Tenant Checklist

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Feb 02

There are a lot of things you want to check on before you agree to rent your property to someone.

Remember a vacant apartment or house is better than one with a bad tenant in it. A bad tenant is hard to get rid of; it’s costly and time consuming to get them out.

Many landlords believe their interview with prospective tenants is the most important type of vetting they can do. It is important.

But, at a minimum, you should also:

-ask for an employment letter stating their income, position and length of time on the job

-ask for three references: a personal one, a business one and one from a previous landlord; you should call and talk to each referee too

-ask the tenant to get his or her credit report and provide it to you: it’s free for them to do that*, it won’t cost them any beacon score (credit score) points if they do it themselves (if you do it for them, their credit score will take a hit–about 2.7 points each time someone pings the credit bureau, which deems them “credit seeky”), and it’s good practice anyway for folks to see and review their credit history at least once per year because mistakes happen, and they should correct those right away.

There are other things you could do as well: like ask them to provide a police report showing they have no criminal record plus there are services that will independently check everything–credit, criminal, employment, personal history.

Lastly, here’s an easy one: google them. One time we did that, and the guy had a DUI, hit and run in his recent past, which might explain why he needed a lift to his interview.

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

* Here’s the form they need to fill out to get their free credit report from Equifax, https://www.dropbox.com/s/plw26l7xstp7t7b/EFX-equifax-free-Credit-Report-Request-Form.pdf?dl=0

They can also get a free credit report from CreditKarma.ca, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/147591767399/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-or-your-beacon

If you are not satisfied, you can get reports yourself from services like, https://www.tenantverification.ca/. Their fees are here, https://www.tenantverification.com/fees.html

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.