Criminal Record and Credit Checks for Tenants: Protect Your Community and Investment

July 13 2022

As demand for rental properties in Canada increases, the relationship between tenants and landlords is coming under scrutiny. Interest rates are rising, putting greater economic pressure on landlords. In fact, many landlords in big cities like Toronto are losing money. Performing proper due diligence, like credit and criminal record checks, for example, will help landlords find reputable and financially stable tenants.

Credit Checks for Tenants

Landlords want tenants who pay their rent on time and won’t skip out on their bills. Legal disputes over missed rent can become nightmares for landlords, resulting in mount bills and legal costs.

In one recent case, Tony Palandra, an Ontario landlord, claims he is owed over $35,000 from a tenant who refuses to pay rent and won’t leave. Palandra has been waiting months to have his case heard by the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board, but there’s a backlog of cases following the pandemic.

In Quebec, a landlord went through a lengthy eviction process lasting five months trying to remove non-paying tenants.

And it’s not just landlords who suffer the consequences; future tenants also suffer as these properties aren’t available, reducing vacancies. As well, cash-strapped landlords can’t make necessary repairs or upgrades.

Credit check verifications are a safe and legal way for landlords to learn about a potential tenant’s financial status, credit rating, reported bankruptcies, collections, liens, and more.

Criminal Background Checks for Tenants

Landlords also want to ensure the safety of other tenants, their community, and their property. In British Columbia, for example, according to the Residential Tenancy Act, landlords are responsible for providing a safe and quiet environment to their tenants. If a landlord receives a complaint about a tenant, they must take steps to address the issue.

Moreover, in certain circumstances, a landlord can be held liable for the wrongdoing of their tenant that caused injury or damage to a third party. For example, in Ontario, there was a recent case where a tenant was keeping farm animals on a rented property. Some donkeys escaped onto a nearby road and struck an oncoming motorist. The motorist successfully sued the tenant and landlord.

Such cases are rare, but landlords can reduce risk by performing criminal background checks on would-be tenants to ensure they don’t have any red flags. Of course, not all crimes should disqualify a tenant, but landlords must use their judgment and any available information.

We Can Help

Triton is Canada’s top provider for criminal record and credit checks for tenants. Landlords trust our thorough background checks, which comply with all privacy regulations. Our industry-leading turnaround times will get you the information you need quickly.

To learn more call 1-855-832-5891 or visit our website.