Michele - Friday, January 21, 2022
Over the past 2 years, our credit reporting providers (TransUnion and RentScreener) have been advising us of the increased risk of fraudulent information being provided on tenant applications. A recent TransUnion study has shown that during the pandemic, property managers have seen a 48% increase in fraud activity. We’ve seen this several times when applicants have provided copies of passports, driver’s licenses, and pay stubs that have clearly been altered.
This week, we encountered a fraudulent application where the documentation looked authentic. On the surface, the applicant appeared qualified to rent the home he had applied for. The applicant provided a copy of his Experian credit report showing a 700+ credit score with all accounts paid on-time. He also provided a copy of his bank statements which looked valid and included lots of debit card transactions at local establishments. Finally, he provided copies of paystubs from a local car dealership. All documents looked authentic.
Since we had not requested copies of the credit report or bank statements, we identified this as a possible red flag. A...
Michele - Saturday, January 11, 2020
On December 23rd, our listing agent received a call from a prospective tenant requesting to view one of our managed properties that had painting in progress. The property was scheduled to go on the market in the next few days. The prospective tenant asked to view the property that day, even though it was not yet ready-to-rent. Our agent scheduled an appointment that afternoon.
The prospective tenant loved the house, was willing to accept the home without the painting being completed, and was requesting an immediate move-in date. He explained that he was moving from Maryland to Woodbridge to care for a sick family member. He wanted to occupy the home within 2 days since his family members would be able to assist with the move over the holiday. The applicant stated that he had excellent credit and substantial income. He completed an online application within 30 minutes of viewing the property. He also offered to paint the home himself so that he could move immediately rather than waiting for the scheduled work to be completed.
Most self-managing landlords would be excited about this scenario and the option of having the home rented before the new year. Most property managers immediat...
Michele - Sunday, April 8, 2018
Because many of our landlords rely on incoming rent to pay their monthly mortgage, we feel it is important for them to be involved in the application vetting process.When we screen perspective tenants, we run a credit and criminal background search, verify employment/income, and obtain rental or mortgage history. A qualified applicant will have:
- Monthly income greater than 3 times the monthly rent
- Paid all rent on-time for the past two years
- Paid all other credit accounts on-time for the past two years
- A credit score greater than 650
- No criminal/felony history for the past 5 years
For each processed application, we will provide the landlord with a high level overview of the verified information obtained during the vetting process. We will also provide the landlord with a recommendation using a Red/Green/Yellow paradigm.
Green applications are those that meet all of our qualifying criteria. We recommend the landlord proceed with accepting the applications subject to the details of any pets or tenant requests.
Michele - Sunday, February 5, 2017
Over the past 9 years, we have placed over 700 tenants into our 350+ managed properties through our listing and vetting process. Only ½ of 1 percent of those tenants have been evicted. During the same time period, we began managing another 50 properties with tenants already in place. For the 50 properties where we took on management of a property with tenants that had been put in place by the landlord or another Realtor prior to our management of the property, we have evicted over 5% of those tenants.
While there is no organization that is compiling statistics on local or national average/expectation for eviction rates, I am confident that our success rate for on-time rental payments is due to our strict and consistent application process. We require applicants to earn a gross income that is greater than 3x the rent payment, to have paid rent on-time for the past 2 years, and to have paid all other bills on-time for the past 2 years. We also run a criminal history background check to further verify there have been no recent drug related or violent charges.
Once we process an application, we provide the owner with a Green/Yellow/Red risk indicator and a recommendation as to whether ...