Are you scared of getting Fake Landlord References?

6 Replies

I've recently detected a fake landlord reference, but I almost got "fooled" by the "professional landlord reference service" that the applicant hired to fake their landlord reference. Has anyone dealt with this?

If you google "Fake Landlord Reference Service" you will see many options for renters. This is how they work, they ask the renter to provide information about their lease, move-in/out dates, rent amount, address, etc...

Your applicant provides the phone number of the "fake service" in place of their real landlord, when you call the landlord to verify their landlord reference, they answer all the questions that you ask them, they even are able to fax you the response with the "Fake Property Management" companies' letter head.

Here is what ReferencePal offers as a "Fake Landlord Reference" service

Fake Landlord Reference

How worried are you about this? Or am I overacting about this, and should not worry about this because it's not as bad as I think? Anyone have any tips on a bulletproof method to detect fake landlord reference checks every time?

This is why I also do a full background and credit check as well. I use Cozy.co for everything. They charge the prospective tenant a fee to provide me with their background check and credit report. They're the most comprehensive landlord resource I've found and it's free to use.

I was not aware that fake landlord reference websites even existed... So thanks for posting this.  I wouldn't be too worried about it. Only thing I can think to do would be to do a search for the name and phone number that's given and see if they exist somewhere. You can also use a service like Spokeo to find information about them.

Not surprising as there are also fake pay stub companies out there (they really should be stopped as they're helping commit fraud).

Personally, I don't call former landlords. And if I was going to I wouldn't hold any stock in the current landlord for if the tenant is a bad tenant there's a chance the landlord will leave that part out just to get the bad tenant out of his or her property. 

I let the credit check check and the criminal background check do the talking (as well as the potential tenants' social media page(s)). 

Yes all the time I always check the tax records to see if the landlord name matches. If it doesn't I ask them when they purchased it or for how much etc. Questions only the landlord would know that can also be found in the tax roll 

What do you to to prevent yourself from getting fake landlord references from Property Management Company or Apartment complex? So is it safe to say that PM company or Apartment complex would not "fake" a landlord reference? If i can find them on yelp/google I can assume that they would not lie about their tenants right?

How do you go about verifying a Property Management Company or Apartment Complex?

I don't talk to the most recent landlord or PM, I go to one or two that preceded it since my app asks for the past three residences info.  I've also talked to neighbors if the people were in a single family.

This might shock people, but I dont actually check landlord references. Either they are good...great....or they are fake in which case they give you a good reference too. I rely on credit and linkedin mostly.

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