When a prospective renter applies for an apartment, it is up to the landlord to verify that the applicant meets basic requirements. A landlord must protect his financial interests by ensuring that the prospective tenant can comfortably afford to meet monthly rent obligations. One of the most important checks a landlord performs is an employment verification.
Like lenders, the landlord or management office of an apartment complex must verify an applicant's employment situation. Firstly, the landlord must verify that the firm listed as the employer actually exists. Secondly, the amount of income the proposed tenant lists on the application must match the information that his employer has on file.
Landlords commonly use one of three methods to verify employment. One way is to ask for an official letter from the employer verifying the applicant's monthly or yearly salary, as well as a summary of basic information regarding his work history. Another verification method is to ask to see the applicant's most recent pay stubs. As a third option, the landlord can simply call the human resources department of the employer to verify information about the applicant. The landlord can also perform a check of the state's business records to ensure that the employer runs a stable, licensed and registered company.
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Other Income Sources
In some cases an apartment landlord will consider other forms of income to determine whether the proposed tenant is qualified for the space. For instance, when applying for an off-campus apartment, a student might have to rely on student aid or his parents' help. In this case, the landlord evaluates the source of funds to verify the amount and determine if it is a sufficiently stable income source. If another person plans to support the renter, the landlord commonly requires that person to become a cosigner.
Besides an employment verification, the landlord also performs other screening steps. One important step is to check the proposed tenant's credit report for negative entries, like a past foreclosure or series of credit account charge-offs. Another step is an eviction check to see if any previous landlords had trouble with the applicant — particularly if it is due to non-payment of rent.