Author Topic: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???  (Read 9643 times)

K-ice

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How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:05:19 PM »
Pls help.

Where do you go to get credit reports on prospective tenents in Canada?

I checked online but the sites all push how to check your own score.

I want to check prospective tenants. I know I need their written permission to do so.

What other info will I need?

I read I can't ask for their SIN, is this true?

What does this usually cost?

I imagine there is a simple online place I can go to.

Thanks a lot.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 11:11:00 PM by K-ice »

K-ice

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Re: Credit check on Canadian tenants???
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 07:59:08 AM »
I just want to bump this since I am still looking for help.

I did find Equifax, it looked good at the start, but then the process charges you $9.95 monthly subscription. Also, the site then just asked for State & Zip code which always makes me nervous.

https://www.econsumer.equifax.com/otc/order.ehtml?prod_cd=SIR

If anyone knows a reputable place for doing credit checks in Canada I would love to know.


Thx

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 03:08:55 PM »
I normally find this forum so helpful so I am wondering why no one has responded to my request.

Are we such a super honest, sorry saying society and no one ever skips out on their rent, so there is no need to do credit checks?


I feel like a jerk bumping this again, sorry, but I would like to at least check if anyone is reading. Do fellow Canadian  landlords just rarely pull credit checks?

I will confess that I have been a landlord for 10 years and my SO for even more. We have never done checks before.  Called references yes, but not formal credit checks.

Rather than rely on my Spidey Senses, I am beginning to think a credit check is worth it.

Recently we evicted a tenant, they always paid late, we may be out close to $2000. (That's another story.) As they were moving out we saw an application for a new place. It did not list us as their last landlord (probably a fake friend). I am afraid they are completely lying so that they can screw over the next guy. 
His truck was repossessed during his time with us. I imagine the references they gave us last year were bogus too. Had we done a simple credit check we probably could have avoided all of this.

 




 


onlykelsey

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 03:10:41 PM »
Not Canadian, but when I bought my place my real estate agent offered to run a full check on them on her company's software for cost.  It's definitely not going to be free, at least it wouldn't be in the US.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 03:27:47 PM »
Sorry you're having no luck on here. I normally wouldn't contribute, since I have zero direct knowledge (neither a landlord nor a canadian!) but since you're coming up blank, I'll give you the best I found.

From my searching, it looks like you were right that Equifax is the main option.
2012 conversation about it: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/how-run-credit-check-new-tenant-1225403/
Sketchy looking website that some people have actually referenced, so maybe it's just a terrible website but totally above board?
http://ontariolandlords.org/blog/ontario-landlords-tenant-screening-and-tenant-credit-checks/

It looks like it may be dependent on province though: http://www.landlordtalking.com/tips/tenant-screening/landlord-responsibilities-when-screening-tenants-in-canada/
"Access to an individual tenantís credit report is limited. Fortunately, Provincial Tenancy Acts and Credit Reporting Acts (depending what Province you are in) allow for companies like TVS Tenant Verification Service to provide landlords with a rental applicantís consumer information, provided that written consent was given and itís for a permissible purpose, which in a landlordís case is tenant screening. The credit report is matched to the applicant based on identifying information."

This seems like a good source with a run down of applicable laws:
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/reho/yogureho/fash/index.cfm

I hope something is helpful, and not all drivel. Sorry you didn't find what you were looking for on here!

Cookie78

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2016, 08:41:07 AM »
Hi, I got your message on my thread.

I have never done credit checks because of the same frustrations in trying to figure out how to do it. I made a concerted effort to figure it out again a few months ago, but failed. Equifax looked promising at first, but I gave up trying to get a straight answer after awhile.

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2016, 09:42:51 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

Dam! Still no great answer but at least confirmation that it is not that simple. I am generally good at research and figuring things out for myself so this is a bit frustrating.

I may try the Equifax thing.  A $9.95 membership that you can cancel "at any time" may be worth trying.  But the way it works is that the prospective tenant needs to pay this fee.  I am sure this would eliminate some people as I feel this is something the landlord should pay.

....

After a bit of snooping around I found this on Equifax:

"Not sure which product is right for you? Click here OR
Call us at 1-800-871-3250."

So I am now on hold 10+ minutes in.  This is also the same number you call to "cancel at any time" so I am curious to see what  a PITA this is.

I'll keep you posted.



« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 09:46:05 AM by K-ice »

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2016, 10:08:20 AM »
OK so 30 min on hold etc and 4 different people (all polite) here is my synopsis.

Equifax provides professional service if you have 20+ doors with their "Tenant Selector" program.

It is a $300 annual fee and then $19 to pull a check on each tenant perspective.  They don't give you a score but a recommendation based on the info they provide.  Contact them here 1-855-233-9226.


For smaller landlords they recommend contacting TVS at 1-877-974-9328  or RentCheck 1-800-661-7312.


I am not sure I have any more time to spend on this today.

Please let me know if anyone has used TVS or RentCheck?








mskyle

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2016, 10:10:59 AM »
I'm in the US but I have had landlords ask me to pull my own credit check and bring it to them. Might be better than nothing - it's a fair amount of work to fake up a credit report to look convincing. It wouldn't protect you from hardcore scammers but might be enough of a barrier to discourage mere flakes.

Cookie78

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2016, 10:18:06 AM »
OK so 30 min on hold etc and 4 different people (all polite) here is my synopsis.

Equifax provides professional service if you have 20+ doors with their "Tenant Selector" program.

It is a $300 annual fee and then $19 to pull a check on each tenant perspective.  They don't give you a score but a recommendation based on the info they provide.  Contact them here 1-855-233-9226.


For smaller landlords they recommend contacting TVS at 1-877-974-9328  or RentCheck 1-800-661-7312.


I am not sure I have any more time to spend on this today.

Please let me know if anyone has used TVS or RentCheck?

Thanks for the update!

zephyr911

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2016, 10:23:45 AM »
How I do it: hire a PM. Never going back...

meerkat

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 10:28:50 AM »
How I do it: hire a PM. Never going back...

I did this. I found a property manager that was willing to just find me a tenant and I manage the ongoing stuff, so I only paid them a one time fee that I want to say was 1.5 times one month's rent. With the rent costs around here compared to the cost of pulling the credit report(s) myself (not to mention the cost of my time to figure it out in the first place) it was worth it to outsource that particular chore.

zephyr911

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2016, 10:44:41 AM »
How I do it: hire a PM. Never going back...

I did this. I found a property manager that was willing to just find me a tenant and I manage the ongoing stuff, so I only paid them a one time fee that I want to say was 1.5 times one month's rent. With the rent costs around here compared to the cost of pulling the credit report(s) myself (not to mention the cost of my time to figure it out in the first place) it was worth it to outsource that particular chore.
I dunno, seems a bit high. We're getting full service for 1.5-1.7mos rent annually, and the new/renegotiated lease cost is only a flat $195.
After the shit our past tenants have put us through, I call it money well spent. I have one really good one left that's paying me direct, and when they leave, that's it.

Cookie78

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2016, 11:12:47 AM »
How I do it: hire a PM. Never going back...

I tried that once. I even chose a well known reputable company. The tenants they found were consistently TERRIBLE. Never again.

meerkat

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 11:29:17 AM »
I did this. I found a property manager that was willing to just find me a tenant and I manage the ongoing stuff, so I only paid them a one time fee that I want to say was 1.5 times one month's rent. With the rent costs around here compared to the cost of pulling the credit report(s) myself (not to mention the cost of my time to figure it out in the first place) it was worth it to outsource that particular chore.
I dunno, seems a bit high. We're getting full service for 1.5-1.7mos rent annually, and the new/renegotiated lease cost is only a flat $195.

I went and double checked in my emails, it's only one month's rent:

Quote
Tenant Placement Service Only: One Monthís rent Ė For Home Owners that want to do their own monthly management, rent collections and maintenance. We will still do the rental evaluation, advertising and screening. We will execute the lease and collect first monthís rent and security deposit. We keep the first months rent as our fee and send you the lease and the deposit. You take over from there.

And for the sake of comparing numbers, their ongoing service fee is 6% of the lease for tenant placement (or 3% for renewals), 15% of rent for properties under $1k or 10% over $1k,  and $120 for periodic inspections throughout the year. My unit rents for $825/month, so if my math is right that comes out to roughly two months worth of rent. Hmm, maybe I'll have to shop around after all. Unfortunately it's not a big city so there's really only three property management companies and one is a complete scumbag of a company that I refuse to work with, so shopping around really just means calling one other place.

zephyr911

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2016, 12:04:14 PM »
Yeah, that's not bad. Some full-service PMs charge a month's rent for placing tenants on top of 10% of rent and various other stuff.

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2016, 11:52:04 AM »
OK so I did it.

I signed up with TVS.

https://www.tenantverification.com/fees.html

It was a bit of a pain bit it makes sense that it can't be easy for someone to fake being a landlord.

4 pieces of ID/ landlord proof were required.

1) Phone bill at Landlords current address
2) Driver's licence or Passport of landlord
3) Property tax of rental property
4) Copy of rent agreement where SIN is marked optional & clear permission to do a credit check is stated.

So here is how it went...

Step 1. Enter your info online to become a member https://www.tenantverification.com/membership.html
They then send you a confirmation email

Step 2: Conformation phone call required from us with basic name, address, DOB questions asked.

Step 3: Create login and upload the 4 docs above

They approved the docs within 15 min.  I had to upload one doc twice since they rejected it because the mailing address was clear but not the property address.

Step 4: login and get access to credit checks

Step 5: Put in your Ccard info

Step 6: order a credit check by entering the prospective renter's info.

Step 7: Wait less than 5 min and download your receipt and credit check

A PDF example of what a report contains if found online under  "Credit Decision Report"
https://www.tenantverification.com/fees.html


Overall quite easy. Getting my docs organised was a bit of a PITA but on the other hand it shouldn't be easy to fake this.


The info I got on my first check rates the tenant as a B+ score 719.  So according to them 5% chance she will default on her rent in the next 2 years.  I can't confirm the long term accuracy of this, but so far so good. 


Cost about $25 tax included.

Time to set up, probably about 2h all included.  Time to do a check in the future 5min.


I will let you know if anything goes sideways in the future.





« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 11:57:03 AM by K-ice »

jwright

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2016, 01:21:43 PM »
We have used tenantbackgroundsearch.com

It is $22.95 per run.

Cookie78

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2016, 08:05:50 AM »
Awesome info! Thanks for posting your update. :)

CashFlowDiaries

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2016, 08:20:17 AM »
I use this:

https://www.rentapplication.net/

They do everything and the tenant pays for it all (application fee).  They do credit, background and eviction checks.   Im not affiliated at all with this company, just a satisfied customer.

clarkfan1979

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2016, 03:48:45 PM »
I have applicants provide their own annualcreditreport.com

They get one for free a year.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2016, 04:02:51 PM »
Guys, OP was asking about Canada. Try to read the original post before providing US- only solutions =P

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2016, 04:40:08 PM »
Guys, OP was asking about Canada. Try to read the original post before providing US- only solutions =P

True, but I am happy to help others as well. 

I originally had Canada in the title but NO ONE was answering so I removed it to be more general.


UPDATE

I have run 3 more checks.

1)  D, 538, 71% chance of defaulting in 2years, 2 unpaid accounts totaling over $2,000
2) C, 573, 51% chance of defaulting in 2years, 0 unpaid accounts (not sure why so low, an older guy who maybe pays cash)
3) no score, nothing,  no unpaid accounts found, she is only 20 so maybe no credit yet, address matched so I don't think she lied about anything on her application.


So far TVS seams to provide good information. I had a bad feeling about #1 as his telephone number had recently changed which was confirmed with an unpaid account on his record & three credit checks by phone companies in the past 3 years.

For Canadians I would recommend this service.














YK-Phil

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2016, 04:44:40 PM »
So in the end, you answered your own question...and mine, thank you, because I was looking for the exact same information for our one and only rental unit in Calgary. I also signed up for TVS and will be uploading the required information. Now the only issue is to find a tenant. It was a simple task a couple of years ago when the market was red hot, but it is no longer the case. Back in 2010, we posted our unit on Kijiji at $1,700/month, and had a dozen solid applicants to chose from the following morning. Six years later, we only had 5 inquiries and 3 unsuccessful visits in two months, despite having lowered the rent to $1,475...

K-ice

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Re: How to do a credit check on prospective tenants???
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2016, 07:19:05 PM »
Yyc-Phil

Yes it is harder to find people right now. There is some interest from FortMac but only for 3 month leases.

If you had a solid tenant for 6 years consider yourself very lucky.

Best of luck finding another great tenant.