Best Toronto tenant screening

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Getting a new tenant is always a big gamble, since the landlord never knows what they will get. Will the tenant be a good one, in that they won’t delay their rent payments, wont be a nuisance for the other tenants, and wont damage the property. Or, will the tenant be an exact opposite of a good one, and do all of the things mentioned beforehand just for the fun of it? Well, that all depends on how well you can judge and make a decision based on the available data. However, this concern be alleviated (to a certain extent) with the Toronto tenants screening guide, which can help you get the best possible tenants out of the pool by carefully considering certain factors.

Lets look at the factors that are very crucial in screening potential tenants and lets take you through the Toronto tenants screening guide for 2024.

Toronto tenants screening guide for 2024

The screening guide for 2024 includes all the things that the landlord is supposed to review and ponder over carefully to ensure no relevant and important details are missed. Here is a quick walkthrough of the screening guide to help you weed out potentially troublesome applicants and get the good ones in your property.

1. Application review

The first step of the tenant screening guide is the application review. Now, across Canada, prospective tenants are required to fill out and submit an application form to the landlord that details most of what particulars are needed for the purpose. These details include employment history, past tenancies and references from either previous tenants or from personal acquaintances. This application review allows the landlord to get most of the basic and really crucial information first, and allows them to make an initial impression of the potential tenant.


2. Credit check

The main concern, most of the time, for landlords and potential tenants is the financial viability of a particular tenant. For example, in the case of a tenant, a landlord would require rental payments without any delay at all. Rent that is due and is not being paid over time will cause financial distress to the landlord and might result in legal action against the tenant. Which is why it is crucial to the screening is the credit check, which essentially determines whether the financial condition of the tenant allows for them to rent the property. And even if it does, the credit check will also reveal other details including past transactions, previous renting history and rental payments and how these were handled. This can give an insight to the landlord into the financial condition of the tenant and can help them make a tentative decision. However, it is important to note here that credit checks can only be done with the express consent of the tenant, and unauthorized credit checks may make the landlord liable for a civil lawsuit or legal action of any sort, which is why, as a landlord, tenants need to be asked before a credit check can be performed on them.


3. Background check

In tandem with a credit check, background checks are performed to ensure the viability of a potential candidate for tenancy, and to make sure that their record does not make them ineligible for admission within the property. These checks are carried out by the landlord and these specifically target for discrepancies like bankruptcies, run-ins with the law (if any), domestic altercations, and in some cases, whether a warrant is out for them or not. While the last one is an extreme one, it still is sometimes carried out to ensure that the potential tenant is not a fugitive from the law, since the onus of essentially harbouring them might then fall on the landlord. These background checks can be run without the consent or knowledge of the tenant, but many states and provinces require explicit consent from the potential tenant over the background check. Doing so without due process might allow the tenant to sue the landlord for breach of privacy.

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4. Employment verification

In case the prospective tenant is employed at an office someplace, the landlord will also need to run an employment verification, which includes an income assessment. These checks are designed to ensure that the potential tenant has a steady and reliable source of income that not just covers their rent, but also covers their other particulars so that rental payments won’t have to suffer. In the case of employment verification, sometimes landlords ask for documents including a pay stub and an offer letter (if applicable), although some might prefer having an in-person meeting with the employers themselves for further verification and clarification.


5. Reference checks

Finally, the concluding part of the tenants screening process is the reference check, which involved the landlord speaking to the tenants’ references that they will have provided. These references are usually of two types: the first one is the previous landlord (if applicable), which many landlords and property management companies actually prefer, since they are able to give insights into the tenancy of the application far better than any individual. On the other hand, for tenants who might not be able to provide a previous landlord as a reference, personal acquaintances can always make do. This involves the landlord calling or meeting the acquaintance and asking them some questions regarding the applicant to help complete their understanding of the potential tenant.

Once that has been done, the tenant screening process is completed, and the landlord now has enough information to make a decision that does not affect their financial position and fairly grants the applicant access to the property.

Why is a screening process important?

A screening process is important because it significantly reduces the risks commonly associated in the relationship between a landlord and a tenant. For example, tenants not paying their rent on time, property damage and other issues that might affect the property and the financial health of the landlord. A proper and effective screening will ensure that the landlord gets the best possible tenant, and that they won’t pose any problem during their tenancy. So, as a landlord, ensure you run an extensive and comprehensive screening process that won’t put you at the receiving end later on.

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