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

October 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · 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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