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How To Run A Credit Check On My New Tenant?

April 14th, 2014 · Landlords Ontario, Tenant Credit Check

 Ontario landlords tenant credit check

How to Be A Successful Landlord In Ontario

Mark Weisleder is a knowledgeable writer who has an excellent recent article in the Toronto Star for landlords looking for success.

In the article he says one of the most important things for landlords to succeed is they must carefully screen tenants before renting to them.

After all, if you choose the wrong tenant and they stop paying the landlord will be face mortgage payments and other bills that might lead to you having to sell the property or worse.

Lots of Great Tenants Out There…And Some Who Aren’t So Great

The majority of renters are decent people who pay rent on time, follow the rules, and treat their rental property like it’s their own.

These are the tenants you want to find and you need to rent to.

We’ve seen many examples of this.

Whether it’s a professional tenant in Toronto who leaves a string of landlord victims or some students renters cheating Peterborough landlords who cause over $35,000 in damages to the rental property (and are charged by the police) landlords need to face reality and know the dangers that exist in our industry.

These type of bad tenants aren’t only in Ontario

Our friends out west are waking up to the reality of bad tenants.

BC landlords are shocked to be reading CBC news reports on a couple of serial bad tenants who have ripped off five landlords in two years.

They are calling for a ‘bad tenant registry’.

Even Alberta landlords are now making sure they screen their tenants carefully (including credit checks) to protect their rental property businesses.

Screen Your Tenants Carefully

A Toronto landlord who bought a condo had a great question posted at the Ontario Landlords forum.

Here’s the question:

“I’m a first time landlord and new to this and any help or advice is greatly appreciated!

My husband and I bought a condo as our new income property. We already have some phone calls and want to protect ourselves by making sure we find good tenants.

How can i do a credit check on the people applying? How will a credit check us help us make sure we rent to the right people?

I need to do some checks as soon as possible. Thanks.”

What a great landlord question

The replies were helpful and recommended this landlord to conduct tenant credit checks through TVS.

“I’m going on year 3 as a landlord of a SFH and have done a lot of tenant credit checks and tried various services.

The best is TVS. They are fast and efficient and they give you a credit score, background information on your tenants and they even provide a nice recommendation.

They can’t be beat. If you are a member here they only cost $10/check so it’s not cost prohibitive to do a bunch of checks (like they would be if you were paying $22 or whatever).

I’ve never rented to bad tenants so far and have had no tenant drama.”

Ontario Landlords And Credit Checks For Only $10 Per Check With TVS

The normal price for TVS credit checks is $21.58 per check.

The TVS credit check system is the best in Canada (by far).

1. You have access to a toll-free number for OLA members to get set up

2. Getting set up is fast and the TVS team is helpful and awesome!

3. You can check your tenant’s credit on your home computer

4. It only takes about a minute to get the credit check

5. You get a credit score and a ton of information on the renter

It’s a deal that can’t be beat!

How To Run A Credit Check On My New Tenant?

The answer is to become a member of the Ontario Landlords Association and use TVS for credit checks.

You will not be disappointed!

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Ontario Landlords: Would You Use a Realtor and the MLS System To Find Your Tenants?

March 17th, 2014 · Find Tenants, Ontario Landlords Association forum

 Ontario Landlords Would You Use a Realtor and the MLS System To Find Your Tenants

Can Real Estate Agents Help You Find Great Tenants?

There was an excellent question post on the Ontario Landlords Forum recently.

The question was from an landlord in Alberta and directed to Ontario landlords.

For years in Ontario we have been able to use a real estate agent to find us tenants.

The Realtors usually wanted one month of rent for their fee.

In exchange they would use the MLS listing service to advertise your rental property to tenants and other Realtors who had tenants looking for a place to call home.

This wasn’t the case in Alberta until recently.

Calgary Real Estate Board

According to the Calgary Herald the CREB (Calgary Real Estate Board) began allowing their members to list residential property rental listings on MLS.

The CREB manager of programs for members is Lisa Roberts.

Roberts said this new service would allow Calgary landlords the opportunity to use the MLS system and local real estate agents to market their rental properties to a very large national audience.

The president of CREB is Mr. Bill Kirk.

Kirk stated the MLS system is an excellent tool for buying and selling real estate all over Canada and it’s a great way for Alberta landlords to get people to see their listed rental properties.

What Did People say on the Forums?

Ontario landlords face a very different system than landlords in Alberta.

For example, in Alberta landlords can raise the rent without a guideline and when a lease ends, the tenants have to move out.

Even British Columbia landlords can, like in Alberta, charge a damage deposit and pet deposit.

On the other hand, Ontario landlords must follow the annual Rent Increase Guideline, must have a ‘reason’ to evict tenants, and cannot charge a legal damage deposit.

This is why many Ontario landlords think we face the most difficult landlord legal environment in Canada and need to screen tenants carefully and join a landlords association. 

For example, Toronto Landlords recommend membership with the Ontario Landlords Association.

Poll Numbers

As of the date of this publication here are the results to the question:

Would You Use a Realtor and the MLS System To Find Your Tenants?

Yes I would use a Realtor to Find Tenants – 18 votes (18%)

No I would not use a Realtor to Find Tenants –  84 votes (82%)

What Do You Think?

Many Ontario landlords explained how finding good tenants was difficult and you needed to be very skilled and experienced to be successful.

Others thought a fee of one month of rent was excessive as many new landlords don’t a lot of cash-flow with their rental properties.

Some landlords wonder how a non-landlord can really help when even experienced Ottawa landlords are thinking of getting out of the residential rental industry.

We wish our landlord friends in Alberta the best!

Ontario Landlords know in the difficult environment we do business in tenant screening is the key to success and we rely on ourselves and always use excellent tenant screening services.

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Ontario Landlords: Will You Raise The Rent 0.8% in 2014?

January 5th, 2014 · 2014 Rent Increase Kathlyne Wynne, Ontario Landlords

 Ontario Landlords Association Rent Increase 2014

As the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline Is Only 0.8% What Are You Going To Do?

There was a great thread on the OLA Landlord Forum about the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline and what it means for residential landlords.

Here is the threat you need to read:

Ontario Rent Increase For 2014 Is Only 0.8 Percent

Ontario landlords are a hearty and clever group who have made lots of changes in how they operate their rental businesses in 2014.

These changes are from landlords determined to become more professional and treat their landlord businesses like a business.

It means learn the ropes and even learning how to go to Ontario small claims court when tenants owe you money.

Tenant Screening

This includes a new emphasis on tenant screening.

After all we have learned that landlords who don’t screen their tenants carefully are subject to months of Landlord and Tenant Board Hearings.

And while waiting the rent isn’t paid means huge losses.

How Much Can I Raise the Rent In 2014?

Many Ontario landlords were shocked when they took a look at the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Sun last Sunday.

You see both the Toronto and Ottawa Sun had some news for residential landlords across Ontario.

It was news that was reported before, but now it was close to the new year and people were actually paying attention.

It was startling for many because of how low the increase is.

Ontario Landlords Can Only Raise the Rent 0.8% in 2014

Immediately many landlords said this low rent increase won’t increase their costs.

Some landlords like some Ottawa landlords said they will sell if they can’t make a good profit investing in residential rental properties.

The low rent guideline was very controversial and led to a lot of debate.

Some New Investors Asked How The 2014 Rent Increase Compared to Previous Years

It’s a good question as some believe the Ontario Liberal government is trying to court tenant votes with these low increase.

Here’s the figures:

Ontario Rent Control Annual Increases

  • 2014: 0.8%
  • 2013: 2.5%
  • 2012: 3.1%
  • 2011: 0.7%
  • 2010: 2.1%
  • 2009: 1.8%
  • 2008: 1.4%
  • 2007: 2.6%
  • 2006: 2.1%
  • 2005: 1.5%
  • 2004: 2.9%
  • 2003: 2.9%
  • 2002: 3.9%
  • 2001: 2.9%
  • 2000: 2.6%
  • 1999: 3.0%
  • 1998: 3.0%
  • 1997: 2.8%
  • 1996: 2.8%
  • 1995: 2.9%
  • 1994: 3.2%
  • 1993: 4.9%
  • 1992: 6.0%
  • 1991: 5.4%

Landlords can see how low this year’s rent increase is.

Ontario Landlords 2014

We have just shown you how unfair and unrealistic the Ontario government is when it comes to treating small residential landlords the right way.

The low 2014 allowable rent increase guideline is a bad joke and a slap on the face on all Ontario residential rental property investors.

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Ontario Landlords Question – Property Management

December 18th, 2013 · Ontario Landlords Association, Property Management

 Ontario Landlords Property Management

Let’s Talk About Ways To Keep Our Good Tenants Renting Our Properties. Are Christmas Gifts a Good Property Management Tool?

Successful Ontario Landlords know one of the keys for success is keeping an open mind and to always keep learning.

You are never satisfied with what you know, and want to learn more and improve how you run your rentals business.

You have already studied every aspect of the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act and are an experienced veteran of dealing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The Quest For Excellence

Successful landlords share a common theme.

Not matter if you are a Toronto landlord, a landlord in a smaller town like Newmarket or you have invested in residential rentals properties growing areas to become a landlord in Mississauga the theme is the same.

You are always open to learning new ideas and techniques to improve (and make more money) as a landlord in Ontario.

Ontario Landlords and Tenant Screening

We’ve discussed the importance of tenant screening in finding good tenants.

Let’s face it: there are lots of ‘pro tenants’ in Ontario who know how to play the system and abuse unsuspecting landlords.

What If You Have Good Tenants Renting Your Property Now?

When you rent to a good tenant everything feels great.

You took a big risk to become a small residential landlord in Ontario and paid a lot of money to get started:

1. Time and Costs To Find a Rental Property You Wanted To Buy

2. You Paid a Big Down-payment (which took you years to accumulate)

3. After You Bought, You Paid Contractors To Get It Up To Code

4. You Spent Even More Money Making the Property Attractive (so much you would live there easily!)

5. You Paid For Advertising Your Property, Time and Gas To Show It, And Time for Tenant Screening

All your hard work paid off.

You have a great tenant. Now you want to keep them.

Landlords Giving Christmas Gifts To Good Tenants

There is an amazing thread at the Ontario Landlords Association forum from a landlord who wants to know if giving Christmas gifts to his tenants is a good idea.

The replies are mixed.

One Scarborough landlord said she has found giving gifts creates a good, positive relation with her tenants.

A British Columbia landlord says his tenants are mostly students and giving a gift card to Montana’s or another restaurant leads to his tenants showing appreciation.

Some other landlords stated they won’t give Christmas gifts out of fear they will be accused of discriminating against non-Christians.

What Do You Think? Will You Give Christmas Gifts To Your Tenants?

You can vote at the Landlord Forum and share your views.

The key for Ontario Landlords is to keep asking questions, sharing experiences, and offering opinions to each other.

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Tenant Screening Ontario: Landlords and Tenant Credit Checks

November 20th, 2013 · Tenant Screening Ontario

 Ontario Landlords Association Tenant Screening Credit Checks

Welcome back to the Ontario Landlords Association blog where we look at issues facing Ontario Landlords.

We also will go in depth on issues discussed at the Ontario Landlords Association forum.

Landlords and Kijiji

Kijiji.ca offers landlords a great way to advertise their rental properties to a large audience of potential renters.

Usually landlords will post information on property for rent.

The information will include some information about the place such as how many bedrooms it has, what features are offered, where the property is located, some pictures and when the lease would begin and the price.

Landlord Warns Others on Kijiji

A recent ad on Kijiji from a landlord was different.

This landlord wasn’t advertising their investment property or basement unit.

They were issuing a warning to other Ontario landlords:

FRIENDLY NOTE: I’m a landlord and had some very difficult times and even bogus documents and straight out lying with some of these tenants I got from kijiji.

He continued…

ALWAYS- Check Credit, Get Past Landlord references (verify you are talking to the previous landlords by asking for documentation and not just a friend or setup),

Employment Verification, character references, and background checks.

Always people on kijiji taking landlords for a ride.

I never have this problem when I give to real estate agents because they screen very well.

But on kijiji BEWARE!!

Do your homework thoroughly!!

Ontario Landlords and Tenant Screening

This comment from a landlord on Kijiji is an important warning for landlords.

There are a lot of great tenants out there.

There are also, as the landlord wrote, lots of game playing tenants who will do anything to get into your rental property.

Once they get in, the ‘games’ really begin.

These games usually include:

1. Not paying rent

2. Damages to your rental property

3. Arguing (or worse) with other tenants and neighbors

4. Not fulfilling their lease obligations

5. Insults and harassment of you, the landlord and manipulating the unfair rules at the Landlord and Tenant Board to avoid eviction for months.

Tenant Credit Checks

Fortunately you can avoid these bad tenants (and find good ones) with good tenant screening.

As posted in the Ontario Landlords Association forum, tenant credit checks are a key part of making sure you screen carefully before signing the lease and handing over the key.

You are also allowed to do a credit check under the rules of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The Ontario Landlords Association offers high quality, affordable credit checks for Ontario Landlords. 

Invest a little in your rental business and find great tenants (and avoid all the pros out there). 

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Ontario Landlords Association Blog: In-depth Discussion On Key OLA Stories and Questions

October 24th, 2013 · Ontario Landlords Association

 Ontario landlords Association discussion

We want to welcome our readers to the Ontario Landlords Association blog!

With so much happening each day, stories on the Ontario Landlords Association homepage can go to page 2 and off the front page.

Landlord and tenant posts on the Ontario Landlord forum can easily get lost in the shuffle.

An important story, landlord tip, must-read news, or key advice on the homepage can easily go down the page and might be missed.

An important question you have, vital challenge you are facing, and important advice can quickly get buried under other posts on the most popular landlord forum in Canada.

This blog will focus on key stories and questions landlords have. We will go into greater depth. We can make sure an valuable landlord lesson is seen and read.

Lots of Opportunities and Lots of Challenges

Ontario landlords know there are some great opportunities when you own a rental property and rent it out.

Whether it’s monthly cash-flow or seeing your income property appreciate, being a landlord can be rewarding and profitable.

There are also some very big challenges facing landlords.

The Residential Tenancies Act is one sided for (bad) tenants.

The Landlord and Tenant Board is easily abused by bad tenants and intimidates many residential landlords who fear it.

Other Landlord Challenges Include:

1. A very low allowable rent increase guideline for landlords. Ontario landlords can only raise the rent 0.8% in 2014.

2. Landlords fighting against ‘landlord licensing’ aka ‘the tenant tax.’

3. Tenants fighting other tenants.

4. Rental scams

5. Tenants living rent free for months while the very slow Ontario eviction system drags on.

These are just the tip of the iceberg for Ontario landlords.

Helping You Stand Up To These Challenges and Succeed

This blog will pick you key points, stories, questions and advice from the Ontario Landlords Association site.

We will assist Ontario landlords as a ‘companion’ to the OLA site.  We will spend time looking at key aspects of being an Ontario Landlord such as:

(1) What type of income property is best for you to invest in? Should it be a single family home? A duplex? A condo?

(2) Where are the best places to invest in and become a landlord in Ontario?

Should you buy in downtown Toronto where prices are high and condos keep rising?

What about a rural town where prices to enter the market are lower?

(3) How can you choose good tenants and avoid the ‘professional tenants’ who can easily abuse the Landlord and Tenant Board and cause so many headaches for landlords?

(4) Should you do a tenant credit check? If so, why? And what is the best tenant credit check system?

(5) Can you do a tenant criminal check? Is a criminal check an important aspect of tenant screening?

(6) What should you include in you lease?

(7) What can you do if your tenant doesn’t pay rent? What is the best path forward to get paid?

(8) What happens if tenants are fighting or bothering other tenants? What can you do?

(9) What does the Ontario Human Rights Code mean for landlords? How can you make sure you follow the laws?

(10) How can you prepare for a Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing?

What is involved with taking your tenant to Small Claims Court?

This blog will focus on the most important issues from www.Ontariolandlords.org

We go will go in-depth and this blog will be an important companion for OLA members and readers.

If you see a topic on the Ontario Landlord Forum that you want us to discuss in detail please let us know.

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