A landlord in Ontario is reeling after he evicted his tenant for failing to pay rent and then found two abandoned dogs and heaps of trash inside the apartment.
According to a news report, the landlord estimates he is out $20,000 in lost rent and property damage. The cabinets were broken and, along with animal waste, the property was littered with syringes. Two large, starving dogs were rescued by animal control. To add insult to injury, the landlord was picking fleas off his legs as he walked from room to room.
Now, the landlord says he is forced to borrow money from his family to get the property — one of two units this landlord owns — back in service again, according to the report.
Eviction a Costly Option
Evicting a bad tenant is seldom cost-effective. Even in the best case, a landlord easily will lose two or more additional months of rent while waiting for the hearing, the appeals periods, and the sheriff to execute the eviction order. In many cases, the wait is much longer. Meanwhile, the tenant lives rent-free and trashes the property while the landlord has little hope of recovering the losses. That’s why vigilant tenant screening is so important to landlords.
Screening Tenants in 3-D
A tenant may have excellent credit and still be high-risk due to a bad rental history — wild parties, property damage. A tenant with average credit can be low-risk where the person has an excellent rent payment history and cares for the home. A renter on government assistance and one with a full-time job are equally reliable. It depends on the person. Tenant screening requires a multidimensional view. Each bit of information obtained sheds light on the applicant from a slightly different angle, and no one factor governs. It’s the totality of circumstances that determines the level of risk.
Landlords should focus on applicants with verifiable income, a history of paying rent on time each month, a sense of financial obligation with revolving credit, and no history of property damage. Look at a photo ID, demand a fully completed rental application along with supplemental documentation, and verify the information independently, including calling references. Then, run a tenant credit check for an objective view of the tenant’s willingness to meet the demands of the tenancy agreement.
Consequences Key to Avoiding Income Loss
Not every nightmare tenancy can be avoided but providing consequences can force some problem tenants to rethink their exit strategy. Signing up to Report Rent Payments monthly will give a bad tenant cause to reconsider skipping out on rent or leaving behind a costly mess for fear that, one day, the tenant may not qualify for rental housing.
Landlord Credit Bureau maintains a database of information on both high-risk and low-risk tenants. By reporting rent history and property damage, landlords create consequences for bad tenants who seek rental housing in the future, and reward tenants who pay on time.
Move quickly at the first sign of trouble. Consider legal options, but do not wait to act. Bargaining with a bad tenant may only delay the inevitable and increase income loss.
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 is 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.