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Protect Your Rental: How to Spot a Fake Application

Rental Application Form and Income StatementsVerifying a potential tenant’s information on their rental application might be difficult. After all, the burden is on the landlord or property owner to guarantee that the tenant has honestly represented themselves. Unluckily, some tenants will provide false or misleading information on their application, from a fake “previous landlord” to fraudulent pay stubs – and beyond.

Regardless of how decent the tenant may look at first glance, it’s necessary to do your due diligence and thoroughly evaluate each component of their application. You can begin by learning about some of the popular methods applicants may use to falsify information and how to spot them.

Fake Landlord and References

Renters are aware that you will have to contact their previous landlord for a reference, not to mention at least one or two people who can vouch for them. However, if the tenant has a bad rental history, they may attempt to link you with fake references.

Occasionally, this could be a friend or family member they’ve asked to pose as a Blackfoot property manager or reference. However, it might be a professional service they’ve hired, as well. Contingent upon the service, these might appear extremely convincing unless you are double-checking everything.

Fake Employment Info

This is particularly true about an applicant’s employment or income information. Tenants may attempt to exaggerate their income to help them qualify for a better rental home, and some of the tactics utilized may be highly complex. Some tenants may go out of the line to fabricate pay stubs using online pay stub generators to “prove” their income.

To prevent being duped by fake employment info, be careful to cross-reference everything they write on their application with the information on their credit report. There are numerous red flags you might examine, such as round numbers, inconsistencies, and a lack of professional appearance.

Lies About Criminal History

Another trouble spot for some applicants is the background check. Other potential tenants may expect that you won’t check their background too closely and claim that they don’t have a criminal record on their application. Obviously, this is commonly a relatively simple one to spot if you are utilizing a background checking service of any quality.

While a decent background check might be expensive, a professional Blackfoot property management company will be able to perform more thorough checks as included in your service contract – and keep you compliant with Fair Housing laws. That alone might make it worth hiring one to manage your properties!

Suspicious Social Security Number

One more typical method an applicant may attempt to fake a rental application is by submitting a fake social security number or one that belongs to a child or family member. There are a couple of factors why someone could do so. The candidate may have a desire to conceal their credit history or may not even have their social security number.

Nevertheless, you can look for a couple of red flags that will make spotting a fake social security number simpler. If the credit history is blank or is almost empty, the possibilities are that the social security number is either fake or belongs to a child and not the applicant. It’s also imperative to monitor the inconsistencies, and if anything seems off, do some more digging.


One of the simplest methods to avoid getting duped by a fake rental application is to employ Real Property Management Pocatello to screen your tenants for you. Our local offices have access to some of the best screening programs in the country, offering you high-quality services on a personal level. Contact us online today to learn more about our full range of property management services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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