As a building owner, do you use all the tools available to choose the right tenants? Do you wonder how best to choose a tenant who will pay on time, take care of the dwelling and be a good neighbour?
An all-too-frequent nightmare
All too often, building owners must deal with issues such as late payments or refusal to pay and property damage. Last year, an article in the Journal de Québec told the story of a Quebec City landlord whose tenant ransacked his apartment and left it in an insalubrious state. He estimates that the work required to repair the apartment will run to $40,000 or $50,000, including $10,000 just to clean the premises.
Ghislain Larochelle, President of the Immofacile group and Owner of a property portfolio, says that it’s “crucial to select your tenants with the same care as you would your investments. When you consider investing in a project, you compare similar options, do a financial analysis and submit an offer. Likewise, it’s just as important to do your research and homework before adding a new tenant to one of your buildings.”
How can you avoid renting to the wrong tenant?
What can you do to avoid a nightmare scenario? The important thing is to implement a rigorous process to protect yourself from the risks associated with choosing a new tenant.
We can compare a tenant selection to a hiring process. It starts with an in-person or virtual visit to the apartment which is comparable to a first interview.
It’s best to plan multiple visits to your apartment over a short period of time, for instance, visits every 15 minutes for half a day. This process will allow you to compare prospective tenants under the same circumstances. It is important to be well prepared and have pre-set questions to ask prospective tenants before you meet them.
Be careful to respect prospective tenants’ right to privacy. According to the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL), you must limit yourself to information related to the rental of the dwelling.
The TAL provides the following examples:
- Confirm any prospective tenant’s identity by checking their ID, without making a photocopy.
- Collect their name and full contact details as well as contact information about previous landlords.
- Request a letter of recommendation from their current landlord.
With the consent of the applicant, you can get:
- Information on payment habits from their current and past landlords
- A credit check
- A credit report from the tenant’s financial institution
- An attestation from an organization or a company regarding the applicant’s compliance with payment deadlines (e.g., Hydro-Québec, Vidéotron, etc.).
Please note that a young applicant or a newcomer with no credit history or previous tenant record is not relieved of the obligation to demonstrate sound payment habits.
Comprehensive checks for today’s landlords!
Once the visits are done, it’s time to check prospective tenants’ personal information. To continue with our hiring process analogy, after interviews, it’s time to check educational credentials and professional habits, right? Well, the same goes for tenant screenings!
As a property owner you can complete this step on your own or mandate a company that specializes in the field to do so. A tenant screening usually costs between $24.95 and $69.95 in the Canadian market.
Trak Group understands the needs of today’s landlords, which is why we made simple, fast, efficient and secure technological tools available to check your tenants’ credentials.
Without a subscription, you can submit your screening requests online in less than five minutes! And, when you activate the electronic consent of your applicant, there are no more forms to print!
Here are some checks you can order:
- Prospective tenant identity check
- Credit check
- Current employer check
- Current owner check
- Tribunal administratif du logement check
- Criminal record
To learn more about the available options you, check out our services.
Protecting your investment has never been this easy!