Do you have a property available for rent? Have you made every effort to showcase you property right to attract serious potential tenants? Are you looking for tenants with good payment habits who’ll take care of the property and contribute positively to the neighbourhood’s future? It’s important not to rely on first impressions only and check potential tenant’s backgrounds thoroughly.
However, you might be worried about losing an ideal tenant due to a longer lead time between the apartment visit and signing of the lease. Here are our recommendations to ease the process and to guarantee a pleasant and respectful experience for your potential tenants.
Prepping for visits
Home visits are the perfect opportunity to get to know prospective tenants and set expectations for the whole process. We strongly recommend not to delegate this meeting. Being present for visits will give you a first impression of the people who may be living in your property. Before these meetings, you should :
- Prepare your questions for the potential tenants
- Determine which checks you want to execute:
- Credit check
- Criminal record check
- Current or previous landlord references
- Job confirmation (current position, salary range, etc.)
- Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL) check (in Quebec only)
- Print out a paper copy of the consent form for people who may be less comfortable with technology.
Important note : During the preparation stage, you must respect people’s privacy rights. According to the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL), you must limit yourself to information related to the apartment’s rental. The TAL quotes the following examples: check the applicant’s ID (without making a photocopy), get their full name and contact details and the names of their previous landlords and ask for a letter of recommendation from a past and/or current landlord.
What is the key to a successful verification ? Managing the candidate’s expectations
Candidate tenants are interested in your apartment and want to know what the next steps are. To build trust and engage in transparent communication, you’ll need to explain the screening process:
Important note : The potential tenants will receive the electronic consent form in real time. Candidates can complete it once they’ve informed their references. An identity check system is also in place. However, if you use the paper consent form, you’ll need to check an ID when it is signed to validate their identity.
Important note : If you refuse a candidate, your decision must rest on reasonable motives. In Quebec, you cannot, under any circumstances, refuse to rent an apartment to a person if the reasons are discriminatory and/or unfounded. For more information concerning reasonable motives, you can check the following link for the article Housing: No Discrimination Allowed by Éducaloi.
Advice and recommendation
Finally, good preparation is essential to ensure that the screening and the pre-rental process are successful. You need to ask the right questions, respect your candidates, and manage their expectations by informing them of the steps during the process. As explained in our article The traps to avoid with your tenant screening, you must do your due diligence before renting your apartment. However, we also believe that ensuring an enjoyable and respectful process for all potential tenants is key.
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