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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 could be tricky. After all, the burden is on the landlord or property owner to assure that the tenant has honestly represented themselves. Unluckily, some tenants may offer false or misleading information on their application, from a fake “previous landlord” to fraudulent pay stubs – among other issues.

It’s vital to do your due diligence and properly review each detail of their application, no matter how nice the tenant may look at first glance. You may begin by learning about some of the most frequent ways applicants may falsify information and how to spot them.

Fake Landlord and References

Renters are aware that you will need to contact their previous landlord for a reference, not to mention at least one or two people who can vouch for them. But if the tenant has an ugly rental history, they may tend to give you fake references.

In certain circumstances, this could be a friend or family member they’ve asked to pose as a Stone Oak property manager or reference. But it might also be a professional service they’ve hired. Regardless of the service, these might seem very convincing unless you are double-checking all of that.

Fake Employment Info

This is particularly the case for an applicant’s employment or income information. Tenants may try to multiply their income to help them qualify for a better rental home, and some of the tactics utilized can be fairly complicated. Other tenants may go so far as to fabricate pay stubs using online pay stub generators to “prove” their income.

Don’t forget to cross-reference everything they submit on their application with the information on their credit report to avoid being deceived by fake employment information. There are several red flags to monitor for, like round numbers, inconsistencies, and a lack of professional appearance.

Lies About Criminal History

Another big concern for some applicants is the background check. Other potential tenants may expect that you won’t check their background too deeply and claim that they don’t have a criminal record on their application. For sure, this is a reasonably simple one to spot if you are using a background checking service of any quality.

While a good background check can be expensive, a professional Stone Oak property management company is required to provide more thorough checks as part of 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

Another common technique an applicant may try to fake a rental application is by presenting a fake social security number or one that belongs to a child or family member. There are a lot of explanations for why they do that. The applicant may intend to conceal their credit history or may not even have their social security number.

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


One of the easiest ways to prevent getting duped by a fake rental application is to work with Real Property Management Campanas 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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