Thanks to the rising popularity of online rental applications, more and more property managers are noting that there is a corresponding increase in online theft, fraud, and identity theft associated with rental applications. In fact, about one in every two property managers said that they’ve had an increase in online applications this year, and three in every four said that they had concerns about rental fraud. Two in five said they are not presently confident that they even have accurate information about their current residents.
To the greatest extent possible, beating online fraud relies on screening processes that some tenants do not support or enjoy. However, said Mike Doherty, senior vice president at TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, the key is to do as many things as possible to verify identity and rental history before signing a lease. “Credit history, prior rental payments, and other screening techniques allow property managers to make smarter and better objective decisions,” he said. He added that property managers must also constantly update and refine their fraud and identity theft protocols to keep up with evolving technology.
Screen tenants as much as you legally can, even if you have a very open acceptance policy, to make sure that you are renting to whom you believe you are.
Point to Ponder:
How invasive should tenant screening be when it comes to digging into a potential renter’s past?
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Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.