After suffering $40,000 in damage to his property, a Saskatchewan landlord has some advice for other landlords: check your insurance policy, and screen your tenants.

This landlord reported to the news that his tenants, whose references appeared to check out, stopped paying rent while the landlord was out of the country on an extended trip. A family member swung by the property to investigate and found it abandoned, and vandalized.

That’s when the landlord returned and discovered that his insurance policy didn’t cover that sort of damage. Most policies don’t. Does yours? It may be worth making a call to see if your coverage can be expanded.

This landlord admits there was more he could have done to vet the tenants, like verifying employment and calling all of the references. He also suggests that landlords do “every background check possible” to ensure that they are not renting to the tenants from hell. That’s good advice.

Small or inexperienced landlords and those who are not physically near the property suffer the highest risk of income loss. That’s why it is especially important for those landlords to follow strict property management policies, to remain professional, and to seek help from a professional manager if necessary to keep tenants in check.

Additionally, landlords should:

Specifically call the current and previous landlord references. There is no indication that this landlord was called to provide a reference;

Verify the information in the rental application, and then run a tenant credit report to determine whether the person’s story checks out;

Sign up to Report Tenant Pay Habits. Information shared with LandlordCreditBureau.ca is being reported to Equifax Canada. Tenants with decent credit will have an incentive to pay rent — and not skip out on the tenancy agreement.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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Too often landlords enter into a tenancy agreement with the belief that, if things go badly, they can always evict the tenants.

There’s a reason evicting a tenant should be considered the last resort. You might lose, and wind up with an angry tenant, no eviction order, and no end in sight.

The best strategy for evicting a tenant remains avoiding it altogether by carefully screening tenants and actively managing the property. Even then, eviction is a risk. When confronted with it, keep these tips in mind:

Make No Assumptions

Even though an eviction may be held in a nonthreatening setting in front of a mediator, the action still is adversarial. There is, at best, a 50% chance a landlord will win. In reality, that probability may be slightly less because there is a tendency to mediate the dispute in a way that keeps the tenants in the property.

Landlords have the burden of proving the case, and will be held to a higher standard than the tenants. There is no presumption that you will prevail.

It Comes Down to Credibility

A landlord’s credibility will make or break the eviction case. That credibility is demonstrated by clear, concise, unemotional testimony. The more professional the landlord appears, the better the odds of winning.

Appearing dispassionate can be a challenge after months of struggling with a nightmare tenant, but disorganization, rants, or evasive answers will sink the case.

Documentation Bolsters Credibility

Testimony alone is seldom enough to convince a tribunal or court to side with the landlord. Documentation is key. If you had to produce a tenant file today, what would be in it? A copy of the rental ad? The signed rental application, tenancy agreement and move-in and move-out condition reports? Rent payment history? Completed repair requests? Receipts for repairs? Emails or notes from tenant conversations? Photos? Videos?

Don’t Offer the Tenant Ammunition

Eviction is war. Don’t offer tenants any weapons.

The specific grounds offered for the eviction do not limit the issues that the tenant may raise. Expect a fight. That unanswered noise complaint, the bugs that crawled across the carpet, or the leaky faucet that took two weeks to repair will come up in the discussion. The more of these minor complaints a tenant can prove, the less likely the landlord will appear credible. Restore that credibility by showing that the tenant failed to report problems, or that issues were resolved in an efficient manner.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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Landlord Fined for Tenant’s Actions

May 22, 2017

A landlord in Montreal is speaking out after he was fined over $1,200 because his tenant sublet an apartment on Airbnb contrary to condo board rules. The landlord says he had no knowledge of the tenant’s actions and that the tenant was already in place when the landlord purchased the condo, according to a news […]

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Ontario Lawmakers Set to Expand Rent Control

May 22, 2017

Ontario’s Ministry of Housing has announced the introduction of new legislation that, if passed, will extend rent increase limits to buildings occupied on or after November 1, 1991. Currently, these buildings are exempt from the rent cap, which is determined annually but cannot exceed 2.5 per cent. If passed, the proposed rent increase guideline expansion […]

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6 Steps for Finding Better Tenants

May 8, 2017

Late rent. Property damage. Tenant complaints. These problems are more likely to happen to landlords who do not have an effective tenant screening process in place. Fortunately, that’s an easy fix if you follow these steps: Rental Ad The tenant screening process begins with the rental ad. The way the property is advertised will have […]

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Landlords: Do’s and Don’ts When Rejecting Tenants

May 8, 2017

While most rental property owners dream about having multiple applicants lined up for a vacancy, in reality, it can be difficult to face the inevitable consequence: rejecting the lesser-qualified applicants. Not only is that process unpleasant, but if it is not handled appropriately, rejecting an applicant can lead to income loss. The process is easier […]

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Why Landlords Need to Fix Noise Complaints

May 8, 2017

Noise issues, like this one, are one of the most common tenant concerns: “The neighbors upstairs have two small children and believe that running and playing in the apartment at all times of the day and night is “their right”. This is accompanied by music which is over 70 decibels. The landlord says there is […]

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They’re Here: Landlords Brace for Buggy Summer

May 8, 2017

The National Pest Management Association’s “Bug Barometer” is indicating a buggy spring and summer for most areas of the country. According to NPMA, exceptionally milder winter temperatures, along with periods of heavy precipitation or moisture in most areas soon will be forcing bugs indoors. Expect an early onslaught of ants in California and the Midwest, […]

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Landlords: Easy Ways to Save Time and Money

April 24, 2017

Got 15 minutes? Often, that’s all it takes to streamline your leasing policies and improve your effectiveness as a landlord. Here are 3 examples: Increase the efficiency of tenant screening by reading the rental application before running a tenant background check. Want to do it faster? Modify the checklist below to suit your needs, and […]

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Canada’s Landlords Grapple With Legalized Marijuana

April 24, 2017

Canada’s federal government is poised to legalize recreational marijuana, which has landlords there wondering how the move will affect them. While the measure still must pass more legislative hurdles, many are predicting that marijuana will become legal by July, 2018. While the marijuana bill is creating a big sensation, it is woefully short on details. […]

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