As an owner of an investment property, it is in your own interest to rent it out to tenants of good character and financial standing who will pay the rent on time, take good care of the property entrusted to them, live peacefully with their neighbours and will not engage in any unlawful activities that give the neighbourhood or your property a bad name. You may also wish to have a long term tenant to ensure that the money to pay your mortgage and other bills will keep flowing in. These are just some of the reasons tenant screening is of utmost important before renting out our property.
According to various statistical sources, the chances of your property landing in the hands of the wrong tenants are quite high. It is estimated that 10% of all Canadians have a criminal record, which comes to about 3 million people. Anyone of them may come knocking on your door. If you think that’s bad, here is another piece of bad news: 28.5% of all tenant applicants in Canada have poor credit and 12.1% lie about their employment, which means that at some point they could fall behind in their payment or stop paying rent altogether.
The first thing you may want to know about tenant applicants during tenant screening is whether they have a criminal record. Of course, not all people who have had a brush with the law are bad. In fact, most people with criminal records are careful not to get on the wrong side of the law again. However, it is still important to do background checks on all tenants. Be on the lookout for tenants with extensive criminal records, as they can give your property and neighborhood a bad reputation and drive away good tenants.
Experts generally agree that looking at applicants’ credit history is more important than checking their criminal history. Tenants with a history of bad credit are highly likely to start defaulting on rent payments sooner or later. You don’t want such a tenant occupying your property while your mortgage and bills keep accumulating. Such tenants are not only hard to evict, they can also be troublesome. They may also neglect to take good care of your property.
Another type of tenant applicant you would want to avoid is one with a very large family or an extended family. Some applicants may lie about the number of people who will be living in your property until they move in. Just imagine the resulting wear and tear on your property after a large family has lived in your rental unit.
Since tenant screening involves a lot of hard work, it is a job better left in the hand of an experienced realtor or a property management company. My team and I have many years of experience in the tenant screening, including credit checks, criminal background checks, employment verification, income verification and rental verification. Over the years, we have helped hundreds of our clients find the best tenants for their property and you can trust us to do the same for you.
Contact me for more information on our tenant screening and property management services in Toronto.