How To Tell When Lease Applicants Lie Or Hide The Truth

August 2017

How To Tell When Lease Applicants Lie Or Hide The Truth

When you have an opening for a tenant, you want to find someone who is responsible and trustworthy. However, there is a risk that an applicant could lie on an application, misrepresenting himself or herself in an attempt to gain tenancy. Learn common reasons that applicants omit the truth and how to spot a lie before you offer someone a lease.

Why an Applicant Might Lie on a Lease Application

Applicants might lie when they have something they want to hide or believe that a white lie will increase their chances of getting picked.

For renters, this may mean:

Inflating their earnings so they will seem more qualified to rent your apartment. Applicants who stretch to afford an apartment in a particular neighborhood may pretend to earn more, in hopes of seeming more qualified to rent where they want to live.

Lying about their employment history, especially if they are unemployed or underemployed.  If potential tenants do not work enough hours to afford your apartment, they may lie about their employment history in hopes of getting the apartment they want.

Failing to report a prior eviction, arrest or criminal conviction. Applicants may try to minimize any red flags on an application, including criminal history.

Lying about their credit score.  Potential tenants may brush off your credit score inquiry by pretending to have a high credit score. The only way you'll know their true credit score is to screen renters.

Claiming they had a great relationship with their past landlord or property manager. Most renters know a landlord wants an easy tenant who was liked by a previous landlord. Tenants who fought with their landlords may try to hide this or fabricate a positive relationship with their landlord, hoping to deceive you.

Assuring you they do not use illegal drugs. Renters who regularly or occasionally use illegal drugs know that no responsible landlord will knowingly rent to a drug user, so they will pretend they do not use drugs.

Lying out of desperation.  If renters are in a dangerous situation at present, they may lie on their application because they're desperate to find a solution to their present problems.

How to Protect Yourself From Lies on the Lease Application

The best way to protect yourself from renters who lie on their application is to independently verify the information on the application.  Tenant screening services is the best way to do this.

Simply by notifying applicants that you use tenant screening services, you can keep many unqualified individuals from applying for your apartment. If renters have poor credit and know that you will check their credit score, they'll understand they will not get the apartment, and they'll concentrate on finding landlords who don't check credit. Qualified individuals with nothing to hide won't be nervous to apply for your rentals, so your overall applicant quality can improve.

Thorough background checks help you spot a lie on an application before you agree to rent to someone. Background checks allow you to verify someone's identity, Social Security, employment and other facts. If there's a discrepancy between the application and background check, it's a red flag that you should not rent to someone.

Global Verification Network helps landlords, leasing offices, property managers and others discover when applicants aren’t being truthful on their application, so they can protect their property.

During the screening process, you can reach out to a past landlord and to employment references to check whether someone's being truthful. When you can ask someone whether the renter paid rent on time, was respectful of the property, and was a good tenant overall, you can get a good idea of how the applicant would behave in your apartment.

Global Verification Network's services include credit checks, background checks that show any prior criminal history, and automated notifications that let you see where an applicant is in the system.

If you're ready to start saving time on managing your properties, while ensuring that only qualified renters fill open apartments, sign up today to learn more about our services.

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