Three landlords now share a similar fate– they each were recently scammed by a deadbeat tenant claiming to be a millionaire.
According to a news report, this “millionaire tenant” was able to secure three different rental properties without verification of his income, and without revealing that he already had been kicked out for failure to pay rent.
In hindsight, there were some warning signs:
For example, in one instance the tenant was claiming to be a millionaire with a large home, but asking to rent a modest apartment over some shops without a clear reason for doing so.
Later, when he applied to rent a higher-priced property, he asked to pay the first and last month’s rent in installments.
Also, he was not driving the luxury car he listed on his rental applications.
Each time, the tenant bounced rent cheques.
At least one of the landlords has been able to obtain a judgement, but because the landlord did not have the tenant’s proper banking information, he is having difficulty collecting.
High risk tenants that use landlords as a revolving line of credit are accomplished at giving a good impression and can fool even the most experienced landlords. Unfortunately, it takes only one bad tenant to eat into rental profits. It pays to be skeptical, and conduct a thorough tenant background check on every applicant, no matter how good they sound.
A tenant background check should include:
A tenant credit report, which flags financial irresponsibility.
A reference from the previous landlords.
Employment verification, a T-4 or pay stub, or other satisfactory proof of ability to pay the rent.
Also, insist on a completed rental application. Keep in mind that if you have to track down this individual for unpaid rent or damages, the information you obtain on the application will come in handy.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.