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Canada Landlords – How Can I Run a Legal Credit Check On A Tenant?

July 4th, 2014 · Alberta Landlords Association, BC Landlords Association, credit checks, Equifax, Ontario Landlords Association, Tenant credit check

 Tenant Credit Checks Equifax Canada Landlords

Canada Landlords – Run credit checks the right way! You can’t run credit checks on your tenants using a mortgage agent, car dealer, real estate agent or you can get into trouble.

You need to use a verified company such as TVS or GARDA to run tenant credit checks.

Landlords across Canada are waking up to find lots of tenant from hell stories in the local news. It’s a real wake-up call and a warning for landlords to take tenant screening seriously.

British Columbia

BC landlords are waking up to stories about serial bad tenants who have ripped off six landlords in only the past two years. They move in and simply don’t pay rent.

Alberta Landlords

Alberta landlords are still in shock after reading about a landlord who did employment checks and reference checks but it wasn’t enough as he is now out hundreds of thousands of dollars after the tenants started a marijuana grow-op.

Ontario Landlords

According to a report in the Toronto Star a woman called the Toronto tenant from hell is now in the middle of her 7th eviction.

Tenant Credit Checks

One of the landlord lessons to be learned from these three stories are in each case the landlords didn’t run a credit check on the tenant to verify their stories.

Rules of Running Tenant Credit Checks

Now many landlords are aware of the importance of tenant credit checks. But the problem is many small landlords don’t know the rules for running credit checks on tenants.

How Do I Run a Credit Check on Tenants?

To run a credit check on tenants you have to use an approved tenant credit check company.

The Ontario Landlords Association has a great interview with Equifax on the rules for landlords.

#1 Can My Friend Who Is a Mortgage Agent, Real Estate Agent or Car Dealer Run Tenant Credit Checks for Me?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX CANADA

No.

Given the nature of the existing credit reporting/privacy legislation and the terms of use (agreement) by the Equifax member, the consumer can report this type of unacceptable activity to the Ministry of Consumer Services, who will then investigate.

Any inappropriate use or breach of contract could lead to termination of membership with Equifax.

#2 What If I Have a Waiver on my Lease To Run Credit Checks By A Third Party?

I have a waiver on my application form saying I will use a “third party” to obtain credit data on a potential tenant (I don’t say who will do the check, only that it will be a third party).

I then contact a friend who is a mortgage agent, Realtor, insurance broker, someone who works at a car dealership, etc. to do the credit check on the potential tenant for me. 

I wonder if the waiver clause allows them to use a ‘friend’ is okay.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX CANADA

The service agreement signed by EACH of our members clearly articulates that they will not “share” a credit file with another entity: the credit file is for their exclusive use ONLY.

Any entity that does share is in violation of this agreement.

#3 What Can Tenants Do If a Landlord Runs an Unauthorized Tenant Credit Check?

Some tenants complain they have a ‘credit hit’ on their credit reports from mortgage agents, insurance agents, etc. which they never agreed to (as they only wanted to rent an apartment). 

How can tenants get these unauthorized credit hits off their records?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX CANADA

Due to privacy legislation, once Equifax delivers a file to a member, we MUST post an inquiry (by law).

As such, we do not remove these inquiries as they are factual and the consumer has a legal right to know their file has been disclosed.

#4 What Actions Can Tenants Take for Unauthorized Credit Checks?

Some tenants who have credit hits from people they never authorized have asked if they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services to make formal complaints that their credit data was obtained fraudulently. They would like advice on this.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX CANADA

Yes, they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services who will launch an investigation.

They can reach also reach Equifax directly at the following telephone numbers to lodge a complaint and we will do an investigation:

English: 1-866-828-5961

French: 1-877-323-2598

Canada Landlords – Run Tenant Credit Checks The Right Way!

You can join the Ontario Landlords Association, the BC Landlords Association or the Alberta Landlords Association and start running legal tenant credit checks for only $10 per check.

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Canada Landlord Credit Checks – Find Good Tenants With Premium Credit Checks!

June 10th, 2014 · Canada landlords, Tenant credit check

 Canada landlords tenant credit check

Canada Landlord Credit Checks – Make Sure You Rent to Good Tenants! Affordable Premium Credit Checks Are Available For You!

The article in The Kingston Whig-Standard was about tenants with bad credit having difficulties finding rental properties.

The story explained that the Kingston branch of the Ontario Landlords Association was advocating landlords run tenant credit checks before renting their property out.

And we agree and have written about how to avoid bad tenants before.

Landlords across Canada are being punished for thinking tenants are honest and trustworthy.

As we wrote in the past, Canada landlords are hard-working people who are looking to invest in rental properties to make profits and secure their financial future.

The problem is too many landlords are decent and it’s easy for bad tenants to trick them.

This leads to the landlord losing money and in some cases even losing their rental property!

Renting to Good Tenants

The key for successful landlords is renting to good tenants.

So What Is A Good Tenant?

A “good tenant” will pay their rent and follow the rules they agreed to in their lease.

They will also show respect to their landlord and maintain the property they rent.

Are There Bad Tenants Out There?

Yes.

Landlords across Canada are facing lots of bad tenants.

How Can A Credit Check Help Me Avoid Bad Tenants?

A tenant credit check will show you many things about potential tenants:

– Are They Financially Responsible?

– Do They Owe Anyone Money?

– Are Their Past Addresses True?

– Is There a Pattern of Moving Before A Lease Is Finished?

1. BC landlords

You will see a CBC news report on a couple of serial bad tenants who have ripped off lots of landlords over the past couple of years.

The key theme to this story is that landlords trusted the sweet words of the tenants, didn’t run tenant credit checks, and then got burned!

This is why BC landlords are now making credit checks a key aspect of tenant screening.

Read more at the BC Landlord Credit Check site.

2. Alberta Landlords

We like to think this is a landlord friendly province.

But Alberta landlords can lose thousands if they don’t rent to the right tenant.

Again, landlords who lose money are landlords that don’t do proper tenant screening, including Alberta Landlord Credit Checks.

3. Ontario Landlords

The Toronto Star has a great report about the “Tenant From Hell” who have victimized her latest small landlord.

The common theme is that each of the landlord cheated believed her story and didn’t run a tenant credit check to verify it.

A tenant credit check would have warned these Ontario landlords: DO NOT RENT TO HER! For more information go to the Ontario Landlord Credit Check website.

Canada Landlord Credit Check

Make sure you run credit checks on your tenants before renting to them.

BC landlords can join the BC landlords association for a one-time fee.

Alberta landlords can join the Alberta landlords association to do premium credit checks for only $10 per check.

Ontario landlords can join the Ontario Landlords Association and start doing premium credit checks for only $10 per check.

Canada LandlordsBecome a Member of a one time registration fee landlord association in your province and make sure you rent to great tenants!

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Canada Landlords: Serial Bad Tenants and Grow-Ops

May 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords, Tenant credit check

Alberta landlords tenant credit check grow op

If you are an Alberta Landlord Join the Alberta Landlords Association for a one-time fee and get leases, manuals and tenant credit checks for only $10!

Many landlords see the Province of Alberta as the most ‘landlord-friendly’ place in Canada and a great place to invest in.

And why not?

Things are going very well for Alberta landlords in 2014.

After all, the economy is strong and according to the CMHC vacancy rates are low.

According to a recent story in Moneysense magazine many of the top cities to live in Canada are in Alberta.

It looks like an ideal place to own an income property.

Challenges for Alberta Landlords

While in general things are going very well for landlords in the Province of Alberta, there is also evidence that dangers exist.

Especially for landlords who do not do careful tenant screening, including tenant credit checks.

If Alberta Landlords aren’t careful, things can go downhill fast and the damages can be immense.

Be a Realistic Landlord

It’s not only BC Landlords who are facing bad tenants and losing money.

A wrong decision can ruin your rental property business and end up costing you thousands of dollars in losses!

Grow Ops

According to a CBC news report a Calgary landlord is having to try to sue tenants who caused over $100,000 in damages to his rental property.

The tenants moved in and quickly turned the residential rental property into their own drug manufacturing centre!

The landlord said he only knew about this when driving home and seeing a police raid on the rental property.

Tenant Credit Checks

This is another example of why landlords need to conduct tenant credit checks.

No matter where your rentals are you need to screen carefully, including Calgary and Edmonton landlords.

The landlord in this situation did an employment check. That is not enough for landlords to protect ourselves in 2014.

What Is The Best Alberta Landlords Association To Join?

The good news is landlords can now join the Alberta Landlords Association.

They offer a one-time fee and great deals on discounted tenant credit checks.

Are you an Edmonton landlord renting out a single family home?

Or do you want to rent out your basement unit as a Calgary landlord?

Alberta Landlords Association is the Best Association to Join

The Alberta Landlords Membership page makes it clear you can do premium credit check and unlike all the other associations this is only for a one-time fee!

The credit check you can use include TVS checks. You can get set up in an hour and start conducting tenant credit checks from your computer.

You just put the information your tenant applicant puts in their application into the TVS site and…presto!…in seconds you will get a credit score, the tenant’s financial history and a recommendation on whether or not you should rent to them.

Alberta Landlords Can Avoid Pro Tenants With Proper Tenant Screening.

Make Tenant Screening a Priorty When Choosing the Next People For Your Rental Property!

 

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Canada Landlords: Tenant Screening Is the Key To Success

February 2nd, 2014 · Tenant Screening

Canada landlords tenant screening

Canada Landlords Make Sure You Screen Your Tenants Carefully

There was a recent story in the Toronto Sun about a situation facing a Quebec landlord.

Read with care, because it’s not easy reading.

It’s also a warning for landlords all over the country to make sure you screen your tenants extremely carefully before renting to them.

Dead checks, calves and rabbits

Sarah Montminy is a small landlord in rural Quebec.

She rented to a young couple last September and thought everything would be fine because they ‘got along’.

Less than six months later she regrets her decision.

She hadn’t heard from her tenants for a long time and thought they might have moved out or were just absentee tenants who weren’t home much.

She went to visit the property to try to talk to them.

When she arrived it was like something out of a bad horror movie.

She found dead rabbits, young calves and lots of dead chickens.

The animals were stuck into the ground, frozen, outside. She can’t even remove them until the soil thaws out.

There was also more than two feet of frozen animal excrement outside.

A pony is missing and she fears it’s also frozen outside.

Rental Property Trashed

The house was ransacked with windows broken, hardwood floors destroyed and the place reeks with the stench of urine.

There are holes in the walls and the wood stove was smashed.

The landlady contacted her  insurance company for help.

She was told her insurance won’t cover the damages. She’s now trying to find the ex-tenants.

Tenant Screening in Canada

We’ve seen a lot of stories over the past couple of years of what can happen to landlords who don’t screen their tenants carefully.

1.         British Columbia

A BC landlord rented to a family because she felt sorry for them after they explained their last landlord was ‘bad’.

As soon as they moved in their rent check bounced.

Four months later, they were finally evicted.  They didn’t pay a cent in rent in those four months.

They did leave thousands of dollars in damages and clean up costs for the BC landlord who will never rent to anyone again with just a ‘sad story.’

2.         Alberta

An Alberta landlord in Calgary was going through the process of evicting tenants from his rental home.

When the tenants finally left he went to go inspect his house. He was shocked to see racial and sexual comments written on the walls and burned into the carpets.

3.         Ontario

An Ontario landlord went through the long process to evict a tenant from his investment property.

He noticed a duffel bag left behind.

It was full of marijuana and the tenant was arrested.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Some landlords have simply had enough because being a landlord in Canada is so risky.

Some Ottawa landlords are going to continue to be landlords. However, they will transfer over to commercial rental properties.

For landlords who continue in the residential sector, tenant screening is the key.

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Canada Landlords: More Links To Goverment Bodies Across Canada

January 2nd, 2014 · Canada landlords, Goverment bodies for landlords

Canada landlords goverment bodies for landlords

In This Post We Focus on more Canada Landlords, Including Alberta Landlords, Manitoba Landlords And The Rest of Canada

In Part 1 we discussed how landlords in British Columbia and Ontario could find help from government bodies to deal with bad tenants.

Whether our investment properties are in Vancouver or if you are a Barrie landlord or invested in rental properties in Ottawa we hope the information was helpful.

Now we will help other landlords across Canada.

We recommend landlords look carefully at the laws in their province and how their system works.

1. Alberta Landlords

Many consider Alberta to be the most ‘pro landlord’ province in Canada.

However landlords there saw a whole lot of tenant challenges in 2013 and these challenges will likely continue into this new year.

For example, according to a story at Calgary landlords a caring landlord rented her property to a Single Mother with four kids who said she had nowhere else to go.

After handing over the keys the non-paid rent kept piling up to the point where the landlord had lost over $8,000.

At the Alberta Landlords Association website there were multiple stories of bad tenants causing problems for their landlords.

These range from Freeman-on-the-land tenants claiming they have the God given right to not pay rent to racist tenants writing hateful words on the drywall as they destroyed the house they were leaving without proper notice.

Alberta – Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service

2. Manitoba Landlords

Manitoba landlords are facing some big challenges in 2014 with a ridiculously low rent increase guideline of only 2%.

This is a very low guideline considering all the challenges Manitoba landlords are facing in 2014.

Manitoba – Residential Tenancies Branch

3. Nova Scotia Landlords

Nova Scotia landlords are happy 2013 is over.

Lots of stories of landlords having trouble finding tenants. And sadly we’ve read stories of tenants they find doing lots of damages and owing lots of rent money.

Lots of landlords are getting burned there.

Nova Scotia – Director of Residential Tenancies

4. Quebec Landlords

What is this: Association des Proprietaires du Quebec (APQ)

Are they really doing a good job helping Quebec landlords!

We read a lot in the media of the challenges Quebec landlords face.

From new anti-landlord rules coming into place to serial scam artist tenants.

Quebec landlords have traditionally joined the Association des Properrietaires du Quebec with few good results for years on end.

It’s time for a change for Quebec landlords

We recommend they take a look at the superior services that Quebec landlords can access by joining the Ontario Landlords Association.

5. Newfoundland Landlords

Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Government Services

6. Saskatchewan Landlords

Saskatchewan – Office of Residential Tenancies (Rentalsman)

7. Prince Edward Island Landlords

Prince Edward Island – Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property

9. New Brunswick Landlords

New Brunswick – Landlord & Tenant Services

8. Yukon Landlords

Yukon – Department of Community Services

9. Northwest Territories Landlords and Nunavut Landlords

Northwest Territories & Nunavut – Department of Justice Rental Office

We hope this information is helpful for all Canada landlords.

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Canada Landlords: Government Bodies Dealing With Landlord & Tenant Issues

December 24th, 2013 · Canada landlords, Landlord and Tenant Board

 Canada landlords Goverment bodies

We List the Government Bodies Where Landlords Can Get Help Dealing With Bad Tenants

Welcome back to our blog for landlords all over Canada. One of goals is providing important information to landlords.

No matter which province your rentals are we all know being a landlord can at times be challenging.

Sometimes you rent to tenants who simply don’t listen to logic and refuse to follow your lease and the rules.

If this happens to you what can you do?

Each province has their own government or quasi-government body to assist you in evicting tenants for things such as:

1. Non-payment of rent

2. Continuous late payment of the rent they owe

3. Harming or bothering other tenants

4. Harassing the landlord

5. Committing illegal acts or damaging the property

If any of these are happening to you make sure you know where to turn to start to fix the problem and evict these troublesome tenants.

British Columbia Landlords

We all use email these days to communicate with friends, relatives and part of our business life.

One British Columbia landlord had a tenant who used email as a way of harassing him.

Here’s another story from CBC news where a Victoria landlord endured months of stress after renting to ‘professional tenants’ who lied to her to get her to rent a house to them.

Months later she has lost more than, wait for it, $20,000! This included rent that was never paid and huge clean-up expenses.

If you are a BC landlord looking for help here is the link you need to know:

British Columbia – Residential Tenancy Branch

Ontario Landlords

Ontario is known as a tenant-friendly province. What the really means is the landlords need to be experts in choosing tenants and the know Residential Tenancies Act like an Ontario judge.

You have to be very careful screening potential tenants and making sure you rent to people who are qualified.

Even then, problems can arise and often do.

One Ontario landlord rented to a single Mom out of compassion.

Soon after she had an unknown person in her house, rent wasn’t paid, damages were done and when the landlord did an inspection of the house the tenant sent out her dog (a Rottweiler!)

Looking back she admits she was a naive landlord and should have acted faster to evict a tenant that ended up costing her thousands of dollars.

If you are an Ontario Landlord here is a link to the government body you need to use to evict tenants.

Ontario – Landlord & Tenant Board

Landlords and The Law

Canada landlords need to know where to go for help.

In Part 2 we will discuss where landlords in other provinces need to go to reach their provincial government bodies.

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Canada Landlords: Opportunities and Challenges

December 6th, 2013 · Canada landlords, Canadian Landlords

 Canada landlords

It’s Time Landlords Across Canada Come Together to Demand our Rights As Landlords

Landlords and residential property investors all over Canada know the wonderful opportunities there are in 2013.

And things are looking even better for Canada Landlords in 2014.

Opportunities:

What are the opportunities out there, why are they there, and how can you take advantage of them?

1. Price Appreciation

Many areas of Canada are witnessing appreciating property prices.

If you bought a rental property in 2010 in many parts of the country you have seen fantastic appreciation over the past 3 years. Even smaller cities are prospering , as Cold Lake Alberta Landlords can attest to.

2. More Good Tenants

According to Canada Real Estate Wealth Magazine rising prices mean more good tenants.

And these good tenants want to rent from good landlords.

As the BC Landlords Association explains, people with good jobs and high credit scores who would normally buy a home are instead choosing to rent in 2013-14.

3. Your Great Tenants Want To Continue Renting

Due to higher house prices and tougher mortgages good tenants who are currently renting want to stay renting.

Challenges

Landlords across Canada also know there are serious challenges renting out residential rental properties.

One of the most serious are the bad tenants out there.

The number of bad tenants across Canada should not be underestimated.

It doesn’t matter which province you are in.

For example, you can see at the Ontario Landlords Association bad tenants take advantage of the Landlord and Tenant Board and end up costing small landlords tens of thousands of dollars.

There are lots of stories of British Columbia Landlords also losing thousands.

And Alberta Landlords facing huge challenges. Did you see the Calgary landlord who faced a ‘freeman on the land’ who took over two years to evict?

And Nova Scotia landlords finding their beautiful rental properties trashed.

Our Goals

The goal of Canadalandlords.org is to help landlords all over the nation succeed.

We will provide news, networking, tips and advice.

We will also give access to the best, most important tools to help landlords across Canada find good tenants and succeed.

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