Landlord Loses $20,000 After Renting To A Family With Only A Job Reference Check (No Tenant Credit Check) And the Job Turned Out to Be Fake
In our last blog we wrote about the great opportunities out there for British Columbia landlords.
With real estate prices high, lots of great tenants are looking for nice rental properties run by professional landlords.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Tenants
There are also lots of not-so great tenants out there.
A story earlier this year from CBC News on landlord Margarita Loyola is a must read for all residential landlords.
Loyala owns a rental property in Victoria.
She says the system for BC landlords is broken.
After finally evicting her tenant she has lost over $20,000.
This includes lost rent, all her legal costs, and to make repairs and clean up her investment property.
Loyola said the tenants left her place a disaster
For example, there was so much garbage you needed to hire two garbage trucks just to get rid of it.
Another $1,200 expense.
Loyola saw on ad on Craigslist.
Orion Alexander Holtby said he and his family needed to rent a home.
His said his last landlord was a ‘bad landlord’ and he, his wife and two children were victims and needed a place fast.
She felt sad for them and said she would consider renting to them.
Poor Tenant Screening
Holtby said he worked as computer software expert and gave the telephone phone of his work as a reference.
The landlord contacted the reference and was told Holtby would be a wonderful tenant.
Based on this, she rented her property to the Holtby family.
It Was Fake
After the tenants moved in Loyola received a call from her bank.
She was informed the check for rent for the month of September bounced.
Loyola sensed something was up and called Holtby’s place of work.
She found while the phone had worked before when she called the reference now that she had rented to him the phone number had been disconnected.
Didn’t Pay One Cent of Rent For Four Months
After moving in and having the cheques bounced the tenants refused to pay one cent of rent.
No rent, and damages and huge clean up costs after they were finally evicted.
Landlord Looks Back At Her Mistake
Holtby had been evicted by six other landlords since 2010.
The landlord says she was set up by a tenant who knew how to play the system.
How Can A Landlord Avoid These Tenants and Find Good Ones?
The key is good tenant screening.
Pro tenants are clever and crafty and growing in British Columbia.
These bad tenant stories don’t only happy in Ontario anymore.
Like in the case above, these ‘tenants from Hell’ have convincing stories and have people ready to give good references.
They know how to play ‘the game’ and have a lot of experience ripping off landlords.
An important part of tenant screening is to always do a tenant credit
People can lie.
Pro tenants can lie very well.
Credit Checks don’t lie.
A tenant credit check is a way to see a prospective tenants financial past.
You can see where a tenant works (and has worked).
You can also see if they pay their bills on time and if they have any collections agents chasing them for money owed.
Your Professional Tenant Screening System
A Landlord is out over $20,000 because she rented to a bad tenant.
She could have avoided renting to these pro tenants with property tenant screening, including a tenant credit check.
You can do tenant credit checks fast and easy and at a low price by becoming a member of the BC Landlords Association Site.
Screen properly and make sure you rent your property to good tenants (and avoid the pros!)