The news recently reported on a landlord who is battling a high-end tenant who refuses to pay rent.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the tenant was evicted from his previous residence — also for failing to pay rent.
The tenant currently is appealing an eviction order, a delay strategy that served him well the first time around. That previous eviction took eight months, according to the report.
It’s easy to argue that eviction laws offer more protections to tenants than landlords, and that this imbalance provides an opportunity for bad tenants to game the system.
Experts point to a number of factors that create this disparity, including rental regulations that make it inexpensive for tenants to appeal eviction cases. Those court proceedings eventually may end in a victory for the landlord, yet the delays may have caused tens of thousands of dollars in lost rent that is never recovered.
One expert, a paralegal and former adjudicator with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board, told reporters that changes need to be made to the system, but landlords need to take steps to protect themselves. He offered some sage advice:
Run a tenant credit report;
Check out the previous landlord references;
Don’t rush to judgement with an applicant; and,
Compile and cross-check information rather than qualifying an applicant on one piece of documentation — which may be forged.
It is also important to develop a filtering process so that bad applicants are less likely to slip through the cracks. Prequalifying applicants over the phone, reiterating that an applicant will need to complete a rental application and undergo a tenant background check, and cross-checking information provided with the rental application makes it harder for problem tenants to run their next scam.
As this case highlights, bad tenants come from all walks of life, so it is impossible to tell if that well-dressed “professional” is just that — a professional scammer. That’s why it so important to abandon the “ideal” vision of what a good tenant looks like, and focus on an applicant’s qualifications — verifiable source of income, decent credit history and references from the current and previous landlords.
Until the rules change, the only way to avoid eviction delays is to avoid habitually bad tenants.
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.