If you use this method to screen your tenants - you will make sure that you are speaking the REAL landlord.
Before renting ALWAYS call the people listed as present and previous landlords. Before you tell the person you call who you are, ask the following question: "Do you have any apartments for rent"? If the person IS a landlord - his usual answer will be either "I don't have any apartments right now." Or "Yes - I do have an apartment for rent." If the person listed as the alleged landlord doesn't respond in this way - then they are probably NOT the landlord, but most likely a friend or relative. If you have any other tips to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org