For years, the Tenant Verification Service offered a service that many landlords didn’t know about.
The rental payment history of tenants, and additional information, could be reported and tracked with TVS.
This year the B.C.-based service has taken the tenant database to the next level with the creation of the new website landlordcreditbureau.ca, and an agreement with Equifax Consumer Credit Report.
The benefits go both ways, and the only people who will lose out are those tenants who abuse their rights, says Marv Steier, president of TVS.
“There’s a lot of tenants out there who are denied [the opportunity to rent] but who have a good tenant history, and this will help them.”
On the other hand, Steier says there’s never been a consequence for tenants with a history of not paying rent, or doing damage to rental property, who have to be evicted, but now there is. There are also many good tenants who have a bad credit history and are denied rent, but they are good tenants and always pay rent on time, and this gives them a better chance, Steier said.
“Now, a good tenant history can trump a bad credit history. And bad tenants will no longer be able to use landlords as revolving credit lines.”
While tenants may be of concern that their behaviour is being recorded, the B.C. Office of the Privacy Commissioner has reviewed and approved the model.
TVS used a soft launch for the new site but Steier believes it will catch on, especially with Equifax coming on board to report tenant rent payments to consumer credit report.
Equifax’s partnership with the database is a first in Canada, Steier said. The true beneficiaries are landlords.
Steier said identifying high and low-risk tenants is good for the residential rental industry.
The LCB database works like the large credit bureaus, where credit grantors report the pay habits of their clients. Credit card companies, utility companies, financial institutions, landlords and property managers are considered credit grantors.
How it works: Landlords can simply enter the name of the tenant who is applying to rent a suite, with their birthdate and Social Insurance Number.
“Tenants have the ability to monitor their own tenant history, but they will want to ensure they have a stellar history by making on-time rent payments,” Steier says.