I got a reader question yesterday…
We bought our first rental property in September 2010. The person from whom we bought the property was a car salesman and told us that he would be happy to run the names of our prospective tenants through the credit bureau. That worked well however none of the people that had their credit run were the people to whom we rented. Being “newbies” at the landlord game, we trusted our instincts and went with the “nice young couple with a baby” tenants. We’ve been very lucky with them, so far they have been our only tenants – going on 17 months now with only minor issues. My question is, when and if they vacate how does an ordinary citizen/landlord go about getting someone else’s credit rating? We live in Ottawa.
I thoroughly enjoy reading your column, you have the same attitude towards things that I do and I’ve learned a lot too.
I wrote a post about this a while back, How To Read A Credit Report at that time I was still using Transunion myself. I now do all my credit checks through Tenant Verification. Setting up was easy and I did have a problem and called them and it was all completely rectified within a few hours. I would suggest setting up your account before because you need to send them documents but really it’s not that big of a deal to set it up the same day you need it. It cost $23 to get a credit check done which is pretty good. So go read that post and it will tell you pretty much everything you need to know, including what you need to sign up and so on.
Also…on the right under my picture is a direct link to their service. Full disclosure – these are affiliate links which means that I make $3 every time you get a credit check. $3 is not why I recommend them, I like them because they don’t charge an annual membership fee plus the credit check. If you have one or two apartments to rent I don’t understand why anyone would pay $50 to belong to something but that’s just me. I’m not a joiner.
Before I switched to them, I was paying $240 per year to Transunion in a “membership fee” and paying practically the same price for credit checks . A while back I discovered that Transunion would not accept Landlord & Tenant Board Orders to put them on Tenant’s credit and that totally disgusted me. They collect millions in fees from landlords every year but have no intention of protecting them. But if some idiot pays his Rogers bill 3 days late it shows up on their credit report. When I use TVS I pick the Equifax Report every time, Transunion will never get a cent of my money again.
Thanks for reading and enjoying it, sometimes I have no idea why people do. Sometimes I feel like I’m always ranting. But Sheesh landlords are getting a raw deal in so many different directions.