Having a rental property can easily be one of the biggest investments you can make. Making sure it remains a stress-free and profitable endeavor is tricky at the best of times. Of course, it comes down to finding the right tenant to rent out your apartment or condo. There are a myriad of ways you can ensure you find the perfect renter, below are just a few important ones to get you started.


Tenant history

The best way to find out how good or bad a tenant will be is by asking previous landlords about their tenancy history. This type of reference check should show if the potential tenant will be the ideal candidate for you. Will they be respectful of your property? Will they pay their rent on time? These are just a couple of important things you that you could find out with a tenant history check. Just be aware that in order to do any reference check or gather any personal information about the prospective tenant that you must always get prior consent

According to tenantsbc.ca, here some of the main questions you can ask a tenant’s previous landlords

  • When did he/she rent from you?
  • How long did this person live in the rental?
  • Did he/she pay rent on time?
  • Did they have any pets?
  • Were there any complaints from other Tenants?
  • Was there any damage besides normal wear and tear? 
  • Was the tenant respectful to you and the property?
  • Did the Tenant give you proper notice to end the tenancy?
  • Would you rent to this Tenant again?


Ask the right questions

Aside from asking if you have their consent to do a reference check, there are a number of other great questions you should be asking your potential tenant. By asking the right questions, you can avoid any unexpected surprises down the road. 

  • Why are you looking for a new place to live?
  • When do you need to move in?
  • How long have lived in your current home?
  • What do you do for work?
  • What is your income range?
  • Will you have pets that you will need to move in with you?
  • How many people will be moving in with you?
  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • Can I do a past landlord reference check on you?
  • Can I do a credit check on you?

Again, please keep in mind that the collection of any personal information in Canada is governed by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), so make sure that you are obtaining consent and that you are keeping the information you do collect safe.


Confirm financial stability

As we’ve touched on above, ensuring that a potential tenant is able to pay the rent is an important factor in the tenant screening process. There are a number of ways to prove that a tenant will be able to pay rent consistently and on time. Some are as easy as asking the tenant questions about their employment status and income range, while others need a more involved approach, like doing a credit check. Be cautious when doing credit checks as it may not be a true reflection of a person’s financial health. For example, new immigrants may have low credit score as they will need time and credit activity to build it up. That is also why credit checks should only be done as a last resort to confirm a tenant’s candidacy. For more info on which order screening should be done, check out our previous blog.

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