Best Ways to Get Tenants to Pay Rent Online

Landlords are constantly looking for more efficient ways to handle the collection of rent from tenants. While collecting rent in the traditional way via personal check is a comfortable way to handle monthly rent payments, a lot of complications can arise. Checks get lost in the mail or misplaced in the office, or tenants get forgetful and neglect to write that check on the first of the month, forcing you to expend time and energy to track them down.

 

Online bill payment can take care of a lot of the above problems and benefit both landlords and tenants. But despite how so many tenants pay the majority of their bills online nowadays — credit cards, utilities and auto payments — quite a few are hesitant about using the Internet to pay their largest bill. So how does a landlord go about getting their tenants to pay their rent online?

Benefits of online rental payment

As mentioned above, receiving of rent online cuts out the middleman from the tenant-to-landlord-to-bank transaction process. Instead of physically receiving a check, filing it for later deposit, going to the tenant’s profile and marking that they’ve paid, filling out bank account numbers and signing checks for deposit, filling out deposit slips and going to the bank to physically deposit the money; you can accept a payment with one click and transfer that money into a bank account with another. Landlords also can have tenants set up automatic payments linking their bank accounts to the tenants’. So instead of waiting for them to drop off or mail the rent, it can be automatically withdrawn from the tenant’s bank account into the landlord’s.

 

As for tenants, online banking saves time and money. Instead of filling out a check and dropping it off or mailing it, just fill out a few things online and authorize payment — a process that takes seconds, and saves money on stamps. If a landlord accepts credit card payments, tenants can earn major rewards from credit cards by paying rent online.

 

Tips to encourage online rental payment

There are a few things you can do as a landlord to prompt tenants to use an online bill-pay service for rent.

 

First, you can make sure that the transaction is free. This is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how little an online fee might be; people will not pay it. The key to promoting online bill pay is to highlight its hassle-free nature. Fees are seen as hassle no matter how low they are, so leave them out entirely.

 

Allow the use of credit cards. You might be concerned that a tenant paying by credit card is living beyond their means, but as mentioned above, many people pay bills with credit cards to get rewards points. Trust that your income and credit evaluation was sound and let tenants pay rent online with credit — they’ll do it if they think they can get a free vacation from it.

 

Offer rewards for online bill pay. Whether it’s money off a month’s rent or a gift card, rewards and prizes will always get tenants eager to participate.  Tenants will develop online payment habits this way, and once they get into the habit, they won’t go back.

 

Finally, sell the benefits of bill pay. Send out fliers or emails to tenants describing why online bill pay is good for them and give them a step-by-step checklist that covers how to do it. Do the research for them and answer questions up front. The less confusion about the process, the more likely they’ll start it up.

Conclusion

Paying rent online is a mutually beneficial process for both tenant and landlord once both parties get past the initial awkward unfamiliarity stage. If you take the above steps now to get tenants comfortable with online transactions, an efficient and rewarding rent-payment process is sure to follow.

Ensuring Tenant Privacy

As part of the rental application, a landlord needs to collect confidential data about a potential tenant in order to determine if they are suitable for the suite or home they wish to rent.

Sensitive data may include employment information, bank account and credit history, social security numbers, and previous addresses, all of which are of interest to an identity thief.

A landlord may also know personal information about the tenant, including marital status, children, and other sensitive data that legally shouldn’t be on paper.

In the USA, both personal and confidential tenant data is protected, and a landlord is prohibited from releasing any financial or personal data to a third party, without written consent of the tenant.

Confidentiality of tenant information is a landlord’s responsibility, and it’s their job to ensure that their tenant’s personal and financial information is protected from nosy neighbors, debt collectors, or fraudsters who may be fishing for information.

When tracking tenant information you need to ensure that their confidential data is kept secure.

This is applicable to either paper records and computer data.

Keep tenant records under lock and key
Rental applications can be the main source of confidential tenant data.

Once an application has been processed and accepted, there’s no reason to leave it out in the open.

Keep tenant records in a filing cabinet that locks securely or in a closet with a deadbolt when not in use.

File essential paperwork immediately. If you’re leaving the office, lock your door behind you.

Keep sensitive information in a folder
It takes only a moment for someone to read information off a document.

When processing rental applications, keep in mind the foot traffic through the office.

Flip papers over or tuck them into a file folder so that passersby can’t read tenant information in passing.

Protect computerized files
Tenant files kept on a computer should be protected with the same care that is taken with paper files.

Protect access to your computer with a strong eight character password.

Take this security one step further to ensure that all confidential files storing tenant information are also password protected.

Protect information in transit
Dissuade prying eyes from flipping open unattended files.

If tenant records are stored securely off-site, transport them in a locking briefcase.

This provides one extra level of protection, in case you leave it unattended for any length of time.

Shred non-essential files
Carelessly tossing rejected rental applications into the bin is a violation of state laws.

Run any non-essential papers through the shredder to ensure that any information containing personal identities or credit card or banking information is destroyed.

Don’t reveal information about tenants
Whether someone calls you for information about a tenant or you’re speaking to their neighbor, it’s important to avoid talking about that person without written consent from the tenant.

Discussing other tenants without their consent is unprofessional behavior that can land you in trouble, particularly if you inadvertently disclose information.

It’s best to inform the other party of your policy and change the topic.

Possible exceptions may include written consent from the tenant which may involve providing confirmation that they lived at your location for a certain length of time, or when requested by a law enforcement official.

Landlords may learn more information about a tenant than they need or want to know, but they have the responsibility to ensure that tenant information stays between landlord and tenant, and is not shared via a third party.

As a landlord, it’s part of your job to protect personal and confidential data about your tenants from third party requests.

If in doubt, obtain written permission from your tenant before sharing their confidential data.

5 Golden Rules to Create Model Tenants

After investing in your rental property, your tenants become your most valuable asset.

They help determine your staying power in the real estate business, and therefore serve as valuable additions to your property’s value.

Selecting good tenants is a difficult role for most landlords, but not because of the caliber of tenants.

There are many decent potential tenants waiting on the right housing opportunity.

The problem lies with the approach to finding the right tenant.

1. Property Appeal—“Like Attracts Like”

Before you can find the right tenant, you need to invest in your property.

When your property looks immaculate and is located in a desirable part of town, it will attract the kind of tenants you want.

Conversely, if it looks “run down,”  it’s unlikely you’ll find the model tenant you are looking for.

Since “like attracts like” in the real estate industry, landlords with well-maintained properties are more likely to attract tenants who are willing to uphold the same standards of house maintenance as you are.

2. Lease Agreement—“Your Word is Your Bond”

Like a marriage contract, the terms set out in your landlord-tenant agreement are legally binding.

To foster a long lasting future with the ideal tenant, start the relationship off on the right footing; draft a lease that is reasonable and respectful of the needs of both parties and be sure to review the document in full with your prospective tenant.

Even after the lease agreement is signed, differences can arise.

Experts strongly recommend that both parties attempt to resolve any issues with each other before seeking outside help.

Probably the most important advice to resolving landlord-tenant disputes is for both parties to read the lease agreement and become familiar with each other’s obligations.

3. The Rental Business—“It’s a Business Relationship Not a Friendship”

Communication is at the core of any great relationship; however, it’s a very different dynamic when a tenant thinks of you as a friend.

With friendships, special privileges and concessions are expected and that can compromise your business investment.

Be courteous and professional.

Keep your relationship on a business level, communicating clearly any new arrangements to be implemented and ensuring terms are understood before documenting.  

4. Property Maintenance—“Happy Tenants are those who are Routinely Maintained”

Happy tenants are extremely important to your real estate business, and good tenants are happy tenants.

The way you keep them contented is by keeping your property in good shape.

Fix leaks, replace old fixtures and fittings, and inspect the home annually.  

You may want to keep a list nearby of good plumbers, electricians and tradesman to refer to when needed, if a problem were to arise.

5. Negotiate on Some Terms—“Yield to Understanding”

Don’t be too rigid with house rules that you scare away good tenants—be flexible and negotiate.

You may hate having pets on your property, but if a responsible tenant wants to move in with a family cat, there is little harm in making revisions to accommodate that request.

As long as all newly negotiated terms are in writing, your leniency will stand to benefit your relationship in unexpected and fruitful ways.

Many landlords find that being pet friendly makes them stand out from the crowd.

Often they attract good tenants who are happy to pay more rent for pet accommodation.

Model tenants reliably tend to their obligations.

They pay the rent on time, take care of your property and are respectful neighbors in the community.

The bond you help create with your tenants can only strengthen your investment.

How To Check For Evictions

Part of the tenant screening process for any landlord must include an eviction search. Tenants that have past evictions may not be a true reflection of their potential value in a lease, but it does indicate that they are a high-risk tenant that may not be right for you. Eviction records are considered part of the open public record, so these red flags are pretty easy to spot. The easiest way to check for evictions is to have a credit check as part of the tenant screening process. Evictions are typically on a credit report and you’ll also get to see a brief overview of a tenant’s financial situation at the same time. You’ll need written consent to receive this report, so don’t just run the credit check because you could find yourself at risk for litigation, fines, or both if you do. Here are some other ways that you can check for evictions as well.

1. Obtain Information About Previous Residences.

During the tenant screening process, it is not uncommon to ask for up to 3-5 years of previous addresses. This gives you two pieces of good information: how stable the household structure is and information to contact a previous landlord. To speak with the landlord, however, you’ll need written authorization that can be sent via email or fax to get the information that is needed.

2. Contact the County Court of a Previous Address.

If you don’t get authorization to speak with a former landlord, then take advantage of the open public records. Check the eviction records for that county. If a tenant was ordered out of a residence, then a writ of possession will be on file for the property in question. Unless it is a rural county, there’s a good chance that this information can be found online.

3. Look for Judgments on a Tenant’s Records.

When you pull the credit file for a tenant, you may not see an eviction in place. What you may see in its place is a judgment from a lawsuit that was initiated by one of the previous landlords of that potential tenant instead. You may need to pull credit reports from all 3 major credit reporting agencies in the US to verify judgment records.

4. Request a Tenant Screening Report.

A number of professional agencies provide complete tenant screening reports based on the personal information an applicant provides you. In return for a service fee, which can often be charged to the applicant, the organization creating the report will obtain a criminal history, credit information, and a complete examination of any public records that will give you an idea of how risky a tenant may be.

5. Not Every Eviction is Something That a Landlord May Initiate.

There are some jurisdictions that allow law enforcement officials to initiate an eviction based on the arrest of a renter for a drug charge or other illegal activity. Landlords in this situation are generally given 30 days to evict the tenant on their own, but law enforcement will complete the eviction at the end of 30 days if the landlord has not done so.

6. It is Important to Remember That Not Every Eviction Attempt Winds Up in an Actual Court-Ordered Eviction.

When a landlord gives their tenant a notice to pay or quit, that means a tenant has the option to actually quit. That means they must move out of the rental property by a certain date. This action is considered to be an eviction, but it is not a court-ordered eviction. The same is true for tenants who might move out by a notice date for other lease violations, such as having a pet that is not allowed. This is why it is important to check all references and records and not just rely on public information or references only.

7. Evictions on a Credit Report Can be Disputed.

It is also important to realize as a potential landlord that credit-based eviction information may be placed there in error. A potential tenant may not have been evicted, but a previous landlord may not have stopped a court proceeding and received a default judgment because notice wasn’t given as indicated. It’s unlikely, but it does happen. If an application is in the process of disputing an inaccurate eviction report on their credit, then this should be combined with other screening information to render an empowered decision. Screening for a past eviction is an important part of any tenant application process. If you are not doing this already, then follow these steps to begin locate eviction information now so that you can limit your risks.

Five Strategies to Increase Tenant Retention

Just because a tenant’s signed a lease, doesn’t mean they’ll stay–keeping a good tenant around has a lot to do with being a good property manager. Being flexible and friendly, yet professional, is crucial to tenant retention. Here are five strategies to increase tenant retention.

1. Call 48 Hours Before Coming Over

Don’t show up unannounced. Nothing causes more frantic cleaning and a painful feeling of awkward invasion than a property manager who shows up without calling first. Many folks don’t even like friends stopping by spontaneously, much less a landlord interrupting their dinner party. It’s important and polite to respect people’s backgrounds and personalities. Calling 48 hours ahead of time is a safe time frame that allows them to adjust their schedule and prepare for the visit.

2. Allow (Reasonable) Changes to the Property

Good tenants care about the property they live on. When they move in, they look for desirable features in the property, such as landscaping and space for a garden or an area for children to play. They keep the property in good shape because they’re not just looking for a cheap place to rest their head, trash, and leave. They’re building a home and taking pride in its aesthetics and functionality.

To keep these tenants, it’s important to allow them to personalize the property, whether it’s through planting an apple tree on the sunny side, growing a luscious garden, or adding a tool shed out back. Not only will this increase tenant retention but it will increase the value of your property with minimal effort on your part.

3. Allow (Reasonable) Changes to the Interior

Good tenants–tenants who stick around–may want to do more than just hang up a poster. They might call you with ideas to paint a mural in the baby’s room or install a bar in the dining area. You can state in the rental agreement that the tenant must discuss or collaborate on these projects with you. Remember, a client who can get creative in building their home is a tenant who’s invested in it. This tenant is likely to stick around and re-sign the lease for years to come.

4. Be Prompt when Fixing Issues

While the aforementioned tenants who get jazzed up about installing a bar or planting an apple tree are likely to unclog their own toilets and change their own light bulbs, they might not have the time or inclination to fix bigger projects. If the stove or the sink is in a state of disrepair, it can throw a wrench into their busy schedule. If you’re prompt on fixing the sink when your tenants need you, they’ll stick around longer.

5. Be Flexible and Understanding

That being said, if the tenant gets laid off, a move to an apartment with lower rent will look appealing, even if their decrease in income is highly temporary. A good tenant will appreciate a good property manager–one who understands when times are tough and is willing to reduce rent for one month. Another kind and smart thing to do when a tenant is considering re-signing the lease is to offer a rent discount on the first month. Again, this will prevent them from moving, and save you the headache and income loss of finding a new tenant.  

Tenants who are treated like people with desires and needs will feel respected and valued. This will encourage them to be even better tenants because they’ll know they can invest in the property without fear of a picky property manager undoing their homemaking. If your final goal is to sell the home, these tenants could be the ones, if allowed to treat it as their own home, which it is, after all. Keep these strategies at the helm of your operations to ensure a long term, positive relationship with your tenants.

How to Handle Tenants That Are Not Paying Rent on Time

Some tenants pay their rent consistently and only miss 1 or 2 payments over the course of 5 years.

When that happens, you can generally just send them a friendly reminder and you’ll get the rent that you need right away.

Other tenants, however, are consistently late on their rent and collecting cash from them can become problematic.

Knowing how to handle tenants that are not paying rent on time means sometimes you must become the villain, but always remember this: the tenant is at fault and you are due money.

Here’s how you can eliminate a lot of the stress from the situation.

1. Have Clear, Concise Procedures to Follow

98% of tenants will either pay their rent on time or pay it late with the associated late fees.

They aren’t the problem. It’s the 2% of tenants that either can’t pay or won’t pay the rent that cause stress.

If you have eviction procedures in place to follow, confronting delinquent tenants becomes a little easier because you’re following a plan of action.

If you get your rent, then great. If not, then you’ll be ready to start the eviction process.

2. You Must be Proactive 100% of the Time

If you have multiple rental properties that are being managed and you allow one person to pay their rent late consistently, then late payments will begin to spread like a disease throughout all of your tenants.

What’s worse is that you make it even more difficult to start the eviction process on any of them because you’ve set a standard that late rent is fine.

Have a deadline for rental payments and if that deadline isn’t met, start eviction procedures.

Don’t make exceptions to this rule.

3. Always Charge the Maximum

Tenants needs an incentive to pay their rent on time, because otherwise they’ll just pay the late fee and not worry about the fact that you don’t trust them at all.

Whatever your local laws allow for a late fee, charge it.

The legal maximum will encourage those stragglers to keep up with on-time payments because there is more value in paying on time than in paying late.

4. You Must Remain Professional at all Times

Many property managers and landlords will start making threats about turning off utilities or changing the locks, but this is almost always illegal to do and not a valid threat.

What’s worse is that any threat can provide evidence to a tenant during the eviction that you’re not living up to legal expectations and the tenant could potentially win a cash judgment against you.

Personal attacks will also create a bad reputation for you that makes it harder to find future tenants.

Stay professional, no matter how difficult the situation may be, and you’ll get your money eventually.

5. Tenants Must Take You Seriously

If you have a grace period, deliver the late rent notices or the notice to pay or quit immediately and do it in a provable way so that a tenant knows that you’re serious about collecting what they owe you.

Any time you need to deliver this paperwork, you may wish to have a lawyer on hand just in case.

By taking these steps, you can manage even the more difficult situations that you can face pretty effectively and without high stress levels. Implement clear plans today and when you face the 2%, you’ll be ready.

The Outgoing Tenant Checklist

Tenant turnover is inevitable.

As a result, flipping your unit from one tenant to the next is an important part of the property management process.

Having a detailed checklist ensures that you successfully complete all essential steps when your tenant moves out.

End the landlord-tenant relationship with ease by completing these important tasks.

Proper Notification
Your lease should stipulate how much notice your tenant must provide when he or she plans to move it.

This notification is important, as it allows you to begin searching for a new tenant to replace your vacating one.

For example, you might request one month’s or two months’ notice from your tenant.

If you do not hear from your tenant in the months leading up to the end of the lease, remind him or her of the impending end of the lease.

Offer a lease renewal, if you’re interested, or request that the tenant abide by the terms of the lease and provide you with proper notice.

Move-Out Guidelines
Consider providing your tenant with a list of your expectations upon move-out.

For example, you might want the unit cleaned from top to bottom, including the refrigerator and carpets.

If you allowed the tenant to paint the walls, specify whether you want the walls returned to their original color.

Other items to note on the checklist include filling holes in the wall, maintaining the lawn and landscaping until the lease-end date, and removing all trash from the unit.

Move-Out Inspection
Once your tenant vacates your property, you want to promptly inspect the unit for any damage.

If you’re holding a refundable security deposit, you need to decide whether you need to use any portion of the security deposit to fix any damage caused by the tenant.

Check your state landlord-tenant laws and regulations to find out how much time you have to assess any damages and return the security deposit.

You’re likely working with a 30- to 90-day window.

If you intend to keep any portion of the security deposit, you will need to notify your tenant before doing so.

Each state sets forth specific guidance in this area, so it’s your responsibility as a landlord to be well versed in these regulations and adhere to them every time you flip your unit.

Post-Move-Out Responsibilities
Your tenant has moved out, you’ve thoroughly inspected the unit and returned all or a portion of the security deposit, and the keys to your rental property are back in your hands.

Now what?

Until a new tenant moves into your unit, you’re responsible for the complete care of the unit.

Ensure that the utilities have shifted back into your name until your new tenant takes over.

If lawn maintenance was your tenant’s responsibility, remember that it’s yours until the unit is flipped.

Keeping your rental in pristine condition will help you rent the unit out promptly, which will help reduce any gap between tenants – and the resultant gap in rental income.

A tenant moving out should be a smooth process.

After all, turnover is at the heart of your business.

As the landlord, you are responsible for guiding your tenant through the move-out process.

Being available to answer questions and maintaining open lines of communication ensure that your tenant vacates your rental property without any problems.

How Do Tenant Improvements Work

As you step into your rental property, you’ve noticed there have been a few changes made to the property by the tenant.

Two of the rooms have been repainted.

New shutters were added to the exterior.

Those cracks in the concrete steps have been repaired.

Landlords have two options when they discover improvements: they can accept them and the potentially added value they provide or reject them if unauthorized changes are forbidden due to the lease.

If rejected, changing the property back to its original condition can often be charged against the security deposit.

Tenants Do Not Get to Charge For Value

Improvements made by a tenant can often be written off as a tax expense for them because they did the work.

Landlords cannot take any tax deductions from accepted improvements and may wind up having an increased tax burden if the improvements increase the value of the property.

This is often why landlords attempt to reject improvements that are made.

Tenants have a case to fight against improvement rejection for a number of common reasons.

1. The paint they used was the same color that was already in the home or room that was improved.

2. Flooring needed to be repaired anyway and they just did it without notification.

3. There was a safety concern in the home that the tenants resolved on their own.

If you have white walls in your home and the tenant paints them red, then that could be an improvement that would possibly be rejected.

If the white walls are still white, but with a new layer of paint, then the improvement must generally be accepted.

Tenants Have No Right to Claim Value

The issue that landlords face is that some tenants expect to be compensated for their work when they move out.

They use the improvements as a bargaining chip to have their full security deposit returned.

This isn’t necessary in a vast majority of cases. A tenant may have spent $1,000 giving a property new paint, but if they left the property without cleaning it properly, then landlords have the right to charge for that service.

Tenants cannot sue a landlord for the value of the improvements if they were taken on voluntarily and there wasn’t a health or safety issue that required the repair.

Even cracks in concrete steps won’t qualify unless it was a health or safety issue.

Tenant improvements are generally one of those things that are nice to see.

As long as the property hasn’t been altered dramatically, it is generally a best practice to accept them and prepare the property for a new tenant.

Understanding Landlord Harassment

As a landlord, you can be accused of harassment if your actions motivate a tenant to willingly abandon the lease.

This usually occurs when a landlord wants to evict a tenant but doesn’t want to go incur the cost and trouble of a legal eviction.

Landlord harassment generally involves interfering with a tenants’ privacy or making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Breach of Responsibility
If you fail to properly maintain a property, a tenant may have a claim for landlord harassment.

A rental agreement implies a “warranty of habitability,” which means that you have accepted a responsibility to keep the property properly maintained.

If you willingly withhold maintenance, such as routine repairs, garbage collection, or landscaping (if that is part of your rental agreement), you are not fulfilling your responsibility as a landlord.

It’s easy to imagine a situation in which a landlord might withhold maintenance if they are dealing with a difficult tenant.

However, it’s not a good idea to expose yourself to this kind of liability just to send a message to a tenant.

Creating a Nuisance
Another type of landlord harassment involves creating a nuisance, such as sending a lot of verbal or written complaints about a tenant’s behavior.

Other examples of creating a nuisance include damaging or defacing the rental property or a tenant’s belongings, or doing something to make the tenants feel uncomfortable, like purposely making a lot of loud noise.

If you want to evict a tenant for improper behavior, do not try to intimidate the tenant into moving out.

It’s always best to follow the proper channels to communicate problems with a tenant.

Entering the Property
Entering the property can also qualify as landlord harassment.

Local jurisdictions generally have laws that limit how often and for what reason a landlord can enter a tenant’s property.

As a landlord, you have the right to inspect the dwelling a few times per year for the purpose of maintaining the property.

However, this doesn’t give you the right to snoop through their things while you’re there.

It’s also important to remember that even though you own the property, the tenant has legal possession of it.

You must give the tenant proper notification that you need to enter the dwelling, and the frequency of your visits should be reasonable depending on the repairs or maintenance needed.

Stating Rights to Access in the Lease
Some jurisdictions require leases to explicitly state the circumstances under which a landlord may enter the premises.

Even if you are not required to do so by law, you should consider putting a clause about this in the lease.

State in the lease that you have the right to enter the residence for the purposes of making an inspection, making repairs or to show the residence to a prospective tenant or purchaser.

Be aware that the tenant has the right to limit these visits to a reasonable frequency, and you never have the right to enter the property without an appointment.

Abandonment of the Property
If a tenant appears to have abandoned a property, you can get a court order that allows you to enter it.

However, this can be tricky in a few cases.

For example, when tenants are moving out, they may leave things in the apartment with the intention of returning to clean it up.

But if you think they have vacated the premises, you might come in ahead of them and try to charge them for cleaning up the mess they left.

Tenants may also travel for extended periods of time, and this can cause confusion about whether or not they have abandoned the property.

Encourage your tenants to communicate with you to avoid confusion in these situations.

Conclusion
In general, you can protect yourself from being accused of harassment by keeping the lines of communication open between you and your tenants.

If you have a problem with a tenant, don’t try to handle it on your own.

Always follow the proper procedure for documenting tenant problems and notifying them of any problems.

 

How To Verify an Identity

Whether it is for a job, a rental property, or for a child care supervision need, knowing how to verify an identity is essential knowledge for today.

Identity verification helps to protect your interests because you’ll know the person you’re considering really is who they say they are.

The most common way to accomplish this is with a background check, but there are some other options available to you as well.

1. Request Identification That Can Be Validated.

There are several forms of identification that can be used to determine if someone is actually who they say they are.

In the United States, a Social Security card is one of the most common pieces of identification that are used.

A driver’s license, a military identification, or a passport may also be used to help determine the validity of an identity.

2. Use Reverse Email Searches.

If you have someone’s email address, even if it is a public email system like Outlook or Gmail, it can be used to trace down someone’s identity.

You’ll need to hire someone to do this task for you, but it can work when information is difficult to locate.

3. Look For Public Records.

There are many public records that are open for examination and many people don’t realize this.

Any time there is a judgment, there will be a public record of this.

Marriage records are also public records, as are divorce records.

Sometimes even birth records are public, although the specific data may be limited, such as the birth date.

4. Consider Ancestry Software.

Genealogy has exploded in popularity, which means access to public records that can trace a person’s movements are also easier to access than ever before.

If your background checks are coming up empty, try using the available data you have about someone and then match it up with the data from their application.

In most instances, if someone’s identity cannot be verified, then you do not have to hire them or agree to rental terms.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to verify the identities of most individuals.