Blog June 5, 2019

The impact of fraud on your multifamily property

By Aaron Durkee

Dealing with multifamily property fraud before it happens is crucial to the health and success of your properties. With the numerous challenges facing multifamily property managers today, it can be tempting to think that the chances of dealing with fraudsters are slim to none. Why would you need to prepare for something that likely won’t happen?

The truth, however, is that multifamily property fraud is far more pervasive than most believe and can quickly grow into a serious problem. Fraud can waste the time of front and back office employees, damage your bottom line, and hurt the reputation of your property.

How multifamily property fraud hurts your property

Dealing with a fraudster within your community is a massive waste of time and money. Getting rid of a fraudster creates a hassle for your leasing office staff who have to go back over the records and the fraudster’s application to see if they passed a background check. In addition to this, evicting a fraudster means losing money because of the time it takes to fill the newly vacant unit.

On top of this general hassle, whoever said “there’s no such thing as bad press” clearly never had to deal with multifamily property fraud. Building up a solid reputation for your property takes time and effort, but fraud can damage that carefully curated reputation fast. The last thing that you want is for all online searches for your property over the next few months to bring up news stories about how a fraudster infiltrated your multifamily community.

How can I identify multifamily property fraud before it happens?

While many of us believe that we could spot someone trying to pull the wool over our eyes, the fact of the matter is that the methods fraudsters use today are far more elaborate than they used to be, with some going to extreme lengths to cover their tracks.

Fraud doesn’t always happen behind the scenes. More often than not, a fraudster could be sitting across from you, handing you falsified documents. Can you identify a fake bank statement or employee records? Can you tell a fake driver’s license from a real one? Fraudsters can use technology to falsify just about any document you could think of – could you tell the difference?

If the answer is “no,” then that’s okay – there are still ways to protect yourself from multifamily property fraud. While FICO score checks and other methods of background checks might not be able to help you catch a fraudster, there are special resident screening services that can. MRI Software offers a screening service that can help you keep fraudsters at bay. Learn more about our resident screening services.

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