Posts Tagged ‘credit checks’

Prince Rupert LandLord – Let My Tenant Nightmare Be a Warning to Other Landlords

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

December 1st, 2012

 

 A Prince Rupert Landlord Has A Warning For All British Columbia Landlords After Her Rental Property Has Been Left In a Shambles

This is a a story all BC landlords should read. It’s a ‘wake-up’ to make sure you conduct proper tenant screening.

Okay, Tell Me What Happened

A Prince Rupert landlord is facing thousands of dollars in losses due to bad tenants. The landlord is issuing a warning to others to make sure they do thorough tenant screening before handing over the key to their property.

The landlord says:

“I think a lot of people have had a similar situation happen, but haven’t wanted to speak about it.”

She continued by saying:

“If you have new tenants, you could be in for a surprise.”

It’s a warning this landlord hopes other landlords listen to. She says “be careful of who you rent to.” We’ve seen this warning before.

What Type of Shape Was the Property In Before the Tenants Moved In?

The 2-story rental house was renovated before being rented out. It was in terrific condition. It even had all new appliances.

What Did The Tenants Do?

After two years of living there, the tenants left the place in a shambles. This is why the landlord wants to warn others.

What Were the Damages?

The damages to the rental property were extensive. They include:

1. The Appliances

All the new appliances were destroyed. Totally unsalvageable. The dishwasher leaks water. The two year old stove has had all the wires ripped out. The refrigerator won’t keep anything cool.

2.  The Walls

Paint is chipped off everywhere. There are holes in the drywall. Even the light switches have been torn off.

3. Mould

The fan in the bathroom was ripped down and now mould is growing all over.

4. Electricity and Wiring

With wires being torn out, only half of the house has working electricity. It could have been caused by the tenants having a grow op.

5. Odours

Despite the lease saying the house was a ‘no smoking’ rental, the tenants smoked inside. The whole house now reeks of old cigarette smoke.

And added with all these damages, the tenants left owing $1,300 of rent.

It’s Horrendous!

Yes. The landlord says it’s terrible what they did.

What Does the Landlord Want to Say to Other BC Landlords?

The landlord want to tell other landlords to make sure they do proper tenant screening, including credit checks. If someone wants to rent your house, vet them thoroughly.

And if you are a landlord you have to know the laws and the rules and make sure you keep tabs on your tenants and make sure they aren’t destroying your home. If you don’t have the time to do this make sure you hire a terrific property management company.

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The Warning Is Loud and Clear. Avoid Your Own Tenant Nightmare By Doing Proper Tenant Screening and Seek the Advice From Professionals If You Need Help. Discuss This And Other Landlord Issues On the BC Landlords Forum.

Landlords – Use the Power of Equifax to Find Great Tenants – NOVEMBER 15

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

November 15th, 2012

Tenant Screening and Credit Checks Has Never Been Easier for British Columbia Landlords!

 

http://bclandlords.ca/2012/09/01/police-investigate-possible-revenge-arson-against-landlord/

http://ontariolandlords.org/blog/barrie-landlord-wants-to-warn-others/

 

Equifax now provides the Multi-Family Housing industry with a single-source, web-based property management program to effectively and efficiently pre-screen prospective residents/tenants. Verify consumer identity, credit worthiness, criminal history, rental history, employment background and more.

The value to your business

  • Access consumer credit reports, scores, criminal searches, eviction searches, employment verification and rental history verification
  • Reports can be customized to fit your specific needs
  • Our client-specific ordering features list only the products and services you need for fast, accurate ordering
  • Includes our InstaCriminal Statewide Search, an instant statewide database search, available in 38 states
  • Reports can be ordered 24 hours a day/7 days a week from our secure online program
  • No software to install – our system is entirely web-based

 

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire -09/30/11)- Equifax (NYSE: EFXNews) announced today the launch of their new online tenant screening service, Tenant Selector. Tenant Selector gives registered property management professionals the ability to screen potential renters quickly and easily and will be featured at this year’s PM Expo taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from November 30 to December 2.

Tenant Selector draws on Equifax’s market leading source of consumer credit information to instantly provide users with 24/7 access to a real-time recommendation on prospective tenants. No longer is it necessary to pull and review an applicant’s credit report to protect oneself against the potential threat of income loss or identity theft.

Here’s how it works: Tenant Selector is easy, fast and secure. Users simply enter the applicant’s name and other personal information into the system and Tenant Selector will do the work. Within seconds, Tenant Selector delivers an ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ recommendation based on factual information, not ‘gut feel’. Tenant Selector is a web enabled, browser based proprietary tool developed in-house by technology and solution experts at Equifax, a recognized worldwide leader in data protection and security.

Equifax invites you to visit their website (www.equifax.ca/growmybusiness) or PM Expo exhibit (Booth #2020) for a Tenant Selector demonstration and more information about how we can help professional property managers make the right tenant decisions.

About Equifax, www.equifax.com

Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Businesses – large and small – rely on us for consumer and business credit intelligence, portfolio management, fraud detection, decisioning technology, marketing tools, and much more. We empower individual consumers to manage their personal credit information, protect their identity, and maximize their financial well-being.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax Inc. operates in the U.S. and 15 other countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Equifax’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.

As a small business landlord, I highly recommend TVS!

Saturday, December 4th, 2010
I have to admit that while I’ve been a landlord for a while I have never done a credit check. I always looked at work references and called the previous landlord. Not that long ago I did these screening techniques, it was all fine, and I still got burned when the tenant changed jobs. I have now joined up as an OLA member and have started making credit checks using TVS (Tenant Verification Systems).  TVS has been very helping in screening tenants.   I have verified tenant applications and found ‘holes’ in some applications that I never would have seen before.  I would recommend doing a TVS credit check for every applicant you are thinking of handing over the keys to!
R. Francis
Toronto

Tenant Screening Advice from the Debt Collector Who Tracks Them Down

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

By Kristen Fraser, TVS Staff Writer

Collecting tenant debts is an unfortunate aspect of renting.

Having the proper tenant screening information will save you time and money.

Michael Tinant, an employee at Wiggins Adjustments, a long time established collection agency in Vancouver, explains that the “more information given on a rental application, the easier it is to track down renters.”

He recommends that landlords, Realtors, and property managers keep a file of all tenants’:

* Social Insurance Numbers
* Dates of birth
* Previous addresses
* Employers
* Personal references

Having such information on file can also act as a deterrent for tenants considering delinquent behaviors.

Collecting tenant debt can be stress free with the help of a tenant debt collection agency. Most agencies only require payment from the landlord when payment is collected from the tenant. Generally, collection agencies charge around 35% of the money collected. Be careful to read the small print as many agencies charges increase if the collection is less than $250. Individual agencies vary, make sure to research different agencies and choose the service that best suits you.

To minimize the risk of tenant debt, it is strongly recommended that landlords, Realtors and property managers have the prospective tenant read and sign a Notice to Tenant form available from Tenant Verification Service alerting the tenant that bad habits will be reported to TVS, a tenant credit reporting agency.

These forms make a very strong impact statement and will reduce the risk of tenant debt and of late rent payments.

The Bentley-driving tenant from hell

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

By MICHELE MANDEL, Toronto Sun

She’s b-a-a-a-a-ck.

The Bentley-driving, condo-trashing tenant from hell who likes to claim she’s a Persian princess is back before the Landlord and Tenant Board for the umpteenth time.

Call her Mojgan Amir-Davani — or by her other six known monikers: Mozhe Aamere, Mozhe (Mozhgan) Avanni, Mozhe Amerjhajar, Mozhe Sheena Mere, Mozhgan Amere Ghajaar or Amiri Mojgan.

Whatever her alias, her modus operandi is the same: She’s terrorized at least four high-end condo owners in North York, convincing them she’s a successful broadcasting executive only to turn into a destructive squatter who expertly plays the system for months of free rent before she’s finally turfed out and moves on to her next victim.

We first told her tale here in January, of frustrated landlord Jane Randall who rented her investment property to the dark haired beauty only to be stiffed with $12,000 in unpaid rent and thousands more in damage.

Claiming to be suffering from cancer and refusing to move, her dog’s feces spilling off her balcony, the carpets stained with blood and urine, Amir-Davani was brilliantly manipulative.

When Randall repeatedly turned to the tenancy board for help, she was told to wait. And wait some more.

Six months later, she finally left only to move down the street into a Hollywood Ave. condo owned by another small landlord who’s now going through the same horror story.

We’ll call him Frank because he’s too embarrassed to use his real name. Renting out his two-bedroom luxury unit for the first time, the 35-year-old scientist was counting on the $1,920 monthly rent to help pay off his student loans and mortgage.

He figured his realtor had found him the ideal tenant when she arrived in a chauffeur-driven Bentley to sign the deal in February.

She said she was newly arrived from California and provided a reference no one seems to have checked.

Within a few months, his kitchen was damaged by fire, tenants below were complaining about feces dripping from her balcony and her rent cheques began to bounce as hard as a rubber ball.

Amir-Davani didn’t respond to a request for comment.

During a recent inspection, a contractor told Frank it will cost $9,800 to repair the damage so far. He’s also out $2,000 in legal fees and at least $6,000 in arrears.

“It’s hard to sleep some nights,” Frank admits. “The financial cost is one thing. But then there’s the emotional thing: Is she ever going to be out?”

He’s turned to Harry Fine, president of Landlord Solutions and the paralegal who helped evict Amir-Davani from a Harrison Garden condo in 2007.

“I see it every week and my heart goes out to them,” says Fine of naive landlords scammed by professional squatters. “They don’t check references. They don’t do credit checks.”

She finally agreed to move by Aug. 7 as long as Frank waived her back rent and damages. Not surprisingly, the date came and went, with her still comfortably ensconced in his ruined condo.

What she didn’t know is that Fine arranged for her to be confronted by Frank, Randall, and her 2007 landlord when she arrived at her eviction hearing Aug. 9.

“Like a husband walking into a room to be faced by his three ex-wives who had been exchanging stories, the tenant walked into the hearing room Monday morning to find not one but three of her victims,” Fine recalls. “She was furious.”

A landlord and tenant adjudicator gave her until Aug. 31 to leave. But Frank’s hardly home free: As soon as Amir-Davani files an appeal — and she’s vowed to do so — he’ll be back waiting for yet another hearing and yet another eviction date.

“The legal system just takes forever and is so weighted to the side of tenants,” he complains.

Which makes even less sense when this notorious tenant has been the subject of so many eviction hearings.

“She’s been in the exact same hearing room and still it goes on? How does someone get away with that?” he sighs.

“She’s the tenant from hell and beyond.”

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/michele_mandel/2010/08/20/15092061.html

Landlords Burned by Internet Scammers

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Recently a Newfoundland landlord found himself in a controversy regarding a rental ad he posted on Kijiji.ca.

After advertising his condo rental, the landlord was contacted by a potential tenant who referred to an ad for the same                                                                    

property on another Internet classified site, Craigslist.

Suspicious, the landlord researched Craigslist and indeed found his property advertised by an impostor.

The fake landlord was asking half the rent, and allowing both smoking and pets on the property, which the actual landlord had restricted.

The local police found there was nothing they could do to stop the fraud.  Craigslist also failed to pull the ad or warn potential victims of the fraud, so the landlord took matters into his own hands.  He contacted the fraudsters directly, and posed as a tenant to gain more information.

He was told to send a deposit, and upon receipt of the funds, the “landlord” would ship the keys.  He was invited to view the apartment on his own.  Eventually, the scammers became suspicious of the real landlord’s probing inquiry, and pulled the ad.

In a related incident, a RCMP officer went undercover to bust an Internet rental scam in Kelowna, B.C.  In this case, a teenager and her 21-year old friend posted an ad for a rental on Castanet. The 17-year old posed as the landlord’s daughter.  A victim deposited some money in the “landlord’s” bank account without becoming suspicious of the scam. The victim believed that the property could not be shown at that time because it was currently occupied. A few days later, another victim posted a warning on the Internet regarding that ad.  That prompted a call to the police.

The fraudsters made the mistake of continuing to communicate with their victim and demanded the rest of the agreed-upon payment. But instead of meeting with the victim, the cons met an undercover officer.  Both were arrested and charged with fraud.

In the U.S., landlords have been warned by the F.B.I. of a rash on similar Internet scams.  Perhaps the most notorious was a couple who moved across country to an Arizona home offered for rent in Craigslist.  The family of nine could not believe the luck of finding a large house with a swimming pool for such low rent and immediately sent a deposit to hold the property.  In this case, the tenants were given access, and actually started moving into the property before the real owner returned from vacation to find the  family in her home.

In an act of great kindness, the owner allowed the victimized tenants to remain for some time until they could find another place to live.

While some of these frauds may seen obvious to landlords, who understand the normal rental process, they are not so obvious to renters.  It is estimated that scammers often net thousands of dollars from each of these fake ads.

Some landlords are becoming skeptical of posting Internet ads, and relying instead upon rental signs, or newspaper classifieds. Others post warning within their own ads, for instance, advising that all applicants must meet with the landlord personally, and the approved applicant will undergo a credit check before they will be asked to pay a deposit.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Services, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).


Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Tenant Screening: Tips for Verifying Applicant’s Income

by Chris on July 5, 2010

While performing a tenant background check, it’s important to keep the focus on profitability.  Does this candidate possess the potential to pay rent for the entire term of the lease?

Tenant Screening for the Traditional Applicant

The majority of rental applicants will have traditional employment.  An employer reference is a crucial part of your tenant background check.

Be certain that the company you are seeking a reference from is a legitimate business concern,  not a fiction or a business wholely owned by the applicant.

Some employers are reluctant to discuss an employee over the phone, or may insist they do not offer employee references.

There are two ways to handle that situation:

First, you could offer to fax a copy of the verification statement from the application to the employer to show the employee’s authorization to release information.

Alternatively, you may place the onus on the applicant to ask their personnel office to release the information you need.  Be persistent and do not move forward with the applicant until you are able to verify the applicant’s employment history and salary.
Tenant Screening of Self-Employed Tenants

Many entreprenuers prefer self-employment to a standard job.  Today, self employment is a popular alternative to unemployment; however, more than half of these businesses will fail within the first four years.

When verifying income of the self-employed candidate, job history becomes a crucial part of the tenant screening process.  A candidate who has chosen self-employment as a way of life is probably more suited for the business world than someone who is scrambling to recover after a job layoff.

The self-employed applicant may not keep payroll records, although that may be required to properly assess taxes.  Indeed, the payment of taxes – or rather the incorrect payment of taxes and fees, may be what puts the business under.  Perhaps the biggest risk a landlord faces when renting to a self-employed tenant is having a business  creditor garnish the income.

Successful candidates will have banking and tax records to verify income.

Tenant credit reports are indispensible in showing if the self-employed candidate is overspending, or struggling to fund a business venture.

When conducting a tenant background check on the self-employed, look for:

  • Appropriate licensing
  • Listings in local business directories
  • Banking statements
  • Corporate records
  • Client references

If you find little evidence of the self-employed business outside of the rental application, you may have cause to worry about this tenant’s  potential.

Once you have collected the income information you need:

Decide if the applicant’s  income is enough to justify the rental price of your property.  Typically, rent should not exceed one-third to one-half of overall income.

Determine whether the applicant has a steady work history.  Bouncing between jobs is a sign this candidate may not possess the commitment needed to be a good renter.  Periods of unemployment foreshadow bills going unpaid.

Also, look for clues that  the applicant is spending beyond their means.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Services, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada)

Tenant Screening: The Previous Landlord Reference!

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Information posted on one of Canada’s most popular websites:

A: Help!  I’m breaking my lease, but the new landlord needs a reference from my previous landlord! 

B:  In case you havent figured out – most tenants put on a cell number of a friend for the reference, then claim that person was the landlord for either your present place, or a previous place. Same for work reference for tenant applications.  Think about it for a second – most places you rent are private residential properties.   The owners aren’t too thorough!    I trust you know what do, something that is already done by probably 70% of the other applicants!