Landlords Doing More Background Checks

landlords as private investigatorsWith vacancies at an all-time high, even the most chilled out landlord is likely to do a more in-depth background check on you. Why risk placing their apartment in your hands? No landlord wants the hassle of finding another renter, even today, during a renter's market.

Beyond a basic Google search or peek into your online social profiles, landlords are doing full-scale private eye work, too, reports The Real Deal.

They quote New York City-based R.Q. Investigations:
During a bad economy, real estate investors and real estate professionals are being a lot more cautious when it comes to approving a rental agreement. An individual with judgments, liens or bankruptcy is more likely to default on a home loan or rental agreement.
Here's what you can do to fight back:
Clean Up Your Credit Report

Make sure you won't be penalized due to an error. Review your credit report and correct any errors. This will pay dividends outside of renting an apartment, too. Everyone is entitled to a free credit report once a year at

Get Letters - (or at least digits) - of Recommendation

Spotty credit can be overcome if you demonstrate regular income to pay rent, and, furnish letters of recommendation from your former landlord. Provide your former landlord's relevant contact details and you'll appear to be less risky.

Be Your Own PR Agent
If you have your heart set on a specific location, court the owner. Not in a creepy way, of course. Prepare an informative packet of information explaining why you're an ideal tenant. Include employer and former landlord statements that attest to your overall responsibility. In today's market you could easily have your choice of prime rentals.
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