An important part of verifying a prospective tenant’s income and employment involves submitting an employment verification request. This request allows the employer to know that you have a legitimate reason for requesting the information—you are considering renting to this person—and it allows you to verify that the tenant works at the company and to verify their salary.
This employment verification request involves a couple of steps.
Verify the Company and Their Contact Information
To begin the request, you will first want to verify the company’s name and contact information. Do not rely solely on the information the prospective tenant listed on their application. The applicant might have provided you with a fake business name and number, or a real business name, but a phone number of a relative or other individual they want to trick you into speaking with.
You can verify the company and their contact information by looking for the company’s name and phone number in the white pages. You may also opt to do an online search for the company which will provide you with the needed information.
Call the Company and Ask for the Human Resources Department
The applicant may have given you the name of someone at the company to speak to, but it is always best to contact the human resources department directly. You should let the representative know that you are a landlord calling to verify a prospective tenant’s employment status. An HR representative may speak with you directly or they may transfer you to the applicant’s direct supervisor. The company’s policies will determine how much information they will give out over the phone.
Questions to Ask by Phone
- Does the applicant work there?
- How long have they worked there?
- What is their hourly, weekly or yearly salary?
- Is there any anticipated change in their salary in the next year?
- What are their prospects for long-term employment with the company and/or advancement within the company? They may refuse to answer this question, but it is worth a try to gauge if the company values this individual as an employee.
Submitting a Written Request
Make sure you submit this request and do not rely on the applicant to do so, as they could easily forge the tenant screening documentation. Most employers require the applicant’s written consent to provide you with this information, so you must have the prospective tenant sign, date and often provide their social security number on the employment verification request form. Once you have the tenant’s signature and have filled out all appropriate fields, you can submit the form to the employer in the agreed-upon manner (fax, mail, email) and wait for a response.
Sample Employment Verification Form
To: Insert Name of Employer
Insert Address of Employer
From: Insert Name of Landlord
Insert Address of Landlord
Re: Insert Name of Applicant and Social Security Number
I hereby authorize the release of my employment information to Insert Name of Landlord.
Please take note that the above applicant, Insert Name of Applicant, has made application to rent one of our homes. We respectfully request that you assist us in qualifying said applicant by taking a moment to fill out the information listed below. Thank you in advance for a prompt response.
Please Respond By
TO BE COMPLETED BY EMPLOYER
Name of Applicant: ______________________________________________________
Position (Job Title): ______________________________________________________
Date of Hire: ______________________________________________________
Pay Rate: Hourly*: __________ Monthly: _____________ Annually: ______________
*If hourly, please include the number of hours worked on average per week: ___________
Is There Be Any Anticipated Change in the Employee’s Salary in the Next 12 Months?____________
Likelihood of Continued Employment (circle one): Strong Average Poor
Additional Comments: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________