Successful Ontario Landlords Know Tenant Credit Checks Are An Essential Part of A Careful Tenant Screening Process
A Toronto landlord writes:
“This woman met me and was very friendly, she was amiable and had a winning personality!”
“I confirmed her work and previous landlords reference, who said she was a wonderful tenant. As a newbie landlord, I was too happy to fill the vacancy.”
“Now five months later, I’m still waiting to get a cent of rent and trying to evict her!”
Unfortunately, this type of situation is not uncommon.
All you have to do is pick up a newspaper like the Toronto Star these days to see Ontario landlords in trouble.
The key to running a successful rental business in Ontario is to make sure you rent to good tenants.
You do this by screening potential renters carefully. If you don’t screen carefully the results can lead to stress and losing a lot of money.
A recent post at the Ontario Landlords Association website was from a Toronto landlord who rented to her tenant based on a “good feeling” she have her.
Upon moving in the tenant’s rent cheques bounced and she damaged the property, including carpet, the fence and the door frame moving in her furniture.
The tenant refuses to pay and the landlord hasn’t been able to evict her despite trying for over 5 months due to the way the laws protect bad tenants under the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act.
While still trying to evict this ‘pro tenant’ the landlords said she now realizes:
“Some people see the opportunity to get things for free, it doesn’t matter if they feed on the hard work of others. I realize now there are a lot of professional tenants out there. They can stay without paying rent and the Landlord and Tenant Board empowers them to live off the landlords costs.”
How Can I Avoid Professional Tenants?
Many landlords select their tenants based on a personal meeting with each other. If they like the tenant they hand over the keys.
Other landlords may add a bit of tenant screening. For example, they will call a former landlord reference or a work reference.
As you can see from the above Toronto landlord’s dilemma this isn’t enough to protect yourself from pro tenants.
Tenant Screening Ontario: Credit Checks
Landlords need to make tenant credit checks part of your tenant screening system.
When renting to someone you are giving them the use and control over a very expensive asset: your income property!
You need to use the same business practices that other industries use to evaluate whether or not the person applying qualifies for you to trust them.
A mortgage company would never give a loan to someone based on whether or not they were nice or had some personal references. They would also make sure to pull the client’s credit report without question.
How Can A Tenant Credit Check Help Me?
It’s very important for landlords to do a credit check because it will show you the potential tenant’s past and current pay habits.
Good credit and a high credit score means the tenant pays on time and doesn’t run away from their financial responsibilities.
These are people who will pay their rent on time because they know that not paying rent could lead to their years of hard work building their credit score can be destroyed. They won’t take that risk.
How Can I Do A Credit Check On My Tenant?
In years past it’s been expensive and complicated for small landlords to conduct tenant credit checks.
Not any longer.
If you become a member of the Ontario Landlords Association you get a lot of great services.
For only a one-time fee Ontario Landlords Association membership gives you access to premium credit check services from Equifax and TVS for only $10 per credit check (with no set up fee!)
You can also get access to GARDA premium credit and criminal checks that you can do from your own home or office computer.
Ontario Landlords – Make Sure Tenant Credit Checks Are Part Of Your Tenant Screening System!
You Can Now Join The Ontario Landlords Association and Start Doing Premium Credit Checks for Only $10 Per Check (With No Annual Fees).
Are You Ready To Invest $10 To Find A Great Tenant?