Lack of Eviction, Criminal Records Costing Landlords
After a drug-dealing tenant trashed his rental property, a Saint John landlord is calling for a registry of bad tenants.
The man told CBC News that he was in the process of evicting the tenant over criminal activities when the tenant decided to retaliate. The damage–including leaving the water running, cost $20,000. Now, this landlord wants to form an association with others and compile a database of tenants who should be avoided.
In 2009, Ontario Eviction Specialist April Stewart created such a database after she witnessed the same tenants going through multiple evictions. Because tenant names in eviction cases are protected from public disclosure, she was told she would have to shut it down.
New Brunswick recently passed the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act which is supposed to make it easier for landlords to evict tenants who engage in criminal activities. Unfortunately, the Act does little to help landlords avoid renting to high-risk applicants in the first place by providing better access to tenant screening reports— and it does little to prevent property damages by tenants in the process of eviction.
Where tenant eviction records are not available for public viewing, it is harder for landlords to conduct a thorough tenant background check to avoid income loss from bad tenants. But there are still a few steps a landlord can take to avoid costly mistakes:
It is always a good idea to request a tenant credit report. While this report will give a landlord an overall view of credit history, it may also reveal some problems with rental history. For instance, a judgment may appear for damages to a rental unit, or a previous address may come up that is not listed in the rental application. If the person has little credit, significant assets, and no employer listed, it is possible they have a “cash” business, which could be illegal.
Make sure the applicant completes the entire application, and look for contradictions and inconsistencies, especially with dates that don’t add up.
It is also very important to speak with the previous landlord whenever possible and learn about an applicant’s rental history.
Problem tenants look for landlords who won’t give them much trouble. When a landlord advertises that a tenant background check and references are required, that may discourage applicants with bad intentions.
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.