I received this note on my front door one afternoon while I was at work one day.
The note from the outside was pretty generic and simply stated investigative services. On the inside was a hand written name and phone number.
I’m not surprised that I received this note. I’ve dealt with this organization before because one of my past roommates(a military service member) required a security clearance for their work.
The process usual involves a sole investigator who contacts colleagues and people they’ve lived with to interrogate them about whether the individual is appropriate to hold a security clearance.
I called the phone number on the note and the background check was not for on my past roommates who were in the military, but for one of my past female roommates applying for a position that required a security clearance. I didn’t know the exact position nor could the investigator tell me. I setup an appointment and the investigator came back to my house.
The questions I was asked includes: how long they lived here, were you home when they lived here, what were there hobbies, did they drink a lot, and so on.
With having several past roommates who were military service members, I have a bit of experience with Investigative Services, but for “live-in landlords,” here’s some things to keep in mind:
- There’s no need to get nervous about an investigative agent coming to your house and interrogating you. This isn’t about yourself per say, but about your past or current roommate. This is important to keep in mind to keep your cool. They have no affiliation with the IRS.
- Ask to see ID. If they are from investigative services, a government job, they’ll have an ID and a badge showing that they indeed are who they are. The note could have been a purported agent with other intentions in mind.
- Tell the truth. I really don’t know what the consequences are if you get caught lying. To avoid this, you should always tell truth. If the roommate drank a lot, speak up. You’re doing yourself injustice by allowing an irresponsible person hold a position where integrity is required.
- If they ask for rental agreements or records indicating their length of stay, show them. In my case, I have a spreadsheet that documents all my past roommates and the months they lived in my residences. It’s a great way to keep track of your overall earnings and know who stayed in your house and when.
I’m sure this won’t be the last time I’ll be dealing with Investigative Services. For those “live-in landlords” that do have military service members renting a room from you, it helps to keep track of when your past roommates rented a room from you. Rental agreements are great, but having a spreadsheet so that at a quick glance, you can quickly find out when they live at your house and more importantly which other roommates they lived with if you happen to be renting out more than one room.