Alberta Landlords Association

Tenant Screening Advice from the Debt Collector Who Tracks Them Down

By Kristen Fraser, TVS Staff Writer

Collecting tenant debts is an unfortunate aspect of renting.

Having the proper tenant screening information will save you time and money.

Michael Tinant, an employee at Wiggins Adjustments, a long time established collection agency in Vancouver, explains that the “more information given on a rental application, the easier it is to track down renters.”

He recommends that landlords, Realtors, and property managers keep a file of all tenants’:

* Social Insurance Numbers
* Dates of birth
* Previous addresses
* Employers
* Personal references

Having such information on file can also act as a deterrent for tenants considering delinquent behaviors.

Collecting tenant debt can be stress free with the help of a tenant debt collection agency. Most agencies only require payment from the landlord when payment is collected from the tenant. Generally, collection agencies charge around 35% of the money collected. Be careful to read the small print as many agencies charges increase if the collection is less than $250. Individual agencies vary, make sure to research different agencies and choose the service that best suits you.

To minimize the risk of tenant debt, it is strongly recommended that landlords, Realtors and property managers have the prospective tenant read and sign a Notice to Tenant form available from Tenant Verification Service alerting the tenant that bad habits will be reported to TVS, a tenant credit reporting agency.

These forms make a very strong impact statement and will reduce the risk of tenant debt and of late rent payments.

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