Smiling man and woman sitting on kitchen floor against cabinets

Rentler Prevents Address Fraud Through Address Verification

At a glance

Challenge

Address Fraud

Solution

US Street Address API

Results

Verified addresses

The Company

Rentler is an online property management tool serving landlords and tenants nationwide by processing thousands of applications and rental payments each month. Founded in 2012, Rentler has now reached over 1.3 million users in over 3,000 cities across the United States. Rentler’s goal is to turn what can oftentimes be painful processes, finding a new home to rent or finding new tenants to rent to, and making it simple for both landlords and tenants. Rentler is able to do this by providing tools to landlords and property managers that help them find the right tenants, collect rent online, access legal forms, and more. It also helps tenants navigate the rental process with digital applications, online rent payments, and rental listings that are easy to search—so that finding a home is exciting, instead of aggravating.
rentler logo
rentler company image

The Challenge

In 2014 it became clear to co-founder Matt Kruskamp that Rentler would have to find a solution to a growing problem in the online rental listings space—address fraud.

The majority of rental listings online are legitimate. However, some address fraudsters will occasionally use a fake address and post listings for places that don’t actually exist. For instance, they might create a listing for 742 Evergreen Terrace in Springfield. Pictures from the listing will look legitimate because they’ve most likely been taken off a website with a real listing. The fraudsters then ask an interested tenant for first and last month’s rent with a promise that they’ll send the tenant keys in the mail, but in all actuality, the fraudsters are simply taking money from the would-be tenant and offering nothing in return.

Matt knew that as the CTO of Rentler, he needed to find a way to put an end to address fraud in their listings. Fraudulent listings not only hurt potential tenants that were losing money, they also hurt landlords that would be viewed skeptically by potential tenants. Matt knew that tenants would continue to be taken advantage of, and it was only a matter of time before Rentler felt lasting effects if these fraudulent listings weren’t dealt with.

quote image
Matt Kruskamp
CTO, Rentler
quote icon
Fraud is a huge problem of people creating ads whose address doesn't exist. And then they ask for first and last rent with the promise of giving them the keys in the mail. And the picture seems legitimate because they're taken from some other website but in all actuality they're just taking that money from the tenet.

The Solution

Matt found Rentler’s solution in SmartyStreets’ US Street Address API. SmartyStreets’s US Street Address API makes validating addresses incredibly easy. Address validation allows Rentler to compare all new listings against an authoritative list of confirmed addresses. By integrating the API into Rentler’s system, Matt’s team is able to both quickly and easily detect address fraud. Additionally, if a separate landlord claims that they own a property, that address can also easily be flagged for further investigation. This serves as effective address fraud prevention.
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • Java
  • Go
lookup = SmartyStreets::USStreet::Lookup.new

lookup.street = '1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy'
lookup.city = 'Mountain View'
lookup.state = 'CA'
lookup.zipcode = '21229'

client.send_lookup(lookup)

result = lookup.result
quote icon
Address verification cuts fraud because now we know that properties exist. And if some other landlord has claimed that they own it, we can immediately flag it as we know there is a problem and it needs to be resolved. Really, address verification is the first step in fraud management.
quote image
Matt KruskampCTO, Rentler

The Results

Matt and his team at Rentler are now able to provide their service with minimal risk, and they couldn’t be happier. “Now that we’ve integrated, SmartyStreets is the backbone of our address verification, and our tenants can find their landlords safely and simply.” This safety and simplicity has done wonders for the confidence that tenants are now able to show in not only the landlords that they’re interacting with, but also the Rentler product as a whole.

Matt knew that this type of solution was being offered by providers other than SmartyStreets, but after doing some research, he found that SmartyStreets was the best fit for Rentler. “We looked at other competitors, and SmartyStreets was the only one that had a fantastic API that could easily integrate with us,” says Matt. “They were lower priced than the competition for what we got. And they had great customer service, so whenever we had a problem, they were right there to help us through.

When asked how SmartyStreets’ US Address API changed the lives of Rentler’s customers, Matt said, “The address is paramount to everything we do here at Rentler, because the address is actually the origin of the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.” And now that those addresses are validated and the risk of address fraud has been minimized, the relationship between landlords and tenants can easily start off in a trusted way.

quote icon
We looked at other competitors, and SmartyStreets was the only one that had a fantastic API that could easily integrate with us.
quote image
Matt KruskampCTO, Rentler
Download the Rentler Case Study PDFArrow Icon

The leader in location data intelligence

Ready to get started?