Have an investment property and need to find tenants? You’ll probably want to hire a real estate agent. In Vancouver, the rental market is very competitive right now, and if you use a real estate agent, you’ll likely get a better, more qualified tenant for your investment property.
1. Get income verified.
This is tricky because sometimes, in order to get the rental, some dishonest tenants write their own letter of employment. So, always ask for a pay stub no older than 30 days along with bank statements showing their pay deposits. If they are self-employed, notice of assessments for the last 2 years will do, or ask for bank statements showing their overall monthly cashflow.
2. Get a full credit report, not just their credit score.
Just getting a credit score number isn’t enough. Always get a full credit report done so you have a full understanding of how healthy a tenant’s finances are.
3. Get their ID verified
I always ask to see their driver’s license, and get a photocopy of it. Believe it or not, tenants try to fake their identity as part of the application process just to get into a rental unit.
4. Get 10 post dated cheques.
There’s nothing worse than having to chase down a tenant for rent each month. It’s annoying, and sometimes a tenant may even end up giving you a cheque once the rent is actually past due. It’s easier for everyone involved if you have all of the post-dated cheques written and signed up front.
5. Get references.
Aways ask for at least 3 references, and I call each one of them. You want to know how they were as a tenant, if they paid their rent on time, if they kept the property clean, and obeyed the rules that were set in place in the agreement, like not smoking and obeying any rules around having pets.
6. Look at their social profiles.
It might seem a little creepy, but someone’s social profile can tell you a lot about them and how they’ll treat the unit they’re renting. A professional profile on Linkedin with recommendations? Probably a qualified tenant. Hundreds of pictures of them partying? I’d continue to look elsewhere.
7. Get a pet deposit
If they have pets, then always get a pet deposit. Even if the pet is small, they can still do a lot of damage to floors and carpeting over a long period of time.
8. Get a security deposit for the key fob, if the unit is a condo.
People lose things, and it’s definitely possible that a tenant would lose a fob. They aren’t cheap to replace, so it’s best if you get a deposit in case it does get lost.
9. Get proof of tenant insurance.
I always want to know that the tenant has their content of the unit insured. Things can happen, and it’s important to know that everything is protected in case something does.