Tenant Screening - Checking Landlord References
David Borden - July 8, 2015
Like employment verification, checking landlord references can be very difficult. This is an important item to consider as even those with great credit scores can sometimes be very difficult tenants even though they pay their rent on time. It is also easy for an applicant to fabricate their landlord history so be diligent when speaking to their references.
The best references are former management companies or apartment complexes because they will give you unbiased feedback on their former residents. Often, an applicant will have a private landlord as reference, and this can be tricky. Sometimes this reference will be their mother, or sister, or someone that is not inclined to give negative reference for the applicant. Be wary of these types of references. Here are the questions that one should ask a former landlord:
- 1.Find out if the reference is a management company, apartment complex, or an individual.
- 2.Write down the person’s name that you speak to.
- 3.Verify the length of residency.
- 4.Ask the rent amount.
- 5.Ask about their payment history. How many late payments, returned checks, etc.
- 6.Ask if they gave proper notice when vacating.
- 7.Did they fulfill the obligations of their lease?
Ask if they were a cooperative tenant. You can fill in whatever questions are important to you here. Ask about how often they complained about maintenance, the neighbors, etc.