One of the biggest concerns we often hear from people that don’t own rental properties is that “they don’t want to deal with tenants”. They are worried about being “on call” or dealing with tenants that don’t pay rent or destroy the property. Yes, those are valid concerns but we feel there are many things you can do to mitigate those risks upfront if you have a very thorough screening process.
Over the years we have refined our tenant screening process – here is our 10 step process:
We have a website that outlines all our rental units.
This allows us to showcase the details of the property and include more pictures than what are typically allowed in online rental platforms. This also shows prospective tenants we are professional and good landlords. We typically post the ads on Facebook Marketplace & Kijiji, these two seem to give us the most leads in our markets.
In the rental ad we ask prospective tenants to complete a "unit viewing request form".
We use the data from the completed request forms to filter through who we will call for a phone interview.
If we think the applicant could be a good fit following the call we will book them in for a viewing.
During the viewing we make sure to ask questions in a certain way to get out as much information from them as we can (like how many cats do you have?).
As we rank the remaining applicants and check social media for all people that will be living in unit.
We call current/past landlords and current/past employment.
We do a final phone interview.
Last standing gets the unit!
Some people may think it's too much but you have to use everything at your disposal to ensure you place the best tenants in your units! As landlords (especially in Ontario) the most power you have is the screening and lease process. On the flip side, it’s also for the benefit of all our existing tenants, we do our best to place tenants that will be courteous to others and fit into the existing community within the properties. Win-win all around!