Tenancy Advice - Credit Check in Canada

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Tenancy Problems - Credit Check in Canada

Q: Hi
We've just moved to Canada from Australia on a 1 year working visa and are trying to rent an apartment in Vancouver. We have the following problems:
a) We don't have a credit record in Canada. Is it likely for a landlord to accept an overseas credit record?
b) We only have temporary jobs through an agency. Would this generally be adequate?
A: Conscientious landlords screen tenants. Credit record searches and background checks are common instruments, and many landlords use them routinely. That said, it is truly amazing to see just how many landlords fail or neglect to conduct even cursory checks on applicants wanting to rent property valued at hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.
Imagine this scenario from your perspective: you have a million dollar investment. How quick would you be to rent it out to the first person up the driveway waving a cheque? Well, it happens a lot. And in a few cases things actually do go OK.
If you are a prospective tenant in this age of information, you can expect a potential landlord to conduct a credit and background check. He needs the security of knowing who he may be renting to and if that person can afford the rent.
In your situation, the landlord may choose to check your credit and background through Australian registries. On the other hand he may only go so far as to verify your current employment / income status. Then again, he may look to another prospective tenant first because he simply can't get reliable information quickly enough. Ultimately, it is entirely up to the potential landlord, his diligence, and his risk comfort level.
As an aside, I read recent figures from Houston, Texas where the housing vacancy rate went from around 16% down to 6 or 7% due to the New Orleans floods. Landlords are having a hard time verifying private information about credit and background checks for potential tenants. Some landlords are learning too late that the people they have rented to aren't actually who they said they were. Imagine that!


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