by Stephen White
It is important to get as much information from your applicant as possible when they are filling out a rental application. If you are looking to do an employment verification, then there are two main things you are looking to obtain from the applicant.
The first, most obvious, piece of information is the place of employment. Most landlords think that it’s ok to get just the name of the employer and that’s all. This is not right whatsoever, and you need to be sure to get the name, address, phone number, and name of the supervisor.
The more information you can get the applicant to provide on the rental application, the better.
I can’t tell you how many applicants try getting away with putting down their friends phone number. Usually it’s easy to tell that this is the case, either you’ll get a personal voicemail or they pick up and at first deny being their employer, and then quickly “remember” that the applicant is in fact employed full time and has been for at least a couple years. If this happens, and you are only given that they work at McDonald’s, but not which location, there is not much you can do. But when the address is provided, it is very easy to use Google and cross reference the information.
Getting signed consent from the applicant is the second important part of the employment verification process. Many employers will not give out any information over the phone, not even a simple yes they are employed. They will ask you to fax over the signed consent before they say another word to you. So without this, you will get nowhere in most cases. See our page on FCRA compliance to learn more about written consent here.
Now keep in mind, some landlords don’t like going through the process above, and would much rather get copies of pay stubs handed over to them. This is a good and acceptable practice to use, but you also need to remember that these documents can be altered.
This article was written by Stephen White and originally published on rentprep