Bill Gray – The Landlord Doctor

Insider Advice on Collecting Tenant Debt and Screening Tenants

Do not Make These Mistakes When Screening New Tenants from Abroad!

Posted by Bill Gray on November 22, 2009

[tweetmeme] Screening possible new tenants who have recently come from another country can be challenging.  Even those who may have been in the U.S. for some time may be a challenge — if you are not judicious enough to very carefully read what they have submitted on their application.

1. Dates: When most Americans write a date, they normally put it in month/day/year order.  In other countries, however, often the month and day are inverted so that dates are printed day/month/year.  The American military also uses a dating system that shows day/month/year.

Also be aware that the numbers themselves may look different than the way you are accustomed to seeing them.  Many other countries put a hook on the bottom of a ‘9’ or a line through the middle of a ‘7.

Since several types of screening reports are matched to birth dates, you can understand that entering the wrong date could hinder your ability to receive complete data about your applicant.  I prefer a rental application that clearly asks for the day, month and year.

2. Hyphenated names and spelling: Other than possibly nicknames, most of us print or write out our name the same way every time.  Not so in some other countries.  Often the name is

hyphenated to combine the maternal and paternal names; others may use a combination of the married and maiden name.  The way the name is written is sometimes dependent upon the purpose for writing their name.

Always ask for a U.S. or international driver’s license to verify the name spelling.  Also make a copy for your records.  If your prospect does not have a driver’s license, a visa is better than nothing.

Not only are numbers often written differently, many times letters are also written differently by applicants who may have learned to write English in another country.

Make sure you go over the application with your prospective tenant so that you are very clear on the dates and how everything is spelled.  If you do this, you will increase the possibility of purchasing a much more accurate tenant screening report.

Email me your tenant screening and debt questions.

Bill Gray

You also may be interested in these screening articles:

Don’t Miss an Important Companent to Screening New Tenants

Landlords Who do Not Screen are Shooting Themselves in the Foot

Copyright 2009



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: