Blanks in Your Tenant or Employment Application Can KILL You
What’s the big deal? An empty space or two, perhaps some scribbled answers, what’s the difference? The answer is that these common Tenant Screening or Employment application problems don’t simply mean that some of the requested information is missing or illegible but have more sinister implications. You need to be concerned with WHY it is missing.
Sometimes, the applicant is simply unsure of the item or doesn’t remember the answer. All too often, however, the applicant doesn’t want you to find out something they know. Perhaps they were evicted from a previous address or have public records and collection accounts on their social security number. If they can get you to accept misleading information or the lack of information they can still get what they want. You will get something as well; aggravation and unpaid bills. Simply put, if their fraud wins, you will lose.
Today, we received a request for credit screening where the applicant had clearly included the letter ‘P’ in a Social Security number. We can never be sure of intent, but we do know it is often intentional. At best, it requires our client to do extra work in obtaining correct information. At worst, it allows an unqualified applicant to sneak through the screening.
It will save you a great deal of time and money if you can have whoever witnesses the application make sure all questions are answered and all answers are legible. This check is quick and easy, requiring only the ability to read and about a minute of time. It will always lead to better results from your decision making process and directly cut down on your aggravation as well as possible debt collection problems.
We find that between 5 and 10 percent of applicant information is fraudulent. I will cover other issues relating to application fraud in a later article. For now, however, isn’t a minute a small price to pay to dramatically reduce the problem?