The Canadian rental market is growing and with it the need for landlords. A recent survey from KPMG found that only 54% of surveyed Canadians aged 23 to 38 believe they will ever own a home.
RBC data recently revealed that there is a shortage of rental units across the country, especially in major markets such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
Could this mean that we will see more rentals open up in the coming years — and more landlords joining the fray?
For landlords and tenants alike, tenant screenings can be a critical part of the rental application status.
The definition of a good tenant can vary from landlord to landlord, but some of the most common criteria are that a prospective tenant is able to pay their rent on time, that they keep the rental unit in good condition, and that they respect other tenants and neighbours.
That is where tenant screening comes in.
These are the typical verifications that a landlord might request during the application stage:
- Credit check verification
- Criminal record check
- Reference checks
- Tenant interviews
This can determine the applicant’s credit history, credit score, and any financial red flags, such as if he or she has declared bankruptcy in the past seven years or defaulted on a debt.
In some cases, credit reports will also reveal past evictions or foreclosures, or even an excessive amount of open and closed credit card accounts.
This reveals whether the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence in Canada.
This is particularly important for landlords renting multiple properties or who are providing a rental on their own property (for instance, a basement apartment). You want to make sure that you are aware of any security risks.
Some landlords will contact the applicant’s past landlords to see what the tenant relationship was like. This can tell you if they kept the apartment in good condition or had any issues with neighbours or paying rent on time.
Credit checks, criminal record checks, and reference checks are all good tools to have, they might not tell the whole story. If a tenant is young, for instance, they may not have a credit score, or if they are new to Canada, they may not have references.
“While a credit check may not always be a necessary step in a landlord’s tenant selection process, it is a useful tool in assessing whether the applicant is likely to pay rent in full and on time,” Hunter Boucher, director of operations at LandlordBC, said in a recent Vancouver Sun article.
“In many cases, relying solely on references can leave landlords with either not enough information or incorrect information to base their decision on.”
Landlords should review the provincial Residential Tenancies Act to see what criteria they can use in their selection process.
It’s also important for landlords to acquire any background checks legally. For instance, don’t ask a mortgage broker or real estate agent friend to run a credit check for you — this is a breach of tenant privacy. Instead, get the applicant’s permission and use a trusted provider.
Where to Get Tenant Screening Verifications
At Triton Canada, we offer both credit check verifications and criminal record checks for landlords and tenants across the country.
We have some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry, so you can have a rental application approved quickly.
Our checks are compliant with national privacy and human rights legislation and can be completed online. They are also accessible online so you can run a check without leaving the house!
With these checks, landlords can quickly and securely verify tenant applications to mitigate risk and make decisions with complete information.
Learn more today about our tenant screening verifications for landlords. Call 1-844-874-8667 or visit www.tritoncanada.ca.