Do Landlords Actually Call Employers for Background Checks?

The following are some things to keep in mind so that you’re prepared when the time comes to apply for a new apartment or house.

Know what to expect

Nine times out of 10, your landlord is going to do a thorough screening of your income history and background to better determine if you meet his or her standards. Landlords often use third-party screening services that provide credit reports and criminal background information on potential tenants, but when it comes to employment checks, landlords might directly call your employer.

As mentioned above, each landlord has their own qualification process, so it’s hard to estimate how in-depth they’re going to get. However, almost every landlord will collect proof of income in one way or another, so be prepared to deliver that.

Some landlords might require more than others

Many landlords require the tenants occupying the space to prove they make at least three times the amount of rent in income. This is often used as a benchmark income requirement when renting an apartment or house. Although this number varies, it’s a good starting place for you to refer to when shopping for apartments.

When landlords do seek out your current employer, they’re usually looking to find out a few key things:

  • Verification of employment: you actually work where you say you do
  • Length of employment: how long you’ve been with the company
  • Income verification: proof of how much money you actually bring in

You can also expect to sign a release of personal information for your landlord, because many employers will refuse to give out any data without written consent from you first.

Sometimes your boss or supervisor will just provide you a letterhead with the requested information and that will work as well. As long as your employer can accurately provide these deliverables and the landlord is satisfied with the information, you should be able to qualify as a tenant.

Some may not request much information at all

It’s important to note that not all landlords are created equally. As mentioned, they each have their own processes in place for qualifying tenants. Some landlords might also check your rental history throughout the process to ensure you’ve been a respectable tenant in the past. And some may not call your employer or do any thorough background checks at all. Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, it’s better to be prepared.

If you’re in the middle of a job change or have financial changes going on, it’s best to be upfront and let the landlord know ahead of time. Lying on your rental application could severely damage your chance of qualifying. Most landlords will be willing to work with you if you’re honest from the get-go.

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Linzi MartinLinzi Martin has been a freelance writer for over five years. A Florida native, Linzi resides in Delray Beach, where she works as a content marketer and writer for small-to-medium sized businesses around the globe. Her work has been featured by the Porcaro Law Group, VoyageMIA and The Connect Magazine, just to name a few.

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