I've breezed through books and websites to quickly educate myself on the process of finding a tenant, but I can already tell that there is SO much I need to learn. For one thing, I have to get my hands on a reasonably useful application for prospective tenants to fill out. I've found a few online like this one from CHMC, and another one from OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association). But the trouble is, I'm not sure about copyrights and the legality of using these forms - especially the OREA forms which I gather for use by licensed agents. I have been told again and again that the number one rule is to do a credit check - but I don't know if the CMHC form asks for enough information to even make that possible - I would have thought a Social Insurance Number would be required (anyone know?). So here is my first real question - does anyone have a great form that they suggest using for tenant applications?
I've had some interest from a few people already, and I've started asking a fairly standard set of questions right off the bat - this helps screen prospective tenants out before taking the time to show them the condo. The questions I am asking are:
- What type of work do you do, and how long have you worked there? [I read a tip somewhere that pointed out simply asking "do you currently work" will generally get you a "yes, I work"-type response, which could mean anything... even 3 hours per week at minimum wage.... so it's more helpful to ask a specific question]
- How long would you be looking to lease for?
- When would you be looking to move in
- How long have you been at your current address?
- Will you be living alone, or with others?
I would also love to ask about smoking and pets, but I have heard from various sources that in Ontario, a landlord is not allowed to discriminate based on this. I will be looking into that for sure - I personally feel that a landlord should have every right to discriminate on both fronts - as both pets and smokers have the ability to really cause wear and tear to a property. What are your thoughts on this?