What is Address Cleansing?


For prospective renters and landlords alike, there are many benefits to background checks and thorough vetting. It builds trust early, and it helps create peace of mind for all parties involved. Particularly in the digital age when more and more landlords are advertising their properties through the internet rather than through traditional means, it’s important for both tenants and landlords to feel secure and knowledgeable about who they’re entering into a contract with.

Nonetheless, tenants and landlords must both be willing to share the skeletons in their closet, so to speak, in order to avoid potential issues down the line. We’ve all heard the horror stories, but ending up in an unsavory situation can be avoided by doing your research beforehand. While landlords typically use simple rental application tools online, one resource that’s still being overlooked by many landlords is the collective process of addressing cleansing, which we’ll explain in further detail below.

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via Ciao! Newport Beach

Background checks help tenants and landlords

A past eviction notice, poor credit history, or a criminal background are not instant black marks against a potential renter. There are numerous reasons why tenant background checks are necessary. There may have been a time when landlords were skeptical about using online platforms to list properties, but now it’s commonplace. Currently, some 27 percent of Americans are renting rather than purchasing properties, and many seek potential listings online.

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via Ciao! Newport Beach

Most landlords agree that online rental listings are beneficial so long as they are credible (that is, not posted on Craigslist), and the vast majority of landlords recommend that their tenants use a simple rental application since it allows for quick yet thorough screening.

The process is easy for tenants to use, and just as easy for landlords to review a whole slew of important information, including rental history, credit history, references, eviction notices, preferred move-in dates, and whether the tenant has pets. Having as much knowledge at your disposal as possible before setting up a meeting in person allows both the tenant and landlord to start off on the right foot.

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via Ciao! Newport Beach

The value of address cleansing

Landlords who wish to further investigate applications can do so through a lesser-known process known as address cleansing. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, you’re not alone. Address cleansing is the process of structuring and then validating an address to ensure it exists in the appropriate country or region.

An address must first be structured or standardized in the official format used in that particular region, and then compared against the official address database. In the United States, this database is managed by the US Postal Service. A fake address, formatted “correctly”, can easily slip by the most observant landlord’s notice.

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via DIY Network

The crucial final step

Since many landlords skip the address cleansing step and choose to take it at face value that a rental history lists only valid addresses on an application, they face the potential of running into a massive scam. A tenant with a spotty or shady rental history who wishes to avoid being found out can easily lie by bungling their rental application, and their landlord would be none the wiser.

Scammers find new and innovative ways of evading notice, even with highly credible screening resources. As you can imagine, address cleansing is an asset that more and more landlords are using to screen their tenants thoroughly and ensure that they get exactly what is promised on an otherwise normal-looking application.

Thanks to Smart Payables for consulting with us on this post!


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