Evaluating a Tenant

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Evaluating prospective tenants

Finding the best tenant can be offset by the need to have the premises rented within a certain amount of time. While the time to show the unit, review applications and complete background checks may be limited, a hasty decision could cost you money in the long run. If the wrong tenant moves in, you may end up losing money due to damage to the property or disputes.

Don’t rush into a tenancy. Choose wisely. If you can afford a possible rent loss while waiting to fill the unit, take the extra time to make the right selection of your tenant.

Once the applications are in, you will want to thoroughly research a prospective tenant before making your final decision. Getting the potential candidates to fill in a rental application and properly screening the applicants suitability before accepting their application is crucial. By accepting the tenant without properly screening and verifying their information, terminating the rental agreement may be difficult even if you discover that they provided false information.

As a landlord, what can you ask your potential tenants?

as a landlord you can ask questions that will help you assess the suitability of a tenant, as long as you do not infringe on his/her rights. For example, you can ask a prospective tenant:

What is your income? where do you work?

how many people will be living with you and what are their names?

do you have pets? do you smoke?

could you provide written permission for a credit check?

may i see your references and their current contact information?

you cannot ask questions that infringe on the rights of the tenant under the human rights code for your province. For example, you cannot ask a prospective tenant

do you plan to have (more) children?

what is your ethnic background, religion, or sexual preference?

will your family be visiting?

what is your social insurance number? if you don’t provide your sin, i won’t rent to you.

Are you married, single, or divorced?

you will want to find out as much as you can legally about prospective tenants. Check their financial suitability through a credit bureau report (with their concent). To access a credit report on a prospective tenant you must be a member of a credit bureau.

The rent check credit bureau is a canadian tenant screening service that provides information that can be used to qualify potential tenants that goes beyond the basic financial screening. The company collects information based on rental payment habits and judicial decisions from landlords, non-profit housing corporations and collection agencies. They have developed their own scoring tool, called the rentscore, to help landlords evaluate tenants. Since there is no natioanl legislation for rent bureaus, they have been licensed as a credit bureau in several provinces.

Rent check credit bureau80 richmond street w suite 805 toronto, onm5h 2a41-800-661-7312 http://www.Rentcheckcorp.Com

in addition to a credit report, to try to discover what kind of tenant will be living in your property you can ask former landlords about the tenant’s character and past rental payment patterns. You can consider talking to the last two or three landlords to get a clear rental reference.

Checks for screening tenants:

Check the applicant’s credit bureau history and banking history.

Confirm their employment.

Check the applicant’s tenancy history and if there had been any evictions.

Check court records, if available.

Check the applicant’s references and consider contacting previous landlords going back two or three tenancies

human rights considerations

of course you will want to know as much about a rental applicant as possible, however, provincial and territorial human rights legislations prohibit certain factors from being considered by the landlord when considering a new tenant. These include race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status, family status, handicap, or the receipt of public assistance.

Each province and territory will have its own human rights legislation that dictates what landlords are allowed and not allowed to ask prospective tenants. You may think it is routine to ask these personal questions to properly determine a tenant’s suitability, but demanding answers as a condition of renting to them may breach human rights. You cannot refuse to rent an apartment based on refusal to meet or answer these criteria.

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