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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 a headache. Nevertheless, the burden is on the landlord or property owner to check that the tenant has honestly represented themselves. Regrettably, some tenants may give false or misleading information on their application, from a fake “previous landlord” to fraudulent pay stubs – and beyond.

Setting aside how good the tenant may look at first glance, it’s recommended to do your due diligence and properly evaluate each detail of their application. You may want to focus on learning about some of the most popular methods applicants may use for false information and how to spot them.

Fake Landlord and References

Renters acknowledge that you’ll have to contact their previous landlord for a reference, not to mention at least one or two people who can vouch for them. Yet, if the tenant has an unresolved rental history, they may try to offer you fake references.

Sometimes, this could be a friend or family member they’ve asked to pose as an Enfield property manager or reference. But it might also be a professional service they’ve hired. Depending on service, these could look incredibly convincing unless you are double-checking all of it.

Fake Employment Info

This is especially applicable to an applicant’s employment or income information. Tenants may aim to increase their income to help them qualify for a better rental home, and some of the tactics utilized can be incredibly tricky. Some tenants may go so far as to fabricate pay stubs using online pay stub generators to “prove” their income.

To safeguard you from being misled by fake employment information, keep in mind to cross-reference everything they indicate on their application with the information on their credit report. You can look for numerous red flags, such as round numbers, inconsistencies, and a lack of professional appearance.

Lies About Criminal History

Another significant issue for some applicants is the background check. Some potential tenants may hope that you will not check their background too closely and claim that they don’t have a criminal record on their application. Definitely, this is relatively a straightforward one to spot if you are employing a background checking service of any quality.

Although a comprehensive background check could be pricey, a skilled Enfield property management company will be able to give extra 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

Another usual approach an applicant may use to fake a rental application is by utilizing a fake social security number or one that belongs to a child or family member. There are various causes why somebody may do such. This person may intend to conceal their credit history or may not even have their social security number.

Either way, you ought to look out for a handful of red flags that will make spotting a fake social security number easier. If the credit history is blank or there’s absolutely nothing on it, the chances are that the social security number is either fake or belongs to a child and not the applicant. It’s also crucial to search for inconsistencies, and if anything seems off, do some more digging.


One of the easiest techniques to prevent getting duped by a fake rental application is to hire a Real Property Management Beacon 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.