There is always concern that the landlord reference is not legitimate. By using the script, it will be easier to determine if the person on the call is actually a landlord. Most fake references are coached to give generic answers, and are easily stumped by specific questions.
Another way to deal with a possibly fraudulent reference is ask landlord-friendly questions like “How do you deal with marijuana in your properties?” or “Have you gone non-smoking?” Come up with a question that can be independently verified, like “How many units are in the complex?” or “How long have you owned the property?” Or, simply tell the reference that you need to confirm that they are the landlord and ask them to help you work that out.
If the reference flags legitimate problems, be sure to get specific details. Allow the reference to talk freely, even if it’s more information than necessary, but filter out any personal biases, especially any racially-charged comments. Those comments cannot be used to reject an applicant.
Along with checking references, run
reports. Bad credit overlaps into rental history if the tenant has been sued for past-due rent or property damage. Run national eviction and criminal checks along with the
, and then look for information on those reports that contradicts the rental application. For instance, a criminal charge or eviction might not match the previous residence history.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is 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.