Legitimate reasons to reject a prospective tenant's application

 

  1. Unsatisfactory references from landlords, employers and/or personal references. These could include reports of repeated disturbance of their neighbors' which precludes peaceful enjoyment of their homes; prostitution, trafficking in drugs or manufacturing drugs; damage to property beyond normal wear and tear; reports of violence or threats to landlords or neighbors; allowing people not listed on the lease to live there; failure to give proper notice when vacating the property; or a landlord who would not rent to them again.
  2. Evictions. Self explanatory. If a tenant has been evicted, do you want to rent to him/her?
  3. Frequent moves. You have to decide what constitutes frequent moves and apply the same criteria to every applicant.
  4. Bad credit report. If a report shows they are not current with any bill, have been turned over to a collection agency, have been sued for a debt, or have a judgment for a debt, that is grounds to reject. These do not have to be debts connected in any way with housing. But be reasonable on this count, as some Individuals pay their rent on time despite having a bad credit history. Evaluate.
  5. Too short a time on the job. As with frequent moves, you must decide what too short a time is and apply the same criteria to every applicant. Is there a reasonable explanation? What about previous job? How long? What did you do? Why did you leave?
  6. Smokers. Smokers do not have smoking rights. So you can safely discriminate against people who smoke. Newspapers will not accept ads that say "no smokers," but they will accept ads that say "no smoking."
  7. No verifiable source of income. No tax returns? No pay stubs? No proof of income?
  8. Too many vehicles. Particularly junkers, can be a real source of irritation to neighbors and make the entire neighborhood or apartment complex look bad. You will have oil leaks, back yard mechanics doing maintenance etc.
  9. Too many people for the property. More than two people per bedroom is too many, but you may wish to check your Residential Tenancy Act or get legal advice to know what constitutes too many people.
  10. Drug users. They must be current drug users. If they are in a drug treatment program and no longer use drugs, meet the rest of your criteria, then...you can't discriminate.
  11. No Pet Policy. Make applicant aware that you will be calling landlord, and untruthfulness will not be tolerated.
  12. Untruthfulness on rental application or during interviews.
  13. History of late rental payments. Inquiries with current and previous landlord and www.landlordcreditbureau.ca
  14. Insufficient income. You must set objective criteria applied equally to each applicant. Insufficient income could reasonably be if the scheduled rent exceeded 35% of their gross monthly income. if you are willing to accept only one member of a married couple to supply the total income, you must be willing to accept the same of unmarried, co-tenants that share the housing. Under most tenancy acts you cannot require that unmarried people meet different income requirements than married people.
  15. Too many debts. Even if gross income is sufficient, they may have so many other debts that they would be hard pressed to make all the payments. A rule of thumb might be that all contracted debts, including rent, cannot exceed 50% of their gross income. Contracted debts would be credit card payments, car payments, loans, etc. Those would not be cable TV, water and garbage, telephone, or other utilities. How do you find out what debt load is? Obtain a consumer credit report with signed consent from www.tenantverification.ca
  16. Evidence of illegal activity. You must have some evidence. EG criminal record that would be a liability to the landlord such as drug trafficking, marijuana grow ops. sexual offences, violent offences, gang activity,
  17. Don't like the Individual's attitude, didn't have a good feeling, thought he/she was untruthful. How do you deal with this when confronted by the applicant as to..." why won't you rent to me?" ANSWER: I don't want to rent to you! End of story. No further explanation necessary.
TVS recommends that all landlords run a thorough tenant screening background check on new applicants. www.tenantverification.ca and www.landlordcreditbureau.ca