A recent news story profiled the “bad tenant” registry maintained by the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Industry Association — an online database shared by member landlords.
Saskatchewan’s Office of Residential Tenancies told reporters that they are aware of the list — and they’re okay with it. A spokesperson said the agency has never received a complaint from renters over the list, which has been in use for years.
Yet, landlords in other provinces, including Ontario, have met with fierce opposition to any attempt at keeping a database of bad tenants — even those evicted multiple times — citing tenant privacy concerns.
Landlords find themselves frustrated when it comes to protecting their investments from career bad tenants.
While a bad tenant database could be a valuable tool, such a list is not without problems. For instance, to be effective, a mechanism must be in place to verify the identity of tenants who share similar names. Also, there needs to be an objective threshold in place to govern how tenants end up on the list.
Another concern is that such a database may never be complete. For instance, it likely will focus on tenants who have rented in the area in the past, but may not cover those new to the area.
Relying on a list of bad tenants could create a sense of complacency when it comes to tenant screening. A landlord who relies solely on that list, or word of mouth, rather than running a current credit report and obtaining a previous landlord reference could miss out on valuable clues about the applicant’s bad history.
Still, it’s encouraging that the government of Saskatchewan recognizes the importance of allowing its landlords to reduce their risks of income loss while supplying much of the province’s needed housing.
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).
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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.