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Tenant Evicted 6 Times: What Landlords Can Do to Avoid Trouble?

May 25th, 2012 · No Comments · tenant screening

The Toronto Star has been following the story of a tenant who managed to rent properties despite having been previously evicted multiple times.

Having a tenant from hell is not news to many landlords.  What’s significant about this story is the fact that it took the resources and skills of an investigative news reporter to uncover the extensive eviction history on this tenant.

Landlords face an uphill battle when it comes to avoiding professional tenants like this one, whose strategy, according to the report, is to move in, stop paying rent and then file maintenance or discrimination charges against the unsuspecting landlord. Meanwhile, she lives rent-free, on the landlord’s dime, because of systemic delays in the eviction process.

Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board no longer discloses prior eviction records, including names, addresses or the amount of rent owed because of a decision by the Information and Privacy Commissioner that such disclosure would violate the Privacy Act.  A spokesperson told the newspaper that the Landlord and Tenant Board has chosen to adhere to the IPC policy.  Many members of the Ontario Landlords Association disagree!

An important part of the newspaper’s investigation into this tenant’s background included interviews with previous landlords, a strategy that is available to all landlords, and serves as a crucial step in effective tenant screening.

Another important weapon available to landlords is accessing the tenant’s credit report.  This information may flag money judgements for past due rent or damage to a previous rental home.  A credit report also may reveal previous addresses that the tenant omitted from the rental application, pointing to another landlord who has been scammed.

According to the news report, it could be several weeks before the woman’s current landlord can enforce an eviction order and get her out of the property.  What do BC and Alberta Landlords think?

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