OLA Warns Ontario Landlords To Avoid Tenant Scams
Recently there have been lots of posts at the Ontario Landlords Association forum where OLA members have written about bad tenant experiences.
Scam #1: It’s Only Me and My Child Who Will Move In To The Apartment
In one thread in the OLA Members forum a very ethical and responsible small landlord thought she was renting her basement apartment to a single person and her child. The basement unit had only one bedroom. After she moved in her common-law husband and several others also moved in.
Scam #2: I’m a Great Person Who Will Take Care of Your Property Like It’s My Own
This thread was a similar situation to the Nina Willis situation.
You remember Nina Willis, who the Toronto Star called the “Tenant From Hell.” This was the individual who had rehearsed a great “interview” speech for meeting potential landlords.
She would meet a new landlord and have a great story. She was looking for a ‘good landlord’ and would ‘pay the rent on time, always.’ She said she would treat the property with great care. Then after moving in she would stop paying rent, call the local bylaw office to complain about every little issue, and attempt to use the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board system to delay eviction. Some small landlords were devastated by this tenant’s actions.
Scam #3: Don’t Do A Credit Check On Me, There’s No Need To
This is also a common topic on the forum. An applicant will say their credit is bad only because a bad landlord tricked them and sued them because the “had to move out because it was so horrible and they had to break the lease and had no other choice.” Or they went through a tough divorce and lost everything. Or they made some mistakes when they were young.
Always run a credit check. This way you can see the “cold hard truth” of the applicants financial situation and if they have a history of paying their bills on time or not.
Ontario Landlords Be Careful of Tenant Scams
Property prices are rising in Toronto. In fact, prices are rising fast all over Southern Ontario including the suburbs where you can places like Newmarket, Ontario experiencing huge price increases. With prices rising fast, many excellent tenants are deciding on renting instead of buying in 2015-2016.
Ontario is a hot real estate market where prices are rising all over, unlike what Alberta landlords face these days. In fact, landlords across Canada are envious of what is happening in Southern Ontario and wish they were experiencing a similar market. Canada landlords from across the country are looking at how good the Ontario rental market is these days.
Ontario landlords can avoid tenant scams with proper tenant screening. Most tenants out there are good people who are going to pay rent on time and if there are any problems they will work with you, a service oriented and professional landlord. However there are also a group of professional tenant scammers who want to victimize you.
OLA members say: don’t be scammed. Make sure you evaluate every tenant who wants to rent your property carefully and professionally. By being a proactive landlord (including running credit checks) you can find all the great tenants out there, and avoid the pros.