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How To Properly Conduct An Employment Reference Check & Questions Landlords Should Ask

How To Properly Conduct An Employment Reference Check & Questions Landlords Should Ask

Completing an employment reference check is a vital step to screening tenant applications. This step should not be taken lightly as there are many cases of fraudulent applications, especially in the Toronto and GTA market as rental rates are at an all time high. 

The most important aspect to figuring out if a tenant is suited for a rental property is knowing their monthly income. 

Could this tenant afford the monthly rent payments? To find out this information, it is a standard practice for landlords to request prospective tenants employment letters and recent pay stubs to verify income amount and details. 

Here is our #1 PRO  TIP when calling the employer for a reference check:

If possible, do not call the phone number that is provided on the rental application or employment letter. Instead, research the employer online, visit the company’s website and look for the HR department’s contact number, if possible. If no contact number is listed for the HR department, we recommend contacting the main company line to be transferred to a HR manager or a staff member that can help direct you to the Supervisor who is listed on the rental application.

This procedure will ensure you are getting in touch with the actual employer and it will also confirm with you if the Supervisor listed on the rental application, does in fact exist and work for that company.

Here Are Questions To Ask During Your Reference Call With The Employer:

How employers facilitate these employment checks vary from company to company. Some employers, especially banks and government companies, can only answer YES or NO to questions. We recommend, if possible, to ask the employer open-ended questions, this way, you can cross reference with the details that the prospective tenant has provided.  

  1. Verify the first and last name of the applicant
  2. Verify the job title of the applicant
  3. Verify the annual salary 
  4. Does the applicant have a permanent or temporary contract with the company?
  5. How long has this person been working for the company?
  6. Confirm with the employer if they foresee any changes with the applicant’s position within the company

By asking these questions, this can give landlords a sense of the applicants standing within the company and of course verify if the details they have provided are true. 

From experience, it can be challenging to get a hold of the point of contact at the applicant’s company. We do highly suggest patience with this step and to not accept a rental offer until you have connected with the employer and asked the necessary questions above. 

If you or a landlord you know needs support with finding a qualified tenant and help with spotting fraudulent applications to prevent huge financial risk, contact us today and we will be happy to help!