught to us in the college property management class I took... However.. things have changed some and if I have a bad tenant that I want to get rid of... If I get a "rental verification" form like this... I'm not going to lie to another property management company or landlord because I'm assuming they aren't going to lie to me...

We will, after all, get a credit report.. and many times ask for a copy of a bank statement showing you've paid the rent on time...
Flag Sat Mar 31, 2012
Karen and Pa…, Agent, Cameron Park, CA
Thu Feb 11, 2016
Landlords want 2 things. Rent paid on time and did you take care of the property. If you did these 2 things you should be fine.
1 vote
Reneeperryje…, Home Buyer, Sacramento, CA
Thu Jan 28, 2016
What if my current landlord do not sign the new potential landlord verification form, then what do I do then to get out of here.
1 vote
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sat Mar 31, 2012
New landlord wants any information that helps to make a decision. On time rent being most important, but we care about other issues as well. Did the applicant comply with other terms of lease such as maintaining the property as agreed? If the subject you and old landlord discussed has nothing to do with your desirability (or not) as a tenant, it probably won't come up.

As far as what are they allowed to talk about. 1st amendment in the US constitution says just about anything. On the other hand, there is a narrow list of issues that might violate fair housing laws.

Other than statements that clearly violate fair housing law, I think they can talk about anything.
1 vote
Are you an attorney? If not, you are in no position to give legal advice or opine on legal issues.
Flag Fri May 22, 2015
Brandnu1908, Home Buyer, Monroeville, PA
Wed May 3, 2017
My currently landlord of almost 3 years and been through 3 management companies. All 3 were terrible by the way., has been telling us lies and I'm not sure what to do. With the second management company we got the ok to move out on two different occasions. We were told give 30 days notice, keys and address. That response came via email. The job in Dallas didn't happen so we decided to stay. And to our understanding per the manager over the phone, was under month to month. So fast fwd to a few weeks ago we go looking for a new place because nothing is being fixed and we've just had it. We apply to a new place (thinking we're month to month because we had the clear to go with the 2nd mgt company) planned to give our 30 days notice which was confirmed via email from 2nd mgt and then by phone with our current mgt company. We called to double check on our standing BEFORE applying anywhere else. The rep said yes you're month to month. Give 30 days notice. So we then applied for the new place. The new place calls our current place for a reference an tell them that we ARE CLEAR TO MOVE AND IN GOOD STANDING. So next day we got approved. Few days later they call saying it's 60 days WRITTEN notice so us calling like fools doesn't count. And we will not get our deposit back because they say we're breaking the lease. The lease states it will renew yearly unless specified. Which we did and got clearance from the 2nd mgt company and our current one that lied to us when we double checked and new future company telling them we were good to go. Now because of the lies and bad business we are in two agreements. If they never told the new place we applied to or us that we were clear then this wouldn't be a current situation. I would have never even applied to the new place if they disclosed the right information!
Can anyway help
0 votes
So if you have to lose your deposit, just cut some of your expenses and you will save some money to make up the deposit loss. No big deal. Before you can move into your new rental, make sure your current management company gives you a SIGNED letter that they will not file eviction charges against you for breaking the lease. If they refuse to give you a signed letter, you need to ask what you can do to move out and not have eviction charges brought against you.
Flag Wed May 3, 2017
Ranchsmitty, Home Buyer, Sacramento, CA
Mon Mar 27, 2017
can the future landlord ask how many pets the tenant had?
0 votes
AudreyGreenw…, , Sydney, FL
Mon Jan 19, 2015
I agree with Sue Archer Reynolds regarding the part whereby your previous landlord might sing praises of you should he/she wants to see you moving out even faster. Hence, I do not think it would be of any advantage to your new landlord unless he/she asks general questions only basically. Those questions could include your overall behaviour, default notices and such. It is quite strange that your new landlord actually does that because most of the matters should be confidential from what I know.
0 votes
jenniremis, Renter, Wrightwood, CA
Sat Nov 1, 2014
I am looking for a new place to live. My present landlord does not like me but I have done nothing wrong. The apt. I moved into got bedbugs about 2 months after I moved into the place. Meanwhile, a month after I moved in a new tenant moved in next to me. He threw out 2 beds before he got the one he has now. And the prior tenant who lived in my apartment traveled a lot. Someone brought in the bedbugs and my landlord has ALWAYS blamed me for doing it because I lived in a motel before. I NEVER had bedbugs in the motel...I would have known it!

Anyway, she still blamed me for the whole problem because I was the 1st tenant to bring up the bedbug issue, even though it turned out that other tenants DID have bedbugs also. So is she allowed to mention this to a new prospective landlord? I do know for a fact that she would love it if I moved out!!!

I NEED AN ANSWER ON THIS ASAP! I live in Ca. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
0 votes
Chrystal Fei…, Home Buyer, 95603
Mon Jun 3, 2013
My land lord told my perspective landlord u could not afford perspective house. This was based on previous payroll. Current payroll is nearly 600%/mo more than previous. I didn't get the house
0 votes
Max Boyko, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Mon Apr 2, 2012
They'll probably ask if you have paid rent on time and what your situation is, why you are moving, etc. People tend to be unpredictable, so talk to your old landlord first!
0 votes
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