Archive for the ‘Tenant Credit Checks’ Category

Run Credit Checks For Only $9.95/Check (With Scores And No Annual Fees!)

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

You Can Join the Ontario Landlords Association for a Low One-Time Registration Fee and Start Running Equifax Credit Checks for Only $9.95/Check (No annual fees) To Find Great Tenants! 

With the current crisis going on it’s more important than ever for landlords to carefully screen your tenants. This always includes running a credit check to make sure your potential renters have a history of paying their bills.

When you join our landlord community you get multiple tools for you to succeed during good times and bad. For over a decade the Ontario Landlords Association has been helping small landlords succeed and getting our voice heard at last.

We also want to help tenants and want to have great communication between parties and a “win win” approach. The is why we have our Pay Your Rent Campaign where we encourage tenants to cooperate with their landlord.

Make Sure A Credit Check Is Part Of Your Screening Process

We were the first organization to promote credit checks for small landlords in Canada. We started this over a decade ago! Our partners are very reputable and you can run a check at discounted rates.

There Are Lots Of Great Tenants Out There Looking For a Great Landlord

Make sure running a credit check is part of your screening. And only for discounted prices  with no annual fees or hidden costs!

JOIN THE OLA FOR HUGE DISCOUNTS

I Paid My LL Full Rent (Because I Don’t Want To Move!)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

I wanted to send this in and hope it gets published because hopefully it will provide a different perspective on the rental crisis we are all facing.

My landlords are a working couple who live very close to where my place is. They are very nice and we get along well. The property is in a nice area and my kids go to the local schools (which are excellent and my kids love it).

We are near parks and good shopping and my rent is affordable

Lots Of People Are Telling Me “You Don’t Have To Pay Rent

Last March my email box was full of my friends who rent saying we didn’t need to pay rent and would not have to worry about being evicted.

It’s sounded too good to be true…and I’m always worried when things sound like this.

I looked into it more and it was really confusing because Premier Ford said it and lots of groups like “don’t pay rent” were telling renters not to pay.

I Called My Landlords

When this all came out I called my landlords and discussed this with them. They told me if people don’t pay rent, they will end up paying just later on.

They also told me they depend on my rent to keep the property going.

They are heavily mortgaged, pay tons of taxes and didn’t raise the rent on me because they want to keep me renting from them.

If They Don’t Get Rent They Will Have To Sell

They told me that honestly they aren’t making any money from owning the property as unlike in downtown Toronto house prices are not increasing where we live and taxes and fees keep going up.

They said frankly if I don’t pay they would have to sell the house.

Sell The House…My Home…Where My Kids Are Growing Up In?

I know they were sincere and honest and finally saw things through their “eyes”.

They are working class people like me and I can see how they bought the property hoping it will help them in their retirement but they will only make “big money” if houses appreciate (which I doubt they ever will here.)

Love The House, And It’s Our Home…So Let’s Pay Rent

Knowing the facts of the matter I paid rent throughout and will pay in full again in September. I’m back to work and things are getting better.

We pay affordable rent and love the place and my landlords are cool and I have a better relationship than ever…And they promised never to sell the house if I want to stay!

Bill 184 – The “Tenant Slaughter And Un-Protection Act”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”

“Let’s make a payment plan. Let’s avoid the LTB, work together (tenant signs)….GOT YOU… Hahaha I can now evict you fast, you have no legal rights now! SUCKER! The Sheriff is coming now to kick you out!”

Tenants need to be aware of the huge challenges we are soon going to face!

While the Premier has acted all kind and cuddly (like that fat drunk uncle we all see during the holidays who laughs as he passes gas and then beats your aunt to bloody pulp when they get home) it’s only an act.

The reality is those of us who rightfully didn’t pay rent (or full rent) are being prepared for the slaughterhouse (legally)!

It’s called Bill 184 and you can bet it will soon be the law and the slaughter of tenants will begin.

The government will not forgive tenants not paying and instead are going to demand tenants agree to “payment plans” that bypass the legal process of going to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a legal Hearing (where tenants have rights and free legal help)

The NDP came up with a plan to help tenants cover rent by using government funds to help during the horrible pandemic.

Even some landlord groups such as the Ontario Landlords Association proposed this as a way for tenants and their landlords to avoid conflict and avoid evictions.

Lots of other industries have received government support, so why not residential tenants and their landlords?

No, that would have been too easy and too nice. Why be nice when they want a slaughter and I think they enjoy seeing us suffer!

Suze Morrison is an NDP MPP who wants to protect tenants. Morrison is very aware of the reality and the coming avalanche of mass evictions based on landlords legally being able to trick tenants into forfeiting our legal rights.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario are lying awake at night, worrying about losing the roof over their head when the province’s weak pause on the enforcement of evictions ends.

They wouldn’t be this position if Doug Ford had answered the NDP’s call to provide a rent subsidy to tenants who have lost income or their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but here we are.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Ford government has found a way to make things even worse.

Now, in the middle of the pandemic, the Conservatives are attempting to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the legislation. Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, is bad for tenants.

Tenants already faced an uphill battle at the Landlord and Tenant Board, squaring off against often deep-pocketed landlords and their high-priced lawyers. If passed, Ford’s eviction bill will leave tenants with fewer defences to avail themselves of and fewer opportunities to plead their case.

Consider the case of a landlord who refuses to fix a malfunctioning radiator in a tenant’s unit. If the tenant withholds their rent, the landlord can haul them in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Under Bill 184, the tenant may be prevented from pointing out other issues, like the landlord’s failure to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, at the hearing on non-payment of rent.

Bill 184 also takes away a tenant’s right to return to the Landlord and Tenant Board if they miss a payment after coming up with a repayment plan to catch up on back rent. This is especially concerning in the context of the pandemic.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario will be trying to catch up on back rent after losing their income or job. What if they feel pressured to accept a repayment plan and fall behind on payments despite their best efforts? What if their financial circumstances change because there’s a second wave of COVID-19?

Under Bill 184, there’s no opportunity to revisit the repayment plan at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenants could find a sheriff knocking on their door, ready to enforce their eviction, the second they miss a payment.

The Ford government can claim that its eviction bill is about “protecting tenants” all it wants. But even Steve Clark, the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, admits that the legislation is about moving things along at the Landlord and Tenant Board when the government switches the lights back on.

In this very paper, he wrote: “We know that when regular hearings resume at the LTB, there will be a backlog of cases requiring resolution. That’s why this legislation is important today — in light of COVID-19.”

Yes, there will be a backlog of cases. The enforcement of evictions may be on hold for now, but that hasn’t stopped landlords from threatening tenants with eviction — even for partial rent payments.

And what is the Ford government doing with thousands of evictions on the horizon in Ontario? Instead of helping tenants keep up with rent, and in turn ensuring landlords get paid, the government is greasing the gears of the Landlord and Tenant Board to speed up evictions.

Tenants deserve better than a government that claims it’s protecting them when it’s really making them more vulnerable to losing the roof over their heads.

It’s time for the Ford government to scrap its plan to make evictions easier and step up with rent relief to help see tenants through the economic pain of COVID-19.

Ontario Landlords: Tenant Screening and Tenant Credit Checks

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

 January 17th, 2014

Ontario landlords association tenant credit check 2014

What Are the Rules For Ontario Landlords to Do a Tenant Credit Check the Right Way?

(And What Happens If You Don’t? Because Tenants Are Complaining So Be Careful)

Landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants.

We have written about this before to warn Ontario landlords.

There are a lot of good tenants all over the province and they want to rent from you.

These tenants pay the rent on time and respect you and your rental property.

Landlords big and small are seeking these tenants who follow the rules and cooperate with their landlords for a win-win situation.

It’s especially important since the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline is only 0.8% as a recent Toronto Sun report explained.

Bad Tenants

There is also a large group of bad tenants out there.

Whether you are an Ottawa landlord, a Toronto landlord, own properties a bit north and are a Barrie landlord or anywhere else in the province you have surely heard about the damage bad tenants can do to landlords in Ontario.

These bad tenants know how to manipulate the system and will end up costing you thousands of dollars in losses and months of stress and frustration.

A Supreme Court Justice even said there are too many opportunities for bad tenants to take advantage of good landlords in Ontario. You can read what the judge said at the excellent column by our friend Bob Aaron at the Toronto Star.

Tenant Credit Checks

The Ontario Landlords Association has introduced tenant credit checks and their importance in a professional tenant screening system to thousands of landlords across the province.

We have excellent partners such as Equifax and GARDA.

They are authorized to conduct tenant credit checks and look into your potential tenant’s financial history.

These companies provide tools for landlords to succeed with their rental businesses by helping you rent to good tenants.

Are Some Landlords Doing It Wrong?

Yes, some are.

And you need to be careful.

We have received lots of emails from tenants who are claiming some landlords are obtaining their credit data in a fraudulent manner.

The tenants say their privacy rights have been stomped on by small landlords.

There have also been posts about this from tenants on the Ontario Landlords Forum.

For example a tenant wrote:

I’m looking for some advice on how to deal with a serious situation.

I take great care of my credit profile and my privacy. This year I was forced to look to rent a property near my work. After finding a property I was interested in the landlord said they would do an employment check, reference check and a credit check on me to see if I was qualified. I agreed they could.

Fast forward and I recently checked my credit report. At the time of my application there is now a ‘credit hit’ from a mortgage and real estate agent on my credit score. I did not apply for a mortgage or to buy a house! It is the only ‘credit hit’ for that time period.

I never agreed for a credit check from a mortgage or real estate agent. I never applied for a mortgage or to purchase a house. This will lead future creditors/landlords/anyone to think I wanted to buy my own place and applied for a mortgage. It will also lead to people mistakenly thinking I was refused a mortgage and failed to buy a place of my own.

I only authorized the landlord to do a credit check for the purpose of renting. I would like to know my options because this is a breach of my privacy rights.

With so many emails and an increasing number of tenant posts passionately explaining their serious concerns we decided to contact our partner Equifax Canada.

It seems some landlords are using friends or relatives who are Realtors or mortgage agents or insurance agents to get credit checks done on prospective tenants.

equifax ontario landlords

Our Interview With Equifax Canada

We contacted our partner Equifax Canada and spoke with them about the ‘right way’ for landlords to conduct tenant credit checks.

Here are our questions and the answers that follow:

1. Can I Call my Relative or Friend To Do the Credit Check For My Potential Tenant?

If the landlord uses a mortgage agent, Realtor, etc. to access potential tenants credit data for them, and the tenant didn’t agree and these tenants contact Equifax what will happen?

What are the penalties that could occur?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

No.

Given the nature of the existing credit reporting/privacy legislation and the terms of use (agreement) by the Equifax member, the consumer can report this type of unacceptable activity to the Ministry of Consumer Services, who will then investigate.

Any inappropriate use or breach of contract could lead to termination of membership with Equifax.

 2. Mortgage Agents, Realtors, Insurance Agents, Car Dealerships

Several landlords say they have used friends who are mortgage agents, Realtors, etc. for years to access tenant credit data and nothing happened and there is nothing wrong using this method to obtain credit data on potential tenants.

What is the best response to their claims?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

See above and below for more details.

Equifax must disclose the actual entity that received the file.

3. What About Third Parties to Obtain Credit Data?

Some landlords have a waiver on their application form saying they will use a “third party” to obtain credit data on a potential tenant (they don’t say who will do the check, only that it will be a third party).

They then contact a friend who is a mortgage agent, Realtor, insurance broker, someone who works at a car dealership, etc. to do the credit check on the potential tenant for them. 

They wonder if the waiver clause allows them to use a ‘friend’ is okay.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

The service agreement signed by EACH of our members clearly articulates that they will not “share” a credit file with another entity: the credit file is for their exclusive use ONLY.

Any entity that does share is in violation of this agreement.

4. Tenants Complaining About Unauthorized Credit Checks

Some tenants complain they have a ‘credit hit’ on their credit reports from mortgage agents, insurance agents, etc. which they never agreed to (as they only wanted to rent an apartment). 

How can tenants get these unauthorized credit hits off their records?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

Due to privacy legislation, once Equifax delivers a file to a member, we MUST post an inquiry (by law).

As such, we do not remove these inquiries as they are factual and the consumer has a legal right to know their file has been disclosed.

5. What Can Tenants Do?

Some tenants who have credit hits from people they never authorized have asked if they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services to make formal complaints that their credit data was obtained fraudulently. They would like advice on this.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

Yes, they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services who will launch an investigation.

They can reach also reach Equifax directly at the following telephone numbers to lodge a complaint and we will do an investigation:

English: 1-866-828-5961

French: 1-877-323-2598

Ontario Landlords And Tenant Screening 2014

Let’s work together to make 2014 the most successful year ever for landlords across Ontario.

Tenant screening is an essential part of being a successful landlord.

Make sure you follow the rules and find great tenants for your rental properties.

High quality tenant credit companies such as Equifax and GARDA are waiting to assist you.

Tenant Screening for Ontario Landlords: Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

 Ontario landlords Tenant Credit Checks Tenant Criminal Checks

Lots of Good Tenants Are Out There, Make Sure You You Find Them With A Tenant Credit Check

The Ontario Landlords Association continues to stress the importance of tenant screening to landlords across Ontario.

We’ve seen far too many ‘Tenant from Hell’ nightmarish situations landlords have faced this year.

The cases are broad and reveal a huge variety of abuse of landlords and their income properties their hard-earned money allowed them to buy.

This abuse includes everything from non-payment of rent, to damages,and more.

We Demand More Respect for Small Business Landlords

Small landlords in Ontario are an important provider of high quality, affordable housing for tenants.

We are an important part of the Ontario social and financial system.

Most Ontario landlords are decent, hard-working people who have risked thousands of dollars to create rental property businesses.

They took a risk, invested lots of money, and hope for a decent return on their investment.

They also expect a fair system for landlord and tenant disputes.

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair to Small Landlords

Landlords across Ontario face bad tenants who abuse the Landlord and Tenant Board regularly.

We have seen numerous cases where landlords have been abused by their bad tenants and the system in 2013.

We are calling for changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and major reform to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We are also calling for a new joint tenant-landlord oversight of the Tenant Duty Counsel program which many landlords believe is not serving it’s original purpose.

The Globe and Mail also says bad tenants are the reason so many landlords decide to leave the industry and sell their income property.

How Can I Be a Successful Landlord in Ontario?

There are lots of good tenants out there. You need to find them to avoid the anti-landlords system in Ontario.

Good tenants will always pay the rent. They will also show consideration to the landlord and not damage the rental property.

The problem is there is a minority of bad tenants who are often very aggressive.

You need to make sure to avoid renting to these bad tenants and make your rental business open to all the good tenants out there who want to find a great rental property and a professional and courteous landlord.

How Can I Find Good Tenants?

According to the Toronto Star, bad tenants can be avoided with proper tenant screening.

You need to make sure you know who you are renting to before you sit down to sign the lease, take first and last, and hand over the keys.

Tenant Credit Checks

A tenant check is absolutely essential for Ontario landlords.

A tenant check doesn’t lie.

It provides you with a comprehensive financial history of the person who wants to rent your property.

What you will see may amaze you.

You can find out if your potential tenant pays (or doesn’t pay) their bills.

You will see if your potential tenant has mistreated past landlords and received judgments.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

A tenant credit check allows you to really get to know the person (tenant) you are doing business with (renting out your property too).

The Ontario Landlords Association works with the highest quality of companies to give you the services you need to succeed.

For a one time member fee we offer you affordable costs on tenant credit checks and other services.

Take your rental business seriously and aim for success by screening your tenants carefully and finding one of the many good tenants out there!