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Top Tips For Alberta Landlords To Succeed in 2016

April 13th, 2016 · Alberta Landlord Advice, Alberta Landlords Association, Latest News

Alberta landlords tips for landlords

 Successful Alberta landlords offer tips to help you to succeed


The question at the Alberta Landlords Association forum was one that many landlords across the province are asking as we are soon to enter 2016. The topic was timely and the answers provided where helpful.

A new Edmonton Landlord named Cindy Xi asked about how to avoid difficult tenants and how to find good ones. She wrote she was worried about renting out her new investment property and asked for some help.

The reality is we landlords do face a lot of challenges in 2016. We are experiencing a downturn in oil prices and this means less jobs and less good tenants. On top of that we face a provincial government that many think doesn’t really understand or appreciate the hard work and financial risks small residential landlords have undertaken to provide high quality rental properties in Alberta.

Remember it wasn’t that long ago when Calgary Mayor Nenshi was accusing landlords of gouging tenants. Funny how we haven’t heard anything substantial from him now that real estate is dropping and vacancy rates are rising. Are we still ‘gouging tenants’ Mayor?

Even with a more complicated economic climate experienced and successful landlords know there are lots of great tenants out there and you just have to find them (and weed out the bad tenants who want to rent from you). Landlords across Canada know that it’s just a matter of time before the Alberta economy takes off.

Top Alberta Landlord Tips for 2016

Take a look at how Alberta landlords can be successful in 2016. This is Part 1 of important tips from experienced and successful Alberta landlords who want to help you succeed.

1. Make Sure You Know the Economic Climate Before You Invest

Make sure you are are of how your local economy is. Is it growing? That means more jobs and more hard working people seeking them. Is it stagnant? That means you might have to wait a bit longer to find a great tenant. Or you might have to lower rent price.

2. Learn the Regulatory Environment You Are In As a Landlord

Are you aware of the rules? Are you ready in case you have to evict a tenant? Do you know how to handle someone who breaks a lease? Become an “Alberta Landlord Expert.”

3. Buy the Right Property

Be honest about your rental property. Will it attract good tenants? Will these tenants choose your property over other rents in the area?

4. Avoid “Get Rich Schemes”

Avoid seminars claiming it’s easy to get rich as a landlord. It’s not. You need to be professional and have a long-term plan.

5. Screen Your Tenants Carefully

Always include a credit check to make sure your tenants are financially responsible people.

Make 2016 Your Most Successful Year Yet!

Experienced and successful landlords know that no matter what the current economic climate the rules for success are the same. If you buy the right property and screen your tenants in a professional manner you are on your way to renting to great tenants!

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Alberta Landlords Association Members – We Contacted the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) to Help

August 1st, 2015 · Alberta Evictions, Alberta Landlords Association, Alberta Rental Property, Latest News, Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, RTDRS

 Alberta landlords Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service 2015

Successful Alberta landlords know the importance of good tenant screening. This is especially important with the government planning some changes to make the laws in Alberta less friendly to landlords such as rent control.

In fact, most experienced and successful landlords put ‘tenant screening’ on the top of their list of the most important steps to succeed. Tenants who pay rent on time and respect you and your rental property are the main drivers for you to run a profitable rental business.

How Can You Screen Tenants To Make Sure They Are Good Tenants?

We have written about this subject before. One of the most important tools successful landlords use to screen tenants to make sure they are good tenants is a credit check. You can join the Alberta Landlords Association (the real one, not the group in Edmonton who changed their name to sound like the real ALA) for a low one time registration fee and start running premium credit checks for the member price of $10/check.

What Does A Credit Check on a Tenant Show Me?

It shows a lot. And it includes the information a landlord needs! For example a credit check can be done on your home computer (it takes about a minute) and it will show you lots of information about your potential tenant. It includes:

1.Real Past Addresses

Are those past addresses on the application honest? The credit check will show you!

2. Employment History

Did they really work at these jobs? Are they currently employed where they say they are employed? Run a credit check to verify and find the truth.

3. Do They Owe Anyone Money

Did they rip anyone off in the past? Do they owe money to former landlords or anyone else? A tenant credit check will give you a full view of past debts.

4. Credit Score

The credit score is the ultimate indicator of financial risk. 

5. Recommendation – should you rent them or not?

Should you rent to these tenants? A credit check even gives you a recommendation along with all the other data…all for $10 for ALA members!

Even Good Tenants Can Change

Sometimes you still can face off with some bad tenants. People can change. For example, a terrific couple renting your investment property can start arguing and separate.

Or a former good tenant can lose their job. They stop paying rent because they can’t afford it.

Some good tenants change their ways because they learn from bad tenants how to manipulate the system.

What Can You Do If You Have Problems With Your Tenants?

The rules have changed in Alberta as landlord and tenant issues are now being directed to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.

Edmonton Landlord Asks For Help With Bad Tenants

An Edmonton landlord recently wrote in:

I rented to a couple who fought and now there is only “her” living there and a variety of new boyfriends. Things have changed and now I consider her a ‘bad tenant’ because she owes me rent.

What can I do?

Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

We contacted the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) directly and asked them to provide some details to us.

1. What Does the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service Do?

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court. The RTDRS is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. 

2. Where Can Landlords Get More Information About Your Services?

Detailed information and downloadable tip sheets about using the service are available on our website at:

3. For What Tenant Issues Can Landlords Apply For?

Landlords may apply for the following remedies:

#1 where the breach consists of non-payment of rent, recovery of arrears of rent

#2 where the breach consists of failing to give up possession of  the residential premises,

#3 recovery of possession of the premises from the over holding tenant

#4 recovery of compensation for the use and occupation of the premises by the over holding tenant

#5 where the breach is a substantial breach, termination of the tenancy

#6 recovery of damages resulting from the breach.

4. How Does the RTDRS Process Work?

Once someone chooses to use the service they must submit to the service their completed application form. The RTDRS will file their application and set a date and time for the hearing to take place.

5. What Happens at a Hearing?

The matter will be heard before a Tenancy Dispute Officer who is authorized to make binding decisions on claims up to $50,000. The decision of the Tenancy Dispute Officer is binding on all parties.

6. How Can I Find My Local RTDRS Office?

To confirm that the RTDRS has coverage in the geographic area of Alberta where the rental premises are located, please visit our website:  

7. How Much Does it Cost An Alberta Landlord To File With the RTDRS?

The filing fee for the dispute resolution service is $75.

8. Who Can I Contact For More Information?

If you have further questions, please contact us at:

Edmonton: (780) 644-3000

For toll-free access within Alberta, first dial 310-0000

Alberta Landlords and RTDRS

We recommend landlords take great care and rent to good tenants. Renting to good, qualified tenants means you will rarely have to go to the RTDRS for a hearing.

If you do have to go we hope the information we provided was helpful. For more information you can listen to the Alberta Eviction Guide CD when you become a member of the Alberta Landlords Association.

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How Can Alberta Landlords Run Safe and Legal Credit Checks On Tenants?

October 3rd, 2014 · Alberta Landlords Association, Credit Check, Latest News, Tenant screening

 How Can Alberta Landlords Run Safe and Legal Credit Checks On Tenants

Equifax Canada wants to help Alberta landlords learn how to run credit checks on tenants in a safe and legal way!

Alberta landlords are becoming aware of the important of running credit checks as part of their tenant screening process.

There are so many good tenants out there who want to rent from professional landlords who own nice rental properties.

These are people who not only pay rent on time, they will treat your rental property with tender loving care and treat you with the respect you deserve as a residential income property investor.

It’s just a fact of modern day life there are also some people people out there who target small landlords and think we can be played and ripped off easier than a corporate landlord or large property management company.

After all, many small landlords are hard-working and honest people who want to trust people.Sadly, as this B.C. landlord found out it’s easy for bad tenants to take advantage of trusting small landlords.

These are tenants who tell great stories to get you to rent to them, then end up not paying rent, or trashing your place, installing marijuana grow-ops or even becoming violent.

Smart Landlords Run Credit Checks on Tenants

When you run a credit check on tenants you learn the ‘cold hard truth’ about the person you are renting to.

This includes real FACTS on whether they pay their bills on time and if they have ripped off anyone in the past.

Good tenants appreciate landlords who run credit checks because it helps them get accepted to rent the properties they want.

Make Sure You Run Tenant Credit Checks The Right And Legal Way

Since many Alberta landlords are new to running credit checks on tenants they aren’t aware of the rules.

As a landlord, you need to use certified and licensed companies that are authorized to run credit checks for landlords on tenants.

There aren’t a lot of companies out there. The companies that are allowed (by law) to run credit checks on tenants are TVS, Equifax, and GARDA.

Answers For Alberta Landlords From Equifax Canada

Equifax is a partner with the Alberta Landlords Association.

We contacted Equifax and asked them to provide advice for Alberta landlords who want to run credit checks on tenants.

We asked a few important questions and Equifax provided answers for Alberta landlords.

Question #1 Can I Ask A Mortgage Broker, Realtor or Insurance Agent To Run A Tenant Credit Check For me?

EQUIFAX: No, you can’t. And if you do so you are leaving yourself vulnerable to your renter causing trouble for you and the person who tried to help you.

Question #2 What Does A Credit Score Tell A Landlord?

EQUIFAX: A credit score identifies the potential risk of future default of a consumer based on their current and past performance in terms of paying their obligations as agreed to at account opening. It is  therefore an good indicator of the financial risks to a landlord of renting to a specific consumer.

Question #3 Why Do Some Tenants Have Low Scores?

EQUIFAX: The core drivers of a credit score are payment patterns (are all products paid as agreed or are their late payment/collections on file), utilization (amount owed versus available credit), length of time the accounts have been opened (new credit or long-standing product), credit product account type (higher risk retail product versus secured loan as an example), inquiry traffic (high credit seeker or lower inquiry traffic).

Question #4 What Happens If a Landlord Gets a Friend To Run a Credit Check on Tenants?

EQUIFAX: The Equifax Service Agreements that these “friends” (who  are pulling on behalf of landlords) explicitly requires that the consumer credit files from Equifax Canada Co. are for their exclusive use ONLY. They are clearly restricted from sharing with other entities. Federal disclosure legislation (PIPEDA) also defines the requirements for true and accurate disclosure to a consumer as to whom their personal information has been provided.

This practice is a breach of the Agreement and clearly puts their membership w Equifax at risk. There are no jurisdictions in Canada where this practice is allowed, no exceptions.

If an unauthorized inquiry is identified, a consumer can contact Equifax directly and we will investigate free of charge (English: 1-866-828-5961, French: 1-877-323-2598).

 Alberta Landlords – Run Tenants Credit Checks the Right Way!

Equifax Recommends small landlords join the Alberta Landlords Association for One-Time Registration fee and get access to Equifax, TVS and GARDA premium credit checks.

For only a low one time registration fee you can begin running premium LEGAL AND SAFE credit checks for the low price of only $10/check.

You can take a couple minutes to run a check for only $10 and make sure you know who you are renting to and avoid bad tenants. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity!

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Alberta Landlords – Make Sure Your Renters Get Insurance

September 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords Association, Latest News, Renters Insurance, Tenant Credit Check

 Alberta Landlords - Make Sure Your Renters Get Insurance

Renter’s Insurance Is An Important Way Alberta Landlords Can Protect Our Rental Property

Things continue to look good for Alberta landlords in 2014. According to a story in the Calgary Herald our residential real estate market is hot.

It reported on data provided by the Calgary Real Estate Board that showed a record number of transactions through the MLS system in July.

The sales total was 2,336 which beat the previous best number of 2,273 from way back in 2005.

Average sales prices are up nearly 5% and we reached month #30 of sales price growth.

The Calgary market has been buoyed by huge net migration to the area. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) net migration to the City of Calgary area reached a new record 45,168 in 2013.

With Property Prices So High It’s Another Reason Alberta Landlords Need To Be Careful

Your property has always been an important investment. With prices rising fast it’s never been more important to protect yourself by renting to good tenants.

It’s a reason why Alberta landlords need to screen your tenants carefully and also make sure you run a credit check on your tenants before renting to them.

A tenant credit check is a fast and affordable way for you to make sure you know who you are renting to and make sure your tenants are financially responsible people.

Renter’s Insurance

It’s also important for landlords to make sure your tenants get ‘renter’s insurance.’

Renter’s insurance is also called tenants insurance or contents insurance. It is a way for tenants to protect themselves and a good way for landlords to protect our rental properties.

What Is Renter’s Insurance and How Can It Protect Tenants and Landlords?

This is insurance coverage for tenants that will replace the possessions in apartment they are renting in case there is anything stolen or damaged. For example, if there is a thief or a flood or a fire, tenants with renter’s insurance will be covered for things like their phones, computers, clothes and other possessions.

It’s very easy to get a policy and inexpensive. Unfortunately many renters still don’t get coverage.

Why Don’t Many Alberta Landlords Get Insurance?

Many renters don’t even know about it.

This is why it’s important for professional Alberta landlords to educate your renters about the importance of getting insured.

How Does Renter’s Insurance Help Landlords?

If there is a robbery, or a fire, or a flood some renters will expect the landlord to cover the costs of their losses. This can lead to a long and bitter battle that is unnecessary.

If your renter’s have insurance the insurance company will cover their losses.

How Can I Encourage My Tenants To Get Renter’s Insurance?

It’s important to educate them.

Let them know about the South Hamptons condo fire in Edmonton where many tenants lost everything. Those who had renter’s insurance will at least get money for the possessions they lost.

Here are three important points you should bring up when you educate your tenants.

Why get Renters Insurance? 

Here are a few great reason to get renter’s insurance.

#1 Protect Your Possessions

This type of insurance will cover you for everything from pots, dishes and pans all the way to furniture and electronic equipment.

#2 Assist You In The Event of Any Problems

Imagine their is a large fire in your building or a flood. The policy can cover your expenses including things like meals and motel bills until you can move back.

#3 Protect Yourself From Potential Legal Action

What if someone visits you and falls and hurts themselves. This policy can cover you for any legal action.

How Much Does Renter’s Insurance Cost?

Renters can get plans as low as $15 per month.

It’s a great way to protect themselves for very low monthly fees.

Alberta Landlords – Renter’s Insurance

With rental property prices rising fast it’s important you protect yourself in case of any problems.

Join the Alberta Landlords Association for a low one-time registration fee (no annual fee!) and start running premium tenant credit checks to make sure you know who you are renting to.

Make sure you educate your tenants on the importance of getting renter’s insurance. It will protect them and it will protect you!

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Alberta Landlords – Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

August 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords Association, Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, RTDRS

 Alberta Landlords - How To Handle Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Alberta landlords – If you have tenant problems the Alberta government is moving landlord and tenant disputes out of the courts to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

Successful Alberta landlords know the key to success is making sure you rent to good tenants. If you don’t you will have to go through a long legal procedure to settle the dispute.

This is why tenant screening including running credit checks on your tenants to verify information is so important.

And the good news is there are lots of tenants out there wanting to rent from you.

Just last month the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) released a rental market report stating Edmonton and Calgary have the lowest vacancy rates in Canada at only 1.4%.

According to Yahoo News, this has led to some tenants even complaining how difficult it is to find a nice property to rent.

What Happens If You Rent To A Bad Tenant?

This is where the recent news about landlord and tenant disputes from the Calgary Herald is important for landlords.

Sometimes landlords slip up and we rent to people who aren’t good tenants.

These are people who don’t pay rent on time and don’t respect the rental property or their landlord.

And let’s face it, amongst all the good tenants there are bad tenants out there and they can be tricky. It happens to BC landlords and it can happen to landlords in Alberta if you aren’t careful.

Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

The government plans to introduce legislation in the fall that will transfer authority over landlord tenant disputes to the quasi-judicial Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

Landlord-tenant disputes will be moved out of the courts and heard by a provincial tribunal as part of a package of civil reforms being unveiled Monday by Justice Minister Jonathan Denis.

What Is the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)?

A tenant or a landlord who has concerns related to termination of a tenancy, unpaid rent/utilities, security deposit, damages, repairs or other common disagreements would use this service to seek justice.

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court. The RTDRS is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. It’s also important landlords use proper leases, applications and notices which you can get from the Alberta Rental Kit.

Why Is This Happening?

There are a number of reasons.

1. There are too many Alberta landlord and tenant disputes

The provincial government says that landlord and tenant disputes are now making up 5% of the provincial court case-load and that means other non landlord-tenant cases are being delayed.

2. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service is less expensive

This will also allow Alberta landlords and tenants to represent themselves without the need to hire expensive lawyers.

3. Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service staff are trained

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service is the most logical place for rental property cases because hearing officers have legal training and specialize in landlord and tenant law.

4. The government can focus on improving it

The government will hire more staff for the RTDRS.

The RTDRS application limit will increase from $25,000 to $50,000 on August 1, 2014.

Alberta Landlords – Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

How will Alberta landlords handle any landlord and tenant disputes? You will soon have to use the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS).

The best way to avoid disputes in the first place with property tenant screening including Alberta credit checks on tenants.

There’s no reason why professional landlords who rent to responsible tenants should have to go to use the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.

Join the Alberta Landlords Association for only a one-time registration fee!

As a member you can start running premium credit checks on tenants for only $10 / check and make sure you rent to good tenants!

Alberta landlords you can avoid the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) and tenant problems with tenant screening, including tenant credit checks!

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Alberta Landlords – What Does A Tenant Credit Check Tell You?

July 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords, Credit Check, Property Management, Tenant screening

 Alberta landlords what does a tenant credit check show

Alberta Landlords – Everyone Says Running A Tenant Credit Check Is Important.

What Does The Credit Check Tell a Landlord?

Last month we took a look at why successful Alberta landlords will include a credit check in their tenant screening process to find great tenants.

We received an email from an Edmonton landlord asking the following:

I’m very excited to be learning about this way to help me find good tenants.

I heart goes out to those dealing with these bad tenants (don’t pay rent, grow ops, trash the house, etc!)

But I’m still trying to figure out what the credit check will show me about the tenant to help me decide to rent to them or not.

Thanks! Al in Edmonton.”

Let’s take a look at why a running a tenant credit check is important for Alberta landlords.

#1 Good Credit Means Tenants Pay Their Bills

If you don’t pay your bills on time, it will lead to bad credit. If you do pay your bills, you will on the road to having a high credit score.

Good tenants pay their bills on time, and that includes paying the rent on time.

#2 If You Are A Tenant With Good Credit You Want To Maintain Your Good Credit

If you have a high credit score it’s very important to keep it high.

A high credit score means you can get car loans and get a mortgage when you want to buy your own house.

#3 Tenants With High Credit Scores Understand the Important of A High Score

Achieving a high credit score isn’t easy. So if you have a good score you don’t want to risk it dropping.

So why would any tenant with a good score want to cheat their landlord and lose their credit position?

Answer: they don’t.

If they get evicted and owe rent or money for damages the landlord can ruin their credit score and this will effect their future.

What is The Cost of Running a Tenant Credit Check?

There are some companies out there such as Backcheck that charge you $29 for one check and they don’t even include a credit score!

Other companies out there aren’t clear about their prices.

Some associations in Calgary and Edmonton charge landlords an annual fee just to join up.

If you join the Alberta Landlords Association you only pay a one-time registration fee, (no annual fee!)

You can then start doing premium credit checks from TVS and GARDA that include a credit score!

It’s a great way to get your rental business on the right track and find great tenants.

Alberta Landlords – Checking Your Potential Tenant’s Credit Can Save You Thousands of Dollars.

Join the Alberta Landlords Association and Start Running Credit Checks For Only $10/Check (and they include a credit score!) and No Annual Fees.

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Alberta Landlords: You Can Make Sure You Rent To Great Tenants!

June 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords, credit checks, Tenant Credit Check

 Alberta landlords rent to good tenants

With So Many Good Tenants Out There, Make Sure You Find Them And Avoid Pro Tenants!

Do Premium Tenant Credit Checks for Only $10/Check With No Annual Fee For Membership

“Migration to Alberta is exploding.” The report from Global News about the huge amount of migration to Alberta is exciting news for Alberta landlords who want to rent to great tenants.

According to the news report more than 43,000 people left the rest of Canada to come to Alberta.

This is the biggest province to province movement in nearly 25 years.

It increased the Alberta population by over 1%.

Great New For Alberta Landlords

This is great news if you are a Calgary landlord where a report report from the National Post said the the vacancy rate is only around 1%.

It’s also great news for Edmonton landlords or a landlords anywhere in the province because it means a lot of great people are coming to Alberta for jobs and many of them want to rent a house or apartment.

Amongst All These Good Tenants Are “Professional Tenants” Who Will Rip You Off

With all the good news landlords can let down their guard.

Yes, the majority of people calling you wanting to rent your property are going to be good tenants.

However, there is also a large number of “professional tenants” out there and this number is increasing as they come from other provinces to ours.

Last month we reported a story of a Calgary landlord who is having to sue his ex-tenants for starting a marijuana grow-op in his rental property. 

The landlord has lost over $100,000 because he rented to the wrong people.

Heed the warnings from BC landlords who have a recent case of serial bad tenants owing nearly ten landlords thousands of dollars.

And it’s important to look at what  is happening in Central Canada where Ontario landlords are doing credit checks on everyone interested in renting from them.

Unfortunately, many of these tenants are coming to Alberta.

How Can I Protect Myself From Bad Tenants?

It’s absolutely essential landlords do an Alberta landlord credit check as part of your tenant screening process.

How Can A Tenant Credit Check Help Me?

A credit check can offer the landlord a wealth of information on a tenant.

And the government allows landlords do conduct tenant credit checks in Alberta!

How Can Alberta Landlords Conduct Tenant Credit Checks?

There are a few associations that provide credit check services.

The Alberta Landlords Association is the best because they only charge a one-time fee for premium TVS credit checks for only $10/check.

TVS credit checks for $10/check is the landlord deal of a life-time!

What Albert Landlord Association Should I Join?

You should join the best Alberta landlord association with is the Alberta Landlords Association.

As a small landlord you need great documents and great tenant credit checks.  You also need an affordable membership fee!

Let’s compare the Alberta Landlords Associations:

1. Calgary Residential Rental Association

Membership is an annual fee of $145!

2. Edmonton Apartment Association

Membership is an annual fee of $100 per year!

3. Alberta Landlords Association

They only charge a one-time registration fee of $99! No annual fee! 

Start Conducting Amazing Credit Checks on Your Renters

And with that one-time fee you get documents, private membership forums and premium TVS credit checks for only $10/check compared to the non-member price of over $21/check!

You can do these premium credit checks from Equifax data from your own home or office computer, and get the credit check result within a minute!

You even get a toll-free number to use to help you get set up fast!

Alberta Landlords Make the Smart Decision and Save Money and Get the Best Landlord Services! 

Make sure you find great tenants and avoid the professional tenants.

By joining the Alberta Landlords Association for a one-time fee you get a ton of great services including premium credit checks for only $10/check!

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Calgary Landlord Finds Marijuana Grow-Op In The Basement Of His Rental Property

May 1st, 2014 · Calgary landlord, credit checks, Tenant screening

 Calgary Landlord Finds Marijuana Grow-Op In The Basement Of His Rental Property

Alberta Landlord Sues Tenants For Damages Over $100,000!

Over the past few weeks we’ve read a lot about the challenges facing six B.C. landlords who have faced tenants who lie to landlords to get accepted and after they move in they don’t pay a cent of rent.

It’s a must-read story from CBC news about these serial bad tenants. It’s even got these British Columbia landlords calling for a bad-tenant registry.

This couple has a well-prepared story and has a knack to get small landlords to avoid conducting tenant credit checks as part of their screening process (a big mistake as they have learned).

It’s a good warning call for landlords everywhere.

Bad Tenants Close to Home

Unfortunately there is another must-read story from CBC news regarding the situation in Alberta.

It’s about a Calgary Landlord who found his tenants decided to build a marijuana grow-op in his rental.

The damages from the grow-op are more than $100,000!

Background Story

The landlord is Steve Habbi.

He put up a rental ad online and a couple of tenants replied in 2010. The couple seemed very ‘nice’ and very ‘enthusiastic’ to rent the property with their son who liked the elementary school just across the street from the rental property.

Habbie like the couple, felt comfortable with them, and decided to rent to them.

Flash Forward A Year

Not even a year had passed and Habbi saw something had gone wrong.

While arriving home from a long day at work he saw what looked like a SWAT team assault on his rental home!

He saw police in full gear raiding the home because they found a pretty large scale grow-op in the property basement.

The Calgary police found over two hundred plants with a huge street value.

Tenants Charged

Eventually only one of the tenants was convicted and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

The problem is Landlord Habbi’s losses are far more than just $10,000.

He is now having to sue the ex-tenants to try to recover his losses. It’s doubtful he will see any money from his former tenants/drug-dealers.

Tenant Credit Checks

The landlord thought he had done good tenant screening by checking the references the tenants provided.

This included an employment reference.

But it wasn’t good enough, as his damages of $105,000 and the two hundred pot plants in his rental prove.

Always include a tenant credit check as part of your tenant screening process.

A tenant credit check will show you current and past addresses of prospective tenants and a lot more.

Landlords who conduct credit checks get information far beyond a smile, a nice story and checking references.

Alberta Landlords Association – No Annual Membership Fee!

You can join the Alberta Landlords Association for a one-time fee of only $99 and get access to TVS premium credit checks.

The TVS checks are incredibly helpful for landlords.

You can get set up fast with the TVS toll-free number for ALA members and start doing credit checks from your own home computer for only $10/check!

Each check will provide you with a ton of information on tenants before you rent to them.

It includes a credit score, employment, addresses and a recommendation whether or not you should rent to them.

It’s a deal that can’t be beat!

Compare the Prices for Membership

The Alberta Landlords Association charges only a one-time fee of $99 to get all their great services and the tools landlords need to succeed like TVS and Equifax.

Let’s compare that to:

1. Calgary Residential Rental Association

They charge landlords $145/year!

That means you to continue to pay the large fee each year. This is far too expensive for many small landlords.

2. Edmonton Apartment Association

For landlords with 1-9 units it’s $100/year. Again, they want you to pay, pay and pay each year.

Alberta Landlord Membership Is A Winning Proposition!

Protect yourself and your rental property business with a low one-time fee and access to terrific tenant credit checks.

Make sure you rent to great tenants and avoid the pros (and the criminals!)

Take advantage of a deal that can’t be beat for Alberta landlords

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Alberta Landlords Tenant Screening: GARDA Credit Checks

February 17th, 2014 · Alberta Landlords, credit checks

 Garda tenant credit checks alberta landlords

GARDA Tenant Credit Checks Are a High Quality, Affordable Tool To Find Good Tenants. GO FOR IT!

Alberta landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants.

With our vacancy rate the lowest in Canada there are lots of great tenants out there.

More and more people are coming to Alberta to find jobs and put down roots.

Many newcomers rent for the first few years while saving up for a down-payment to buy their own house or townhouse.

These hard-working, exceptional tenants are often ideal tenants.

They want to make sure they save money, want to stay out of trouble, and want to make sure they work toward a high credit score.

There are also lots of ‘bad tenants’ who know how to manipulate the system

We have seen cases where landlords aren’t careful and rent to tenants who know how to manipulate the system.

In these cases, the landlords end up being out thousands of dollars in lost rent and damages.

Whether it’s a Calgary landlord who trusted someone or an Edmonton landlord who went with their ‘gut feeling’ to rent to someone wearing nice clothes and reciting a well-rehearsed speech.

These tenants are usually coming from Ontario where landlords face lots of challenges and many are getting out of residential rentals.

These tenants are out there, and they are looking to cheat small landlords….and you can avoid them!

How Can I Make Sure I Rent To Good Tenants?

Good tenants have a history of paying on time.

They also are building up their savings and credit score in order to buy their own homes in the future.

This means tenant credit checks are the key.

How Can I Conduct Credit Checks on Tenants in a Legal Way?

Unfortunately many landlords do credit checks on tenants the wrong way, the illegal way.

They do so by contacting a friend who is a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, works at the bank, or works an insurance brokerage or car dealership.

This is not legal and these landlords are breaking their tenant’s privacy rights.

If you do tenant credit checks this way you can get in trouble, and so can your friend or relative who is trying to help you.

How can you get in trouble?

1. Privacy

The tenant can file a privacy complaint against you with the provincial government

2. Equifax Policies

If you are authorized you can only do checks for your specific and listed clients.

Your friend who did the credit check for you can get his or her company blacklisted by Equifax.

What is GARDA?

Garda is recognized as a leader in background screening in Canada.

What Information Do I Get From A GARDA Credit Check?

1.         You get a credit score.

2.         You get confirmation of past and previous employment.

3.         You get information on past addresses (the ‘real’ landlords)

4.         You get a complete financial history.

5.         You can see if anyone is ‘chasing’ them for unpaid bills.

It’s a terrific price for a terrific service that can save you thousands of dollars.

Invest in Your Rental Business and Guarantee Your Rental Business Succeeds

For members of the Alberta Landlords Association, GARDA tenant credit checks are only $12 / check.

Want to avoid professional tenants and rent to good tenants?

You now have a way to look into your potential tenant’s financial history for only $12 / check. 

Go For It!

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Landlords Alberta: Rent Increase 2014

January 1st, 2014 · Alberta Landlords, Rent Increase 2014

 Alberta Landlords Association Rent Increase 2014

How Much Can Alberta Landlords Raise the Rent in 2014?

It’s that time of year when Alberta landlords begin to look forward to the future and that includes increasing the rent in 2014.

With low vacancy rates across the province, most landlords have existing renters.

We’ve received a number of emails in from mostly new landlords asking about rent increases.

So How Much Can I Raise The Rent

A common quest regarding raising the rent comes from Chen in Calgary.

He’s a new Calgary landlord who decided to make our province his home upon coming to Canada.

He bought in Calgary and is now renting out to some tenants since early last year.

He asked if there are any rules for how much he can raise the rent and by how much.

Another email we recently received is from a long term resident of Edmonton.

She knows some friends who rent out their basements and decided to become an Edmonton landlord a couple of years ago.

She hasn’t raised the rent at all since her tenants moved in and wants to try to keep up with her growing expenses and raise the rent in 2014.

No Rent Control In Alberta

Unlike the other provinces in Canada, Alberta doesn’t have rent control.

Rent control is when the government interferes with the free market and dictates to private landlords how much they can raise the rent.

For example, in Ontario landlords can only raise the rent by 0.8% in 2014.

Yes, it’s that low. It’s their second lowest rent controlled increase since the mid-1970’s and it has a lot of landlords in Ontario very unhappy.

Our neighbors to the west also have rent control.

This year British Columbia landlords can raise the rent by 2.2%.

BC landlords at least get a little fairer formula with the how the government comes up with the increase.

They use the inflation rate and add 2% to it knowing the extra costs landlords face to maintain their rental homes and keep them in good shape.

The Rules For Alberta Landlords

There has been some discussion of rent control coming to Alberta in the future.

Fortunately for both landlords and tenants this is only chatter at the moment.

Alberta landlords can raise the rent as much as they want but must follow these rules:

1.  When Can I Raise the Rent?      

You can only raise the rent if you haven’t given your tenants a rent increase in the past year or at least since the start of the tenancy.

2.  How Much Notice Do I Need To Give To My Renters?      

Landlords need to give your tenants written notice of the increase.

If it’s a weekly tenancy you need to give at least three months notice.

If it’s a monthly tenancy (like most of us have) it’s three months.

If it’s what is called a periodic tenancy you need to give ninety days notice.

Alberta Landlords And Increasing the Rent in 2014

You can raise the rent whatever you like as long as you give notice.

The real questions for Alberta landlords is are:

(a) Are you going to raise the rent in 2014? If not, why not?

(b) If you are going to raise the rent, how much will you raise it? Why did you choose this amount for the increase?

These are a couple of questions we will discuss and if you have an opinion email us and we will publish it to help Alberta Landlords network and learn from each other for mutual success.

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