Checking application references is an old practice that isn’t done as much anymore. More people are turning to the internet to find out what they want to know. Calling landlords, employers and personal/professional references can take up time that isn’t always available, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
References are valuable and talking to the people who know the applicant best can provide some useful insight into how they live their life.
Here are some tips when it comes to verifying information provided:
- Divide & Conquer. If your time during the day is limited, try to schedule 15-30 minutes each day for each prospective tenant. Most times it will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Try calling early in the day for a better response.
- Be Prepared. Have the applicant’s signature ready. Most apartment complexes and employers require a signature authorization before releasing any information. Having it ready means you don’t need to waste time finding it when it’s needed. They might also request the verification via fax or email.
- Ask The Right Questions. Have your questions ready and know what you’re asking. Keep it simple. Things to focus on: evictions, late rent, lease length, complaints, lease violations, length of employment, pay rate, attendance.
- Stick To It. Once you start checking references for one prospective tenant, you must do it for all. You don’t want to find yourself violating any Fair Housing Laws by not screening each applicant the same way. Check references for all applicants!
If you use a background screening company for your applicants they may be able to also check the references.
CheckPoint offers packages available that include application verifications and you can even customize your own questions. For more information on setting up an account call Customer Support at 888-534-1233.