Posts Tagged ‘credit checks’

Ontario Landlord Advice: Tenant Screening

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Don’t be blinded by a beautiful face

September 20, 2011


We hear these types of stories all the time.  The landlord sets up a meeting with a tenant applicant.  The applicant seems extremely nice, very polite, a great person.  Well dressed, a nice car, and a winning smile!  He or she presents you with some references that are out of this world!  You think about it again.  This person seems responsible and financially stable.  You trust your instincts, get first and last, and hand over the key.  You might even go out for dinner and celebrate finding a great tenant for your amazing property.

Then it starts.  The start of the month comes and they are late paying.  “Ah, it’s just a one time thing” you think.

A couple of weeks later neighbors start complaining about the noise levels, the people coming in and out at all hours, and the garbage piling up.  You think “what’s going on?”  You start to wonder what happened to that polite, responsible person who you trusted to stay in your rental property.

You hope for the best.  Except things keep getting worse.   You see your property getting damaged.  You hear your neighbor’s complaints.  You feel yourself losing control over your property.  On top of it all, they aren’t paying any rent!

Canadian Apartment magazine has a must read article on how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.  We would like to emphasize the importance of credit checks.  We offer two of the best credit check services in Canada at highly discounted rates for members.

Read the original article here

Discuss this in our landlord advice forums here

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

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


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.”

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

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).