When someone applies to move into one of your rental properties, it is imperative to conduct a thorough, detailed screening.  This is the most important task in the entire leasing process, as a simple mishap could end up leaving you with bad tenants.

Do you know how easy it is to create a fake paycheck stub online?  I did it, and it took me less than two minutes from start to finish, and only cost me $5.  And it looks REAL!!

So what can you do to protect yourself and make sure the information you are receiving is legit?

1. Look for spelling mistakes.  A real paycheck stub is very unlikely to have spelling or grammatical errors.  Another tip is to look for zero’s in place of the letter “o”, and vice versa.

2. Look for information that doesn’t match (birthdates, social security number, etc).

3. Watch out for numbers rounded up.  If there are too many numbers ending in .00, that is a red flag.  Accountants are precise, and would not round up any numbers on tax deductions, medicare deductions, etc.

4. Make sure it is clearly legible.  Some tenants might copy the paystub to make it poor quality so that you can’t verify everything.  If you can’t clearly read everything on it, and it’s not a clear copy, ask for another one.

5. Look for math errors.  A legit paycheck stub should not have math errors.

6. Ask for an employer reference, and actually contact the employer.  This is the best way to verify employment, and although it takes a little more time, it’s well worth it.

While I hope you never come across this type of issue with applicants, it’s necessary to be ready to spot any counterfeit information that you receive.  Whether you are looking for property management in St. Louis or property management in St. Charles, we are here to help!