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How to Screen a Prospective New Tenant

As a real estate investor, the importance of screening your tenants cannot be underestimated. The very last thing you want to do is to lease to a troublesome tenant who will have a negative effect on your investment. It’s for this reason that tenant checks in Canada are essential.

Female Realtor Shaking Hands With Couple Interested In Buying House

The process of screening a potential tenant doesn’t have to be difficult. Therefore, it’s best to adhere to the following steps when selecting an appropriate tenant for your property:

1. Request an application

To start, every prospective tenant should complete a formal application.

The applicant should be made aware and agree by signing the form that a background check, criminal history report and/or credit check will be requested, and that authorisation for such checks is being granted.

At the very least, the following information is required:

  • Financial information, including bank accounts and credit cards, balances and other major monthly payments
  • Current income level (basic salary plus bonus’ or other add-ons)
  • Current and previous employers
  • Contact information for previous landlords with addresses, details of rent paid and reasons for leaving
  • Number of occupants and number and type of pets
  • Personal references, including names, length of acquaintance and phone numbers

 

2. Arrange a tenant check  

After you have pre-screened applicants and narrowed down tenants who meet your requirements, the next step is a credit check. This will reveal details about the tenant’s previous credit history, going back up to 10 years. It’s possible to obtain a credit report and credit score using the Equifax Identity Report.

When the credit report is available, key items to consider include:

  • Credit history (this includes history of late payments, charged-off credit card accounts or major issues or delinquencies, such as bankruptcy)
  • Current debt (including high credit card balances, major loans for a car or the need for alimony payments or other unpaid debts)

 

3. Perform a background check

A background check can be arranged by using the prospective tenant’s social security number and such tenant verification services  will reveal details of:

  • Evictions from other properties
  • Any criminal record
  • Public records to see if tenant is involved in a legal battle, or has been sued in the past (eg. for unpaid rent, unpaid child support or another serious financial matter)

Many Canadian landlords are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which has recent updated guidelines to clarify landlord rights and responsibilities.

  

5. Ask for references

Two of the main references to seek are from the tenant’s former landlord(s) and current or past employers, with key questions being:

  • Would you rent an apartment to this tenant in the future?
  • Does the tenant owe you any money or have a history of late payments?
  • Did the tenant cause any major damage in their last unit?
  • Did you repay the security deposit with or without deductions when the tenants moved out?
  • Did the tenant disrupt the neighbours or cause any major issues whilst in the unit?

 

For the tenant’s employer:

  • Is the tenant a current employee? If so, from when and on what contractual terms?
  • Does the tenant have a steady, reliable income source? If so, can this be verified?

 

 6. Interview the tenant

The Fair Housing Act stipulates that landlords cannot discriminate based upon disability, family status, national origin, race, religion or sex. You can still ask reasonable questions either in a phone or face-to face interview with the tenant, such as:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have any pets? If so, how many and what are they?
  • What is your typical work day? Do you work night shifts or odd hours?
  • Do you plan on getting a roommate in the future or have any friends or relatives who frequently spend the night in your home?

 

Our team can help

To mitigate your risks as a landlord, it’s integral to screen every potential tenant — as no one wants to go through the hassles and process of evicting a tenant. Sometimes, instinct counts as much as the hard facts from the tenant’s credit report and background information.

In any event, care is needed to ensure you do not break any privacy laws in the relevant Landlord and Tenant Act.

If you are looking for assistance in finding tenants or with tenant screening, why not give us at Emerald Management and Realty a call today? You can also contact us by email.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Nominated 2021 Top Choice Award

Winning the Top Choice Award is one of the largest endorsements a business can receive within North America, so this is a BIG deal!

This is our 6th year being nominated for this award for Best in Property Management Services and we are proud of our team members for working towards the goal of being recognized as the best property management company in Calgary.

Now, we need your help to WIN! Voting is now open and if you feel that we have earned your vote, we would appreciate your support. Your vote will automatically enter you into a draw for a chance to win 1 of 4 cash prizes of $500 given out by Top Choice Awards!  Take a moment and please vote today as voting ends December 20, 2020. 

VOTE NOW

When you vote, you are also able to provide anonymous feedback via a survey. Your feedback is very important to us, as it allows us to know what you love about us and what we can improve to continue serving you every day and providing the best customer experience possible. Many thanks in advance!

We would love to win the Top Choice Award… But we need your help to do so. If you believe we are your Top Choice, show us some love and help us spread the word!

Thank you again to our customers and team members for your vote of confidence! We are proud to have received your 2021 Nomination for Calgary’s Top Choice Property Management Company!

 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Top Choice Property Management Nominee

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Top Choice Property Management Nominee for 2021


Its about to get hairy this Movember

Without a doubt this year has been challenging as we continue to learn and adjust to the word changing events thrust upon us.  Over the past couple of months we have learned that by working together we are stronger as collaboration and community effects positive change. 

Team at Emerald Management grows in support of Movember

The EmeraldMos are once again joining together to give back, have some fun and help connect with others to help make a difference for the men in our lives.  Our goal is to help raise funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Last year, the team initiated a variety of fundraising efforts that resulted in a donation of over $2000 to Movember Canada.  The team has started a little early this year and (weather permitting) a drive by the Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. office on 10th Avenue SW, Calgary will provide a sure “sign” that our property management organizational efforts are in full swing!

Now, you don’t have to grow a Mo to help out …. you can also support our moustache enthusiasts accomplish their goals by contributing to their efforts by checking in at our office and social media to see what we are up to.  Our team would love your support and you can easily donate today HERE  (and get your tax receipt directly from the Movember Canada!)

We are going to kick off this year with a bottle drive.  We will be collecting the bottles closer to the end of November, but we hope everyone starts saving now! You can bring them in when you feel you have collected all you can and we will bring them to the bottle depot and donate all the money raised to Movember!   

From the entire team of MoBros and MoSistas at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

THANK YOU for your support.

 

 


Warm Clothing Drive

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. & Project Warmth Society

It is that time of year again!  This winter season, the team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will be supporting Project Warmth Society throughout the month of December 2019 and January 2020.  Project Warmth is a non-profit charity that provides warmth clothing and related items to those in need. 

Donation Box in support of Project Warmth Society.

If you are going through your closet and notice winter clothing you no longer need, we are happy to accept your donation in support of Project Warmth’s outstanding cause! 

A donation box has been set up at our office for the collection of gently used and new warm items such as: blankets, gloves, scarves, toques, winter jackets and other warm clothing items.  Items can be donated during business hours at our main office located in Calgary, AB.

To learn more about Project Warmth and how they are helping  make a difference in our community, visit their website: here

 


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