Spotting Fake Tenants: Rental Companies Fight Back on Lease Fraud

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Rental housing companies are seeing a rise in lease fraud, with applicants resorting to increasingly sophisticated tactics to secure apartments. This article explores the red flags property managers look for and the steps they take to combat this issue.

Red Flags:

  • Income falsification: Fake pay stubs with inconsistencies in fonts, pay periods, or illogical year-to-date amounts.
  • Phony Credit Protection Numbers (CPNs): New CPNs with minimal credit history or implausibly clean records for someone with a supposed income level.
  • Doctored documents: Grammatical errors, blurry copies, mismatched fonts, or missing details on pay stubs, IDs, or bank statements.

Rental Companies Combating Fraud:

  • Leasing Team Training: Educating staff on red flags and verification techniques.
  • Screening Tools: Utilizing software to detect inconsistencies in PDFs and verify document authenticity.
  • Verification Steps: Double-checking details, contacting employers, and requesting additional documentation like Social Security cards.
  • Clear Communication: Informing applicants upfront about verification processes and consequences of fraudulent applications.

Legal Action:

Discovering fraud after signing a lease can be a distressing situation, but it is crucial to handle it promptly and effectively. Eviction proceedings become necessary to address the false information provided and ensure that the integrity of the leasing process is upheld. Taking immediate action in such cases is of utmost importance as it not only protects the interests of all parties involved but also sends a strong message that fraudulent activities will not be tolerated. By swiftly addressing the issue, you can safeguard your rights as a tenant and maintain a fair and transparent leasing environment.

Beyond Lease Applications:

Rental companies are also vigilant against phishing attacks targeting staff through emails and texts. Staff training and IT security measures help mitigate these attempts.

The Takeaway:

It is crucial for rental companies to remain proactive when dealing with lease fraud. By actively looking out for warning signs and implementing strong verification procedures, they can effectively reduce financial vulnerabilities and guarantee the reliability of their renters. This proactive approach not only protects the company’s assets but also helps maintain a positive reputation in the industry.