Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Protect Your Rental: How to Spot a Fake Application

Rental Application Form and Income StatementsVerifying a potential tenant’s information on their rental application might be difficult. Then again, the burden is on the landlord or property owner to guarantee that the tenant has honestly represented themselves. Unhappily, certain tenants will give false or misleading information on their application, from a fake “previous landlord” to fraudulent pay stubs – among other things.

It’s critical to do your due diligence and thoroughly analyze each area of their application, regardless of how decent the tenant may look at first glance. You may begin by learning about some of the most usual strategies applicants may use to forge information and how to spot them.

Fake Landlord and References

Renters are aware that you will want to contact their previous landlord for a reference, not to mention at least one or two people who can vouch for them. But if the tenant has a troubled rental history, they may try to connect you with fake references.

In some cases, this could be a friend or family member they’ve asked to pose as an Ivins property manager or reference. But it could also be a professional service they’ve hired. Depending on the service, these can look very convincing unless you are double-checking everything.

Fake Employment Info

The same thing is true for an applicant’s employment or income information. Tenants may try to increase their income to help them qualify for a better rental home, and some of the tactics used can be quite advanced. Other tenants may go so far as to fabricate pay stubs using online pay stub generators to “prove” their income.

Be sure to cross-reference everything they write on their application with the information on their credit report to prevent getting fooled by fake employment information. There are many red flags to watch for, like round numbers, inconsistencies, and a lack of professional appearance.

Lies About Criminal History

Another major issue for some applicants is the background check. Some potential tenants may hope that you won’t check their background too carefully and claim that they don’t have a criminal record on their application. Of course, this is usually a pretty easy one to spot if you are using a background checking service of any quality.

While a quality background check can be high-priced, a good Ivins property management company is expected to deliver more thorough checks as part of your service contract – and keep you compliant with Fair Housing laws. That alone might make it worth hiring one to manage your properties!

Suspicious Social Security Number

Another popular method an applicant may try to fake a rental application is by using a fake social security number or one that belongs to a child or family member. There are a lot of factors why this could be the case. The candidate may have a motive to conceal their credit history or may not even have their social security number.

In any case, you can check for a couple of red flags that will make spotting a fake social security number easier. If the credit history is blank or practically empty, the odds are that the social security number is either fake or belongs to a child and not the applicant. It’s also crucial to keep an eye for inconsistencies, and if anything seems off, do some more digging.


One of the simplest solutions to prevent getting duped by a fake rental application is to employ Real Property Management Southern Utah to screen your tenants for you. Our local offices have access to some of the best screening programs in the country, offering you high-quality services on a personal level. Contact us online today to learn more about our full range of property management services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.