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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Screening for tenants in Edmonton

Do you own a rental house in the Edmonton area. Maybe you recently renovated it and now want to rent it to tenants. Maybe you've had previous long term tenants. Maybe you were not the most diligent landlord and they took advantage of you. This time you want to screen prospective tenants and want to know the best way to do that?

Qualifying a rental tenant isn't difficult. Of course, insist on a written rental application and a deposit that is fully refundable if you don't select the applicant. That may help weed out the less serious applicants. Of course this depends on the rental market or vacancy rate in your area.

It is perfectly legal to take several applications for the same rental, check each applicant, and select the best-qualified applicant. Then promptly refund the deposits of the applicants you don't accept. Of course, the first step is to verify employment and income.
Next, be sure to get a credit report on all applicants. Better yet, ask all applicants to supply their credit report which they can obtain for about $30. through equifax. We do offer a rental check service for our investor clients. For more information on this please contat us by email or call us at 780 486 8655.

However, be sure to also phone the applicant's two or even three previous landlords to inquire why the applicant moved out. My experience is landlords are usually very truthful on the phone (except perhaps the current landlord who might want to get rid of the applicant).
My final question to prior landlords is always, "Would you rent to this tenant again?" You will instantly know if you found a good tenant. You may also want to engage the service of a professional property manager to do these things for you.

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