How To Screen Potential Tenants
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Every landlord knows how hard it is to find good tenants. Tenants who you can pay their monthly rent on time, maintain the property and respect their neighbours. Renting to a bad tenant can cause you consistent financial and structural problems. In that case, you need to ensure you are thoroughly screening all potential tenants. Here are the 5 steps you need to properly screen tenants.
- Provide Them An Application
- What to Look For On the Rental Application
- Current and Previous Employers: If a tenant has had multiple jobs within the last year or if they are currently unemployed it could suggest that they are not reliable, and they do not have a consistent income. If they have been with the same employer for over a year it shows they have consistent income, loyalty and probably a good reference.
- Personal Information: Do they have a large family, a partner, or a pet? It is important to note if the number of occupants would fit the space and the lifestyle of the unit. For example, if the tenants have a newborn baby and the neighbours are all young, they might not be the right tenants for the unit.
- Financial Information: How many credit cards do they have? Have they ever gone into overdraft? Have they ever taken out a loan? Are they currently in debt? These are all important things to find out from their financial intuitions.
- Run A Credit and Background Check
- Contact Previous Landlords and the Tenants Current Employer
- Interview the Tenant
If you are satisfied with the information you have gained, conduct a face to face interview with the potential tenant. You can ask them questions about the information you have been given or ask questions about their hobbies, day to day activities or habits such as are they a smoker. As they answer the questions look at their body language and how they maintain eye contact. Treat this as you would if you were interviewing a potential employee.
It is important to say that under the Ontario Human Rights Code, it is illegal to refuse a property because of a person’s race, colour, ethnicity, religious beliefs, ancestry, sex, family status, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or age. The bases of your screening must be on the merits of potential tenants. If you need any help finding and screening potential tenants, please contact us for assistance.
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JOSHUA CAMPBELL (@knowledgebrkr)
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre, Brokerage
249 Avenue Road • Newmarket, ON L3Y 1N8