How to Vet Tenants?

Being a landlord in today’s times can be challenging due to the potential consequences of dealing with a bad tenant. The eviction process, particularly through the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), can be time-consuming and frustrating when trying to remove a non-paying tenant efficiently. Moreover, advancements in technology have made it easier for individuals to create counterfeit documents, such as fake credit reports, employment letters, pay stubs, and work references. Given these circumstances, it is crucial to invest effort into thoroughly vetting prospective tenants. You might wonder how to navigate this situation when everything seems fake.

In a video discussing my approach to tenant vetting, I address these concerns by emphasizing the importance of third-party verification, akin to an investigation. In addition to standard vetting procedures, I employ the following strategies:

  1. Conduct Zoom pr in-person interviews with potential tenants: By engaging in conversation with applicants over video calls, it becomes relatively easy to detect inconsistencies or falsehoods. Asking casual questions like “How do you commute to work?”, “Does your boss have any children?”, or “What are your likes and dislikes about your job?” can reveal if an applicant is being truthful. People often struggle to maintain consistent details when lying, leading to discrepancies in their responses when similar questions are asked in different ways.

  2. Conduct thorough investigations: When a tenant claims to work for a specific company (let’s say ABC Company), I go the extra mile to verify their employment. I reach out to ABC Company through public channels and request to speak with the person the applicant claims to work with. If the company is larger, I directly contact their HR department. For extensive verification, I even request the tenant to send an email from their work email address, as it would be difficult for ordinary individuals to fake a domain associated with a prominent company. Additionally, I conduct in-depth investigations using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Zoominfo, and others, adopting a comprehensive approach akin to that of a private investigator.

By implementing these measures, I strive to ensure that the tenants I select for my rental properties are trustworthy and reliable. While there is always a possibility of encountering fraudulent documents, taking these precautions can significantly reduce the risks associated with renting to dishonest individuals.

Note: It is essential to remain up-to-date with local laws and regulations governing tenant screening and to seek legal advice if necessary.

Here are some examples of what documents could be faked: