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4 tips on how to spot fake pay stubs from potential tenants

For landlords or property managers, it is essential to thoroughly vet potential tenants to ensure that you are renting to responsible and reliable individuals. One way to do this is by requiring prospective tenants to provide proof of income through pay stubs. However, it is common for some individuals to attempt to present fake pay stubs to qualify for a rental property. Spotting fake paystubs can be difficult, but here are some tips for how to spot fake paystubs.

I've seen a viral video of someone lying on their rental application, and many commented on the post mentioning creating fake pay stubs and bank statements.

This article will teach you these four tips on spotting fake pay stubs.

Check the formatting and layout

As a landlord, it is essential to carefully review the formatting and layout of the pay stubs provided by your tenants to ensure that they are legitimate and accurate. When reviewing the pay stubs, pay attention to the following details:

  • Tenant's personal information: The pay stub should include the tenant's name, address, and Social Security number.

  • Employer's information: The pay stub should include the employer's name and address.

  • Pay period dates: The pay stub should clearly state the pay period for which the tenant is being paid.

Suppose any of these elements are missing, or the formatting seems incorrect. In that case, it could be a sign that the pay stub may not be legitimate or that there may be errors in the information it contains. Some other things to look for when reviewing a pay stub include the following:

  • Accuracy of the information: Make sure that all of the information on the pay stub, including the tenant's personal information, the employer's information, and the pay period dates, is accurate and matches what you expect to see.

  • Consistency with previous pay stubs: If you have received pay stubs from the same tenant, compare the current pay stubs to those to ensure no discrepancies or unusual changes.

  • Legibility: The pay stub should be easy to read and understand. If the formatting is confusing or the text is difficult to decipher, it could be a sign of a problem.

Look for inconsistencies

It is essential for landlords to carefully review the pay stubs provided by potential tenants to ensure that they are legitimate and accurate. Some things to look for when reviewing pay stubs for inconsistencies include:

  • Changes in employer information: If the pay stub shows a different employer name or address from one pay period to the next, this may be a red flag.

  • Variations in income or deductions: If the amount of income or deductions shown on the pay stub varies significantly from one pay period to the next, it could be a red flag.

  • Other unusual changes: Keep an eye out for any inconsistencies or changes that seem unique or out of place.

Verify the information with the employer

Verifying the information on a pay stub with the employer can effectively spot a fake pay stub and ensure that the document is legitimate. To verify the information, you can contact the company listed on the pay stub and ask them to confirm the employment and income of the tenant. It is important to remember that some companies may not be willing to disclose this information due to privacy concerns or company policies. However, it is still worth asking and trying to verify the information, as it can help you to determine the validity of the pay stub and the tenant's ability to pay rent.

You can contact the employer to verify the information on the pay stub in a few different ways. You can try calling the tenant's employer and ask to speak to someone in the HR department or send an email or letter requesting the information. It is essential to be professional and respectful when requesting this information, as the employer is not obligated to disclose it to you. You may need to provide some identifying information, such as the tenant's name and job title, to confirm their employment and income.

If in doubt, ask for other forms of income verification

Suppose you suspect that a potential tenant has provided fake pay stubs. In that case, you should ask for additional information to verify their income. You can do this by asking for other forms of income verification, such as bank statements or the tenant's most recent tax return. These documents can provide valuable information about a tenant's income and financial stability.

To request bank statements or a tax return from a potential tenant, you can ask them to provide these documents as part of the rental application process. Let the potential tenant know that you need further income verification.


Verifying the legitimacy of pay stubs is essential for landlords to ensure tenants have the income to pay rent and avoid scams. By following these tips, landlords can protect their business and ensure that they are making informed decisions about renting to tenants. By taking these precautions, landlords can avoid renting to a tenant who cannot pay rent.


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