SingleKey Partners with Raising the Roof to Fight Homelessness

SingleKey Partners with Raising the Roof to Fight Homelessness

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Raising the Roof, a Toronto-based non-profit organization recognized as a national leader in homelessness prevention.

For over 25 years, Raising the Roof has delivered effective social programs and fundraising campaigns to curb homelessness in Canada. They also help raise awareness about the issue and passionately engage in open dialogue with communities and public/private institutions to implement long-term solutions.

We’ll be engaging in various promotional activities to bring attention to the organization’s campaigns and projects, helping to spread the word about the solid work they do. We’ll also be active volunteers, supporting them in their noble mission of squashing homelessness across Canada.

Why we support Raising the Roof’s mission

Being in the business that we’re in, we work closely with landlords, but we understand the needs of tenants as well. Tenants come from various backgrounds and circumstances, but they all share a common goal: finding a place to call home.

For some, however, acquiring a safe, stable and affordable home isn’t always easy or possible. Due to a wide range of factors, often outside of their control, they may be unable to secure this basic need.

Here are some startling statistics about homelessness in Canada:

  • About 235,000 people experience homelessness each year
  • On any given night, 35,000 people experience homelessness
  • Young people aged 16 – 24 make up 20% of the homeless population
  • Aboriginal people are over-represented in the homeless population – 1 in 4 identify as Aboriginal or First Nations
  • Children and families increasingly make up a growing segment of the homeless population:
    • 10% of Canadian families live below the low-income cut-off
    • 4% of Canadian children live in poverty

Raising the Roof has pledged to help such individuals and families. They do so by offering programs aimed at upskilling and constructing affordable housing through partnerships with local agencies and sponsors.

We believe that all people deserve access to adequate housing and a chance to improve their lives. As allies of Raising the Roof, we hope to contribute to their efforts to create long-lasting solutions to homelessness.

How Raising the Roof helps to combat homelessness across Canada

Raising the Roof is an organization marked by hard work, dedication, generosity, and compassion. Their tireless commitment to tackling homelessness in Canada is evident in the programs they run.

The iconic Toque Campaign is among the organization’s initiatives, which has raised an astounding $10 million for over 200 homeless prevention programs.

In 2018, the organization launched the Reside Program, a pilot project based on a successful model from the UK. The program aims to acquire and renovate vacant or under-used real estate properties into affordable housing units.

After launching the program, the organization found that most vacant properties were in desperate need of repair. In the process, they also discovered an excellent opportunity to provide hands-on construction training for individuals struggling to secure employment.

To kickstart the program, Raising the Roof partnered with Building Up, a GTA-based social enterprise contractor that trains and employs people facing barriers to employment.

The organization offers work opportunities, training, and career support to women, Indigenous people, newcomers, visible minorities, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, individuals with past incarceration records, and many others.

Building Up pays all trainees for their work through the organization, helping to remove a significant barrier to participation.

Participants begin the program in the classroom and workshop. They go through eight weeks of soft skills (math, literacy, job skills) and trades skill training as preparation. Then, they receive hands-on experience on job sites to practice what they’ve learned.

The training is personable, with individualized wraparound support for each trainee. For example, if a trainer doesn’t have a driver’s license, they receive assistance acquiring it and purchasing a vehicle. Thus, they can then travel to job sites inaccessible by public transit.

Through the Reside program, Raising the Roof has completed several housing projects. As a result, many previously homeless people now have access to safe and affordable housing. In addition, 125 people who worked on making these homes move-in ready, who were at risk of being homeless themselves, now enjoy well-paid, stable careers in the construction industry.

Raising the Roof is currently scaling up the Reside program intending to complete 5,000 units over the next ten years across Canada. Their efforts will help provide housing and employment opportunities for many vulnerable people.

This year, Raising the Roof is starting property renovation projects in Winnipeg, Sudbury, and Orillia. The projects will provide hands-on construction training for at least 120 people, with the support of social enterprise contractors. And once construction is complete, many people who are currently homeless will have access to a safe place to live.

We’re honoured to partner with Raising the Roof and help stem the cycle of poverty that grips so many people across Canada.

If Raising the Roof’s mission resonates with you, we encourage you to visit its website. Here, you can find more information about the organization and the inspiring work it does to enrich the lives of those struggling with homelessness. Consider donating, becoming an active volunteer, or simply helping to spread their message. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to their newsletter for news on upcoming events!

How Can Tenants Improve Their Credit Scores

Credit score tenants
Credit score tenants

How Can Tenants Improve Their Credit Scores

As a landlord, a credit score is one of the most crucial factors you’re likely to examine when pulling up a tenant’s credit report. This three-digit number provides valuable insight into their finances, including their ability to meet payment deadlines.

A high credit score indicates the tenant has solid money management skills, including timely bill payments. Conversely, a low credit score suggests they have a habit of missing payments, overspending, and taking on more debt than they can handle.

 Tenants with low credit scores routinely struggle to secure rental agreements, as landlords don’t want to assume the risk of delinquent rent payments. In addition, they also face hurdles in obtaining credit cards, mortgages, and other loan products.

However, tenants can improve their credit scores over time by adopting prudent and time-tested financial habits. And with the help of a service like automated rent collection, you, as a landlord, can even help them achieve this goal!

Here are some tactics a tenant can employ to boost their credit score.

1. Make Timely Payments

Making timely payments consistently for an extended period is the best way for a tenant to raise their credit score. In fact, payment history accounts for a whopping 35% of an individual’s credit score. Thus, tenants should aim to pay their bills on time, without fail.

Given how vital on-time payments are for credit health, it’s wise for them to use automated payment processing wherever possible. By doing so, they can ensure they never miss a payment. And as long as payments are reported to credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion), tenants can gradually improve their credit scores.

As a landlord, a great way to help tenants reap the rewards of on-time payments is by using SingleKey’s Rent Collection tool. This platform reports all payments made to credit bureaus, whether on time or late. It acts as an excellent incentive for tenants to pay their rent on time, as each payment will work to enhance their credit.

Not only that, but the platform saves you time and effort each month when rent collection rolls around. That’s right – no more fumbling around with cheques and keeping track of endless e-Transfers!

2. Keep A Low Credit Balance

Credit utilization is another critical metric credit bureaus measure when assigning credit scores. It refers to the amount of credit a person uses relative to their credit limit.

Suppose a tenant has a credit card with a $5,000 limit and their current balance owing is $2,800. In that case, their credit utilization is 56% ($2,800 / $5,000). 

High credit utilization suggests the person is charging too many purchases against their credit limit. As a result, they may face difficulty paying down their balance, especially if they face a steep interest rate. Not surprisingly, high credit utilization will decrease their credit score. 

A good rule of thumb that tenants should observe is to keep their credit utilization between 30% and 35%.

3. Limit The Number Of Credit Checks

Hard credit checks are a routine part of lenders’ vetting process for evaluating loan applications. However, they also impair the applicant’s credit score, at least temporarily, as each one appears on their credit report. 

For this reason, tenants should be mindful of the number of credit products they apply for. A slew of hard inquiries incurred during a short period suggests they may be in desperate need of credit – not good.

However, there’s one notable loophole. Credit bureaus record several hard credit checks done over a brief period (usually between two and six weeks) as a single inquiry for specific loan products. These are mortgages, car loans, or student loans. Credit bureaus understand that borrowers like to shop around and explore their options before signing up for such loans, so they judge these types of checks less harshly.

4. Consolidate Debt

Too much debt (especially the kind that charges high interest rates) can be overwhelming, leading to missed payments and an increased risk of default. A strategy tenants can use to ease the financial strain is to consolidate their debt.

Consolidating debt under a single loan low-interest loan is beneficial for three reasons:

  • You save money on interest charges
  • You pay off debt faster
  • You only have one loan to track and manage

 Two common ways to merge debt are through a personal loan or a balance transfer credit card.

5. Use A Variety Of Credit Products

Credit bureaus take note of the type of credit products individuals use when they assign credit scores. This factor is called the “credit mix.” A borrower using a wide array of credit products signals that they can comfortably manage different types of debt. 

Let’s assume a tenant needs access to additional credit after maxing out their credit card. In that case, it would be better for them to apply for a short-term installment loan rather than a new credit card.

6. Use Credit Building Products

Credit building products are geared toward individuals looking to establish or fix their credit score but otherwise don’t qualify for standard loans. Two commonly-used products are secured credit cards and credit-builder loans. 

A secured credit card is a unique type of card where the borrower must contribute a deposit before being able to use it. The credit limit is often limited to the size of the deposit.

A credit-builder loan allows borrowers to build their credit while saving money simultaneously. Instead of receiving money from the lender upfront, the borrower services the debt by making fixed monthly payments and interest. Once they repay the loan in full, they receive the principal amount from the lender.

7. Keep Old Credit Accounts Open

Experience matters when it comes to credit. The longer you’ve maintained one or more credit accounts, the better.

The average age of a credit account is a factor that credit bureaus consider when setting credit scores. As a result, tenants should never close credit accounts, even if they don’t have immediate plans to use them.

Final Thoughts

A high credit score is vital for anyone wishing to obtain a loan, be it a mortgage, line of credit, or auto loan. And, of course, it’s also necessary when applying for tenancy in a rental property.

With the right tools, strategies, and habits, tenants can work to improve their credit scores over time. And the best way they can start is by making on-time rent payments (it’s no accident that we listed this method as number one in this article!)

As a landlord, you can help them boost their credit – and, at the same time, make your job managing rent payments a breeze. By signing up for Singlekey’s Rent Collection tool, you gain access to a platform that allows you to collect rent payments from your tenants online, quickly and conveniently.

The platform is fully automated, which means you can forget about needing to take multiple trips to the bank to deposit cheques. You’ll receive your money in your account within two business days – that’s faster than some banks! And if tenants miss payments, there’s no need to send dozens of text messages and voicemails. SingleKey will do the job for you by sending them automatic reminders.

Setting up your account with SingleKey takes just five minutes – and there are zero fees for your first three tenants!

Renting To Pet-Owners: Provincial Laws You Need To Know

Provincial Laws On Renting To Pet-Owners
Provincial Laws On Renting To Pet-Owners

Each provincial Residential Tenancy Act sets out the rules and regulations governing residential renting for landlords and tenants. The rights of landlords regarding renting to pet owners differ across Canada.

Renting To Tenants With Pets: Regulations By Province

Landlords may include a “no pet” clause and refuse to rent to pet owners. British Columbia allows landlords to prohibit or restrict the size, kind, or number of pets they allow a tenant to have on the residential property.

Landlords may require an additional refundable pet deposit for tenants who own pets. The landlord can ask for a pet deposit, provided that the amount, including any other security deposits, does not exceed ½ of one month’s rent. Service animals cannot require a pet deposit.

Terms respecting pets and pet damage deposits

18   (1) A tenancy agreement may include terms or conditions doing either or both of the following:

  • prohibiting pets, or restricting the size, kind or number of pets a tenant may keep on the residential property;
  • governing a tenant’s obligations in respect of keeping a pet on the residential property.

(2) If, after January 1, 2004, a landlord permits a tenant to keep a pet on the residential property, the landlord may require the tenant to pay a pet damage deposit in accordance with sections 19 [limits on amount of deposits] and 20 [landlord prohibitions respecting deposits].

(3)This section is subject to the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.

In Alberta, landlords can enforce “no pet” clauses and refuse to rent to pet owners if included in the lease agreement. They also have the right to decide what kinds of pets, size, breeds and number of allowed pets.

Pet deposits and fees are allowed. Any pet fees should be a reasonable amount. Any refundable pet deposit amount plus the security deposit amount must not exceed one month’s rent.

No fees or deposits can be imposed on service animals in Alberta. Landlords who discriminate against an applicant with a service dog can be found guilty of an offence under the Service Dogs Act and the Blind Persons’ Act and can be fined up to $3,000.

If a tenant commits a substantial breach, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy or give the tenant at least 14-days’ notice to end the tenancy. A tenant must receive the notice at least 14 clear days before the tenancy ends.

Landlords in Saskatchewan can refuse rent to pet owners and include “no pet” clauses in their lease agreements. Pets are otherwise welcomed if not stated.

If the landlord allows pets, they can legally request additional charges to the tenants. Landlords can request a one-time pet fee or a monthly fee, or both, which are all non-refundable. A landlord can also require a refundable pet deposit, yet the amount must not exceed one month’s rent, including other security damage deposits. For service animals, these fees cannot be charged.

In Manitoba, landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets and enforce “no pet” provisions with eviction, provided they give written notice. Landlords can also set general guidelines on the kinds of pets allowed.

Landlords can request a pet deposit for tenants who own pets. A pet deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent in addition to other security deposits. Treated like a damage deposit, the landlord may claim the deposit for any damage or cleaning cost caused by the pet.

Pet damage deposit

29.1(1) A landlord who gives a tenant permission to have a pet in a rental unit on or after June 30, 2010, may require a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit.

Transitional — deposit not more than 1/2 of one month’s rent

29.1(2.1) If, during the period from June 30, 2010, to the day immediately before this subsection comes into force, a landlord required a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit, the deposit must not be more than the equivalent of 1/2 of one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement.

You can find pet deposit requirements for Manitoba here: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/r119e.php#29.1(4) 

No landlord can request a security pet deposit for a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code.

Exception — service animals

29.1(3) A landlord shall not require a tenant who relies on a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code to pay a pet damage deposit in respect of that animal.

Ontario landlords are legally allowed to refuse to rent to pet owners. Yet once the rental agreement is signed, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for owning a pet.

The Residential Tenancy Act includes a provision stating that all conditions in a tenancy agreement that prohibit the presence of animals in or about the residential complex are void (2006, c. 17 s. 14). This is provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants or is a breed that is deemed to be inherently dangerous.

“No pet” provisions void

14 A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.  2006, c. 17, s. 14.

It is illegal for a landlord to ask for a pet deposit in Ontario. However, the landlord can accept the deposit if a tenant offers and cannot exceed one month’s rent. Since service animals are not considered pets, any additional fees or requirements do not apply.

Landlords have options to issue eviction notices if the tenants’ pets are causing reasonable damages and nuisances. Suppose the tenant’s dog caused extensive damage to rugs by defecating and urinating. Landlords can serve an N5 based on damages if they provide details of the damages and at least two estimates for the repairs. The tenant will have seven days to rectify the damages by paying the amount required or fixing the damages themselves. If not resolved, the landlord can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Quebec landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets or implement restrictions on what pets are allowed. If there is any failure to respect provisions in the lease, landlords may apply to the Administrative Housing Tribunal for an order to cancel the lease.

Quebec has no official policy in place regarding pet deposits. No additional fees or pet deposits can be charged for service animals.

In New Brunswick, landlords may refuse tenants based on owning pets and enforce “no pet” restrictions, leading to eviction. Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with service animals or charge additional fees.

Landlords are not permitted an additional deposit for pets.

In Nova Scotia, landlords have the right to include pet restriction clauses in the leases. 

Under The Service Dog Act, discriminating against a person who requires a service dog can get a fine of up to $3,000.

It is illegal for a landlord to charge an additional pet deposit.

Landlords in P.E.I. may enforce a “no pet” clause or implement restrictions on the type or size of pet allowed. Landlords cannot refuse to rent to applicants who require a service animal.

Pet deposits are illegal for a landlord to request.

Landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets and include “no pet” clauses in the lease agreement.

Landlords cannot discriminate against applicants who require service animals or charge additional fees or deposits. 

It is illegal for landlords in Newfoundland and Labrador to charge a pet deposit.

The Landlord and Tenant Act for the Yukon does not cover this particular issue. Yukon landlords cannot discriminate against people with disabilities that require a service animal.

Landlords can enforce “no pet” policies. A landlord cannot refuse rent to applicants who have a service animal.

A pet deposit can be charged, and the amount cannot exceed 50% of one month’s rent.

Landlords may refuse to rent to pets and enforce “no pet” clauses for private rentals. Landlords cannot discriminate against those with disabilities requiring a service animal.

The Residential Tenancy Act does not cover pet deposits, but security damage deposits can not exceed one month’s rent.

Exceptions in Canada

Nationwide, condominiums have their own by-laws and policies in place. It may not be up to the landlord to make the decision regarding having pets on the property. Ensure you read all rules and regulations regarding pet ownership at your condominium.

Renting to tenants with dogs in British Columbia is vastly different from renting to pets in Ontario, and landlords should review the rules and regulations that apply to them. Balancing these rules with the benefits of renting to pets (LINK: to other pet article above) will enable landlords to make informed decisions on renting to pets across Canada.

Always Screen Tenants With Pets

Our tenant pre-screenings with credit and background checks allow tenants to provide landlords with descriptions and photos of their pets. Order your Tenant Report today to learn more about who is moving into your rental.

Why You Should Make Your Rental Pet-Friendly (and How)

Pet-Friendly Rental Renting With Pets Landlord Tips
Pet-Friendly Rental Renting With Pets Landlord Tips

Despite the difficulties of finding pet-friendly rentals, almost one million Canadians have welcomed their first pet to their family during the pandemic. Unfortunately, landlords who refuse pets have become one of the most common reasons for Canadians to surrender their pets to shelters.

When done right, creating a pet-friendly rental does not have to come with damages and stress. Plus, fewer families will have to choose between their beloved pets and a place to live. There can be many benefits to renting to pet owners, and each provincial Residential Tenancy Act lays out the rights and restrictions available to landlords.

If you’re a landlord considering renting to pets in your rental properties, here are some benefits, tips and provincial regulations on renting with pet owners.

What Are The Benefits Of Renting To Pet Owners?

Create higher demand with a larger pool of tenants

Pet-friendly rentals aren’t widely available, and many landlords legally can and will refuse to rent to pet owners. Advertising your rental as pet-friendly can significantly increase potential tenant interest and shorter time on the market.

Attract long-term tenants

Since it can be hard to move places with pets for several reasons, most tenants will be more likely to renew a lease.

Attract responsible tenants

Owning pets isn’t cheap. In Canada, pet owners can expect to pay $3,724 yearly for a dog and $2,500 for a cat. Responsible pet owners tend to be accountable tenants, and if they take care of their pets, it gives reason to believe they will also take care of the rental. Since pet-friendly rentals are not easy to find, it provides more incentive to respect the property.

Additional rent and deposits

While it is illegal for a landlord to charge a “pet rent” in Canada, having a pet-friendly rental can allow landlords to ask for a higher amount of rent.

Depending on the provincial regulations, landlords can impose additional pet fees, either a one-time payment or a monthly fee or both. If stated in the provincial Residential Tenancy Act, landlords can also request an additional refundable pet damage deposit.

Tips For Renting To Pet Owners

Before Seeking Tenants

Pet-proof your rental

Ensuring your rental property is appropriate to host a pet might be the best bet to save yourself from more wear and tear damages in the future. Consider replacing the carpet in busy rooms with flooring like hardwood or tile, which are easier to clean and disinfect.

Tenants may also bring their own area rugs or mats to provide protection from wear and tear. When deciding on new paint colours for the walls, make sure to purchase easy-to-wash paints like high gloss finishes.

Comply with your provincial Residential Tenancy Act

Each province and territory in Canada has a Residential Tenancy Act, which lays out the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. While deciding whether or not to allow pets into your rental, it’s essential to understand what the law states in your province.

Most of the provincial Residential Tenancy Acts cover the landlord’s rights to refuse tenants based on having pets, enforce a no-pet policy within a lease agreement, and request pet deposits or pet fees.

Decide what pets you’re willing to allow

If your province allows landlords to impose restrictions on the types of pets, consider what pets would be appropriate in your rental unit. It’s perfectly fine to be picky with the kind of animals you’re comfortable renting to.

Landlords should research pets and breeds best-suited to the type of unit they own. For example, some of the best dog breeds for small condos and apartments are Boston terriers, bulldogs, and pugs.

Some provinces don’t allow landlords to choose how many pets a tenant can have in a household. If it’s not stated in the Residential Tenancy Act, contact your city or municipality to check for local by-laws.

Include a pet policy in your lease

If you decide to rent to pet owners, it’s important to include a pet policy within your lease agreement. A pet policy should go over your expectations for pet care and obligations, liabilities, and enforcements for the tenants if they own pets. The policy should lay out all rules the landlord wishes to have regarding renting to tenants with pets.

Ensure the pet policy follows your province’s Residential Tenancy Act, or it may not be enforceable. Sample pet addendums for rental agreements can be found on the Humane Society’s website.

While Screening Tenants With Pets

Ask for proper identification, licenses, and vaccinations

Requiring valid identification, licenses, and vaccinations allows landlords to ensure everything is up to date and gives the notion of applicants being responsible pet owners and possible tenants. Pet licensing regulations can be found in your city municipal by-laws.

Require that all dogs/cats be neutered

Most responsible pet owners will have their pets neutered as it’s typically vet-recommended. Studies show having pets neutered helps cut down on potential messes and improves the general attitudes of pets.

Landlord references

It’s always recommended to seek previous landlord references when screening tenants. Especially when screening tenants with pets, speaking with their current landlords may be a great way to understand the pet itself better and any incidents that may have occurred.

Questions you may ask previous landlords include:

    • Does the previous landlord consider the tenant a responsible tenant and pet owner?
    • Were the pets well behaved and well cared for?
    • Did any other tenants or neighbours complain about the tenant’s pet?
    • Did the tenant’s pet cause damage to the property in any way?

Tenant insurance

Some policies may cover damages caused by pets within their liability coverage. If the tenant’s dog bites and injures a person, the insurance company may cover that situation. If the tenant’s pet causes extensive property damage and the landlord sues for damages, the insurance may cover the cost.

Requiring tenants to have coverage over liability can help landlords recover damages caused by the pets.

Pet damages deposits

In some provinces, landlords have the right to request a refundable pet damage deposit used to cover any damages caused by the pet. If no damages occur other than normal wear and tear, the landlord must refund the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

It is legal for a landlord to request a non-refundable pet fee either upfront, monthly, or both in certain provinces. These fees are to cover either maintenance or other potential future costs.

Interview pets with tenants

Meeting the tenant’s pet before making a decision could give a landlord better insight into the general characteristics of the pet.

Consider some questions to ask the tenant regarding their pet:

    • How long have you had your pets?
    • How often will your pet be left alone, and for how long?
    • How often do you walk/exercise your dog? Will you have a dog sitter/walker?
    • Do you have someone to care for the pet while you’re away?
    • Are there any known behavioral or medical issues, and what’s the current treatment?
    • Are your pets housebroken?
    • How well does your pet get along with strangers?

While Renting And At The End Of The Tenancy

Perform annual property review

It’s always best to check for yourself if any damage has been caused by pets. In cases of extensive damage, landlords can recover the costs or file an eviction order.

If you refuse to allow pets in your rentals, it can be a good idea to follow up that there are no breaches of the lease agreement. If so, in provinces that allow the enforcement of “no pet” provisions, the landlord may take action to request the pet be removed from the rental unit, or the tenant can face eviction.

Evicting a tenant due to their pet

If the provincial act allows “no pet” provisions, a landlord can take action upon tenants who have pets in the rental unit. Landlords must give proper written notice of eviction for a breach of the lease agreement and provide reasonable time for the tenants to remove the pet from the property. If the tenants do not remove their pets from the property, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.

In provinces such as Ontario, “no pet” provisions are void and not enforceable, even if included in the lease agreement, and the landlord cannot evict tenants for having pets. However, this is only provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants, or a breed inherently dangerous, which could all be a reason for a landlord to evict. If a tenant’s pet caused extensive damages to the rental unit, the landlord could serve an N5 based on damages.

Returning or claiming the refundable pet deposit

If the provincial Residential Tenancy Act allows landlords to charge a refundable pet deposit, both the landlord and tenant should inspect the property for damages at the end of the tenancy. The pet deposit can only be used to cover the damages caused by the tenant’s pet.

If the damages exceed the deposit amount, the landlord may claim the rest against the security damage deposit or the tenant if damages exceed both amounts.

Once the tenancy ends, the landlord must refund any unclaimed amount from the pet deposit to the tenant. Deadlines for the landlord’s time to return the deposit can be found in your provincial Residential Tenancy Act.

Rent To Pet-Owners With Ease

Pet-friendly rentals don’t have to be a burden on the landlord. There are many benefits to renting to pet owners, from having more applications to receiving more rent.

Following our tips on renting to pet owners could help you manage your pet-friendly rental without the stress of excessive damages and liability. With over half of Canadian households owning a pet, it may be time for more landlords to consider welcoming their tenants’ furry friends.

Quickly Screen Tenants With Pets

Our tenant pre-screenings with credit and background checks allow tenants to provide landlords with descriptions and photos of their pets. Order your Tenant Report today and learn more about who’s moving into your rental.

Questions to Ask Tenants When Renting to Them

questions to ask rent applicants
questions to ask rent applicants

Screening new tenants can be daunting. It’s sometimes difficult to know what kind of person is applying to rent a property.  

At Singlekey, we help landlords deal with common anxieties every day. So if you don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of basic questions and information needed to get the ball rolling.

The Top 7 Topics to Ask Rental Applicants When Interviewing Them

1) CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE SOME PERSONAL INFORMATION?

Name, birthdate and current address are key. You’ll need these if you are doing a credit check. You may also want to ask for a social insurance number, however, the applicant is not legally required to provide this. The credit check can be completed without it, as long as you have the birthdate.

2) CAN YOU LIST YOUR PREVIOUS LANDLORD REFERENCE AND DETAILS?

It’s important to speak with prior landlords to find out how the applicant was as a tenant. Did they look after the property? Did they pay the rent on time? Why did they leave? Was there any noise or other problems? How was the cleanliness of the home? And for the final question: Would they rent to them again? 

Previous landlords sometimes are not very forthcoming, but if you ask them this last question it will tell you a lot. If the applicant has had multiple landlords over the past few years, it’s a good idea to look at a minimum of the previous five (5) years’ history.

3) WHAT ARE YOUR EMPLOYMENT DETAILS AND REFERENCES?

Confirming employment is critical. How long the applicant has worked there, how much they earn and any personal details you can collect about the person will help in the decision-making process. 

Verifying an applicant’s ability to pay the rent is vital so ask for pay stubs, or a copy of the last income tax statement. If they are moving to the area to start a new job, ask for a copy of the employment letter or contract.

4) CAN I SEE SOME IDENTIFICATION?

While this is a small step in the process, it’s absolutely necessary. A landlord must confirm the person is who they claim to be. If a copy of their driver’s license is taken with the application, it must be destroyed once the application is processed as landlords are not permitted to keep it on file. 

The key is to avoid having someone with a fake identity on a Tenancy Agreement which leaves the landlord with no recourse if the tenant skips out on rent or causes a lot of damage.

5) WHY ARE YOU MOVING?

Maybe they want to be closer to work or family, or they have outgrown their current home (or want to downsize). But watch for red flags such as having issues with other tenants or the landlord.

rental applicant questions

6) MIND SHARING SOME FINANCIAL INFORMATION?

A lot of these details will come up on the credit report, but asking about things such as bankruptcies, earnings, debt load and other financial obligations gives the landlord an idea of how much money is going out each month above and beyond the rent.

Rent is often the first thing the tenant doesn’t pay if they are experiencing financial hardship.

7) I JUST NEED A LITTLE MORE GENERAL INFO, IF THAT’S OKAY?

As the application progresses, find out if they have a car or require parking and how many people will live in the home. 

If there will be more than one adult living in the home it’s a good idea to process an application on each adult and ensure they are all listed on the Tenancy Agreement. Do they smoke or have pets? If yes, then the tenant should be advised of the landlord’s smoking and pet policies for the property. Asking about any criminal history should be handled delicately and with professionalism.

Don’t Forget to Check Secondary Resources

Aside from all of the above questions and information a landlord may look for, there are also other resources to allow landlord’s to review the suitability of an applicant. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other public records all provide insight into the type of applicant being considered.  

Reviewing tenant applications is complex and can be time consuming. Decisions should be made based on the information obtained and from the landlord’s perception of who would be best suited to the home. 

That said, caution should be used to ensure each application receives fair consideration and the decision is not based on any discriminatory criteria under Human Rights legislation. These include race, color, sexual orientation, marital status, disability and many more. 

Make sure to check with the provincial authority governing the community where the home is located for full details.

Take the Stress Out of Renting, Try Singlekey

No matter how many questions you ask, there’s always the risk of missing important information that could sway your decision. To assist in the screening process, Singlekey offers services tailored to each landlord’s needs. 

Contact us for more information today.

Long Term vs. Short Term Rental: What’s Right for You?

short-term-vs-long-term-rental
short-term-vs-long-term-rental

Before you put your rental property on the market, you’ll need to decide whether you want to offer long-term or short-term rentals. To make the best decision, it’s important to not only know the difference between the two but to also realize the benefits and drawbacks of each. 

In our guide to long-term and short-term rentals, we’ll go over some of the key things landlords should consider so you can make the best choice for your property. Let’s get started.

The Pros and Cons of Short-Term vs Long-Term Rentals

What’s the Difference Between Long-Term and Short-Term Rentals?

A short-term rental is often defined as one that lasts less than 31 consecutive days. Sometimes it can last a bit longer. Short-term rentals can also be referred to as vacation rentals. That’s because many people own homes they rent out exclusively to vacationers depending on their location.

Long-term rentals are usually considered anything that lasts longer than six months. Common types of long-term rentals are apartment and house leases. Business and industrial properties are also typically long-term.

Other options can include an Airbnb-style rental. This can be done either for the short-term or long-term. Typically, these are not vacation-style rentals. They come in handy in situations when someone is in town for an extended period of time. For example, a sub-contractor on a 3-month contract may prefer Airbnb because it’s easy to send the bill to their client.

If you can’t decide whether short-term or long-term rentals are the best match for you, consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of short-term rentals below.

Short-Term Rental Pros

1) You can earn more money.

If your short-term rental property is a vacation home there is a greater potential to make more money, especially if people are renting for a week or two at a time. If your property is in a popular tourist spot, your income potential can be very high during the summer months. 

You also have the option of changing the rental amount depending on the rental week. Many property owners do this when they know there is a time of the year that is popular.

short-term-rental-pros

2) You can also use the property.

With a short-term rental, especially one that is a vacation home, there is the option for personal use. That means when you want to go on holiday or spend the weekend with the family, just reserve that block of time for yourself.

3) You can limit some of the renting risks.

Being a landlord is a big commitment. The responsibility comes with potential risks, such as tenants who don’t pay or time or damage your property. With a short-term rental, the commitment isn’t ongoing, so it’s a lot easier to manage.

Short-Term Rental Cons

1) Your income can fluctuate.

With a short-term rental there is a chance that you may have blocks of time with no rental income. Some property owners don’t mind taking this chance, while others don’t like the risk.

2) You’ll spend more on cleaning costs.

With a higher turnover rate, especially with a vacation property, you can expect more cleaning costs. Every time a tenant moves out you’ll need to have the home deep cleaned. Even with a contract, this can get pricey.

short-term-rental-cons

3) You may need to hire a Property Manager.

Because the property is rented to different tenants so frequently, the appliances, sinks, and toilets need to be checked routinely. No one is going to want to rent a home with a broken refrigerator or one that has plumbing problems. 

Some landlords choose to hire a property manager for their short-term rentals. That way, they don’t feel as though taking care of their property is another job. You have to weigh whether the cost is worth the convenience.

Long-Term Rental Pros

1. You’ll earn steady income.

When you have a property rented for a longer time, you know you’ll have a reliable source of income. This can help you be more financially secure and plan for your next investment.

2) You might see fewer maintenance fees.

Because the turnover rate is not as frequent, you should have fewer maintenance fees. You won’t have to pay a cleaning company to come in as frequently because you’ll have the same tenants for a longer amount of time.

Long-Term Rental Cons

1) You can’t raise rental prices once in contract.

When you offer a long-term rental, you need to keep the price consistent for the length of the lease. While this offers reliable income, you lose the chance to increase it for any reason until your agreement is over.

2) You will have the tenants for longer periods of time.

If you have problem tenants, you may be forced to look into eviction. No one wants to do this because it can be costly and lengthy. To find out just how costly, try our eviction calculator.  

To avoid troublesome tenants, SingleKey offers a thorough yet easy to read Credit and Background Check. Our screening report gives you the information you need to feel comfortable with who is living in your rental property.

Key Takeaways

Short-Term Rental Pros

      • Potential for big financial gains
      • You can use the property as well
      • Limit some risks of renting

Long-Term Rental Pros

    • Earn steady income
    • Fewer maintenance fees
      •  

Short-Term Rental Cons

      • Income can fluctuate month to month
      • Higher cleaning costs
      • May need to higher property manager

Long-Term Rental Cons

    • Rental rates are locked in
    • Harder to evict bad tenants

Long-Term vs Short-Term Rental: How to Decide

There’s no easy answer to choosing the type of rental property that’s best for you. Both long term and short term have their benefits and drawbacks. So it’s worth taking some time to consider where your property is located and how much time investment you’re willing to put into maintenance, cleaning, and tenant interactions. 

Whether for three months or three years, one thing is for certain: the right tenant can make all the difference. A thorough background check can help you find applicants that are perfect for your property. Book a call to learn more about SingleKey’s tenant credit report for landlords.

What Should Landlords Look for in A Tenant Credit Report?

how to read a credit report for landlords

In today’s competitive rental market, being a landlord requires diligence, attentiveness, and savviness, especially when selecting who’ll be living on your property. 

After all, the last thing you want to experience is endless quarrels with your tenants about unpaid rent and having to serve and enforce a slew of eviction notices!

In your quest to separate the risky tenants from the safe ones, it’s always wise to perform a credit check on each applicant. It’s a foundational component of the tenant screening process. It’ll pay for itself over time by helping you identify quality candidates – one that’ll make rent payments like clockwork.

While these checks provide valuable insight into prospective tenants, even seasoned landlords can overlook crucial details. Thus, it’s always worth reminding yourself of the items to look for when evaluating credit reports. That way, you can quickly pinpoint the red flags, as well as easily identify a solid tenant.

SingleKey offers an excellent way for landlords to screen tenants via our Tenant Credit & Background Check. We’ve helped landlords across Canada screen and verify thousands of prospective tenants, providing valuable details that make renting a far less risky and hassle-free experience. To help you learn how to read the SingleKey tenant screening report, we’ll review the top 5 tenant credit check metrics.

how to read a credit report for landlords

Don’t forget to check out our sample tenant credit check report. We’ll be using it as a reference throughout this article.

How to Read a Credit Report for Landlords: 6 Key Tips

  1. Know the Difference Between Poor, Good, and Great Credit Score

The first indicator you should review is the applicant’s credit score. This financial metric measures their creditworthiness or the riskiness of lending money to them. In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900, with the average hovering around 630.

Though primarily used by lenders, a credit score is also valuable data for landlords. It paints an accurate picture of a tenant’s history with credit and how responsible they are when it comes to payments.

In Canada, two private firms assign credit scores to individuals: Equifax and TransUnion. Both organizations collect and store borrowers’ credit data and incorporate it into complex scoring models to calculate their scores.

Here’s a breakdown of what components go into a credit score and the relative importance of each.

If an applicant possesses a high credit score, they handle debt responsibly and make timely payments. Naturally, this is a favourable attribute, as they’ll have little or no trouble paying their rent on time.

On the other hand, a low credit score indicates the applicant has a history of poor debt management and is more likely to default on the payment obligations. As a result, you should think twice about offering them tenancy, as they may fall behind on their rent easily.

Since the average Canadian has a credit score of 630, you should review rental applicants with scores below this number with greater scrutiny. A credit score below 500 likely stems from an excessive debt load, numerous missed payments, or a recent bankruptcy, suggesting a high-risk applicant.

SingleKey uses an Equifax ER 2.0 score to create an accurate profile of a tenant’s financial health. Here’s a snapshot that shows what you can expect from each report:

tenant credit report for landlords

While a low credit score doesn’t mean that a tenant will be delinquent on rent, we can safely assume that a tenant who fails to pay their bills on time is more likely not to pay their rent on time.

  1. Assess the Tenant's Payment Habits

As a landlord, you want tenants who’ll diligently keep up with their rent payments, so you want to take a peek into their payment history.

Lenders report consumer debt payments to Equifax and TransUnion whether they’re late, on time, or missed entirely. Thus, all will have an impact on an applicant’s credit report.

landlord-tenant-credit-checks

Specific sections of our report that relate to an applicant’s payment history include:

  • Past due amount – the amount they owe on a particular credit account(s).
  • Payments 30/60/90 – the number of times they made a payment late by 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
  • Payment status – shows whether they’re current or behind with their payments.
  • Last payment – shows the date of the last payment made.

  1. Identify the Type of Debt the Tenant Owes

Another critical detail on our credit report is the type of debt an applicant is responsible for servicing.

While an immense debt load of any type can be troubling, it’s essential to understand that not all debt is equal. Some debt products are inherently riskier than others.

High-interest debt

High-interest debt comes with greater risk because the tenant can quickly become overwhelmed with interest charges and struggle to make timely payments. Lenders typically charge high interest rates on loans where the borrower has not pledged an asset as collateral.

Examples include credit cards, payday loans, and unsecured lines of credit.

Low-interest debt

Low-interest debt poses much less risk for the tenant. Since they accrue few interest charges, making debt payments is more manageable. In addition, an asset typically secures these loans, which provides an extra layer of security should the tenant default.

Examples of low-interest debt include mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and auto loans.

  1. Tally Up the Tenant's Monthly Debt Payments

Credit reports outline the number of regular payments a person has to pay towards an auto loan, credit card, cell phone, etc. It’s important to review these monthly payments because you can determine what percentage of the applicant’s income goes toward covering recurring expenses and bills.

For example, in SingleKey’s sample credit report, the “Payment Term Amount” shows how much the applicant must pay, and the “Narrative” explains the frequency of payments

Naturally, the higher their debt burden, the greater the chance they’ll encounter issues making prompt payments, which increases your risk as a landlord.

For example, suppose an applicant earns a pre-tax income of $3,000 per month but pays $1,000 in credit card and car loan payments every month. In that case, they’ll have little funds left over to cover rent and living expenses.

  1. Calculate the Rent-to-Income Ratio

It’s important to know if an applicant can afford to rent your unit. Thus, you should examine their monthly income and determine what percentage would cover rent. 

Luckily, SingleKey’s tenant credit report calculates the rent-to-income ratio for each applicant, so you won’t have to worry about crunching the numbers yourself.

Evaluating tenants’ rent-to-income ratio allows you to gauge affordability. If an applicant earns $3,000 per month but is applying to rent a unit that costs $2,000 per month, that’s a red flag. 

Many landlords prefer to rent to tenants with a rent-to-income ratio no higher than 30%. This figure is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to consider a particular applicant.

However, studies show that the 30% threshold is not attainable for many individuals. As a result, it’s not uncommon for landlords to accept 50% or higher rent-to-income ratios

Still, our data shows affordability is one of the top predictors of tenant rent default. If tenants spend more than 50% of their income on rent, they risk having insufficient funds to dedicate to rent payments. In this scenario, unexpected expenses or job loss would cause the tenant to stop paying rent. Thus, it’s wise to be patient and seek out tenants with ratios closer to 30%.

We also suggest going one step further and using the (rent + debt payments) to income ratio. With this formula, you combine the tenant’s monthly debt obligations and rent to better grasp how much they can afford.

  1. Focus on Derogatory Marks

A derogatory mark is a negative item on a credit report that has significant long-lasting financial repercussions for an individual’s credit standing. 

Here are some scenarios that can cause one to appear on an applicant’s credit report

  • Their credit card provider issued a charge-off on a past due balance
  • They filed for bankruptcy
  • A creditor has sent their account to a collection agency
  • A creditor has repossessed their home or car due to a default  

Derogatory marks can remain on individuals’ credit reports between three and seven years, depending on the nature of the item and the province in which they reside. 

While they happen, it’s important to put things in context and ask the right questions should you spot them on an applicant’s credit report.

1. What was the amount owing?

The amount owing is crucial in determining how detrimental the outstanding payment is to the applicant. A small write-off isn’t as big of a concern as a large one.

2. How old is the default?

A bankruptcy that occurred five years ago is not as ruinous as one that happened recently. The more years that have passed since the bankruptcy, the less financial strain the applicant is likely under currently.

3. What type of debt was it?

If a collections item relates to a payday loan, that is much more worrisome than if it’s tied to an outstanding phone bill.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The 6 Things Landlords Should Look Out for on a Tenant Credit Check

  1. Credit Score
  2. Assess Tenant’s Payment Habits
  3. Identify the Type of Debt the Tenant Owes
  4. Monthly Debt Payments
  5. Rent-to-Income Ratio
  6. Collections and Bankruptcy

Find the Right Applicant with Single Key’s Tenant Credit Report

Being smart with your tenant screening process will drastically cut down on the risks that come with renting. A quality tenant won’t only have a stable income, but a reassuring financial history, so it’s vital to review these details.

Keeping in mind the 5 key risk indicators in this guide will help you get the most out of your tenant credit report and raise any red flags that you should be aware of. 

If you are looking for the best tool to screen your tenants, consider the SingleKey Tenant Credit and Background Check report. The five metrics we just reviewed are at the top of every report. 

Don’t forget that we also offer a free tenant review call to help walk you through the tenant report results, so book a call with us any time.

Want to Learn How to Choose Better Tenants? Watch SingleKey’s Viler Lika Explain How with REIN

how-to-find-better-tenants-landlord-tips-video

Want tenant tips from some of Canada’s leading landlord and real estate experts? This past February, the Real Estate Investment Network’s (REIN) JG Francoeur and Patrick Francy sat down with our founder Viler Lika to talk about how SingleKey helps small everyday Canadian landlords better manage their rental properties by choosing the right tenants in order to reduce delinquency risk right at the start.

In the interview, we dive into the real costs of evicting tenants, and how SingleKey can really help landlords across Canada deal with one of the most stressful and costly experiences of their landlord journey. Francoeur and Francy bring up some good points as well. They ask how SingleKey determines the worthiness of a prospective tenant and why we never decline tenants based on credit score alone.

Some of the questions we answer in the interview are:

  1. What sort of expenses does home insurance not cover?

  1. How can SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee help you cover eviction expenses?

  1. Are the best tenants always the ones with the best credit scores?

  1. How detailed should you be with a tenant’s references?

The video also includes a detailed rundown of SingleKey Tenant Credit Check and Background Check. Viler explains how landlords can use the information they find here to find the best tenants and to support the gut feeling they may have about a prospective tenant. The tenant screening report goes far beyond a simple credit report. If you’ve been interested in seeing our comprehensive tenant credit and background check in action, this is a great time to see it explained in detail.

You can watch the entire video on Facebook Live below.

REIN is a news and resource company that helps thousands of Canadians protect their investments and better prepares them for navigating the challenges of managing a rental property. They offer Canadians unbiased real estate education and advice through webinars, a membership program, and a free weekly podcast called “The Everday Millionaire.” REIN has been featured on CNN, The Globe and Mail, and CTV Canada.

Best Rental Websites to list your property in Canada

best-rental-websites-canada
best-rental-websites-canada

Nowadays, most tenants are looking online for rental options. It’s a fast and convenient way to compare a wide range of available listings and choose the best one for their needs. As a result, listing your rental property online is a no-brainer if your goal is to find a tenant.

However, you can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of online property rental websites at your disposal. Which one do you select to post your ad?

Ideally, you want a platform that allows you ample freedom in showcasing and promoting your rental property. It should also help you attract top-notch tenants as you want individuals who’ll treat your property with respect – and won’t skip out on rent payments! Plus, you don’t want to strain your wallet by overpaying for a listing service, so paying attention to listing fees is a crucial factor to consider.

Luckily, we’ve done the grunt work for you by evaluating the best rental websites in Canada and compiled all the essential details and the pros and cons of each. That way, you can better navigate your options and choose the one that’ll provide you with the best exposure for your property listings.

Let’s dig in!

1. Facebook Marketplace

With over 27 million Facebook users in Canada, Facebook Marketplace is another excellent place to list rentals. As long as you have a Facebook account, you can post as many free ads as you like, with up to 10 photos and no expiry date (be sure to renew them, though, so they appear at the top of the listings!).  

The interface is intuitive and convenient and offers a dynamic preview that changes as you fill out information for your ad. You can also leverage Facebook’s massive network by cross-posting your ad onto your Facebook Timeline, Newsfeed, and various Facebook groups.  

Prospective tenants can easily message you through Facebook’s platform, and all correspondence goes into a unique folder separate from your Messenger chats. Each message even links to its corresponding listing and sets reminders! 

Facebook also provides a nifty security feature that allows you to see each tenant’s profile as a real person. You can also change the status of your listing from Available to Pending or Sold. 

facebook-marketplace-best-rental-sites-property-ads-canada-alberta

For tenants, there’s a handy map view that allows them to locate potential listings quickly; however, there are limited filtering options based on listing details. The feature also automatically provides nearby transportation and walking scores for each listing.  

Unfortunately, many realtors post fake listings onto Facebook Marketplace in a deceitful attempt to get more clients, which is its primary drawback.

Recommended for

Individual Landlords & Realtors

Pros
    • Dynamic preview that changes as you edit your ad
    • Ads do not expire
    •  The Messenger app organizes your message and allows you to view tenants’ profiles
Cons
    • High volume of fake listings by realtors
    • Limited filtering options for tenants

2. Craigslist

Craigslist receives tremendous web traffic, with 13.21 million Canadian visits alone in February 2022. 

Posting ads is straightforward, with no sign-up or fee required, and you’re allowed up to 24 images. Prospective tenants can contact you through email and other contact information you add to the listing. Each ad expires within 45 days, or seven if the listing is in a larger city.  

However, the website’s dated appearance may dissuade tenants and landlords alike from using it to search for rental properties and listing them, respectively. The website, populated with mostly legacy users, resembles those from the early 2000s, and it doesn’t provide the most user-friendly experience. 

From a tenant perspective, the search and filter functions are awkward, making it difficult and frustrating to sort through available listings. Also, the ad layouts are very disorganized, and listing details are tough to read.

craiglist-best-rental-websites-canada-toronto

There’s little vetting done on Craigslist to ensure each listing is legitimate – you can post an ad without needing to create an account. While convenient, the result is that many fake rental property ads end up cluttering the website. 

Many landlords also find that the website attracts a considerable number of lower-quality tenants, and many inquiries they receive aren’t from serious prospects.

Recommended for

DIY Small Landlords

Pros
    • No sign-up required.
    • No fees to pay to post basic listings
Cons
    • Traffic is split between rental ads and other categories
    • Since it is easy to post ads, occasional scams can occur
    •  Tenant inquiries aren’t always serious

3. Kijiji

Whether you’re a budding Canadian landlord or a seasoned pro, you’re likely familiar with Kijiji, a classified advertising website with massive traffic garnering 46.9 million visitors in February 2020. In fact, it’s the 26th most visited website in Canada! 

Kijiji offers three different tiers when it comes to posting a property listing:

  1. Free: You can post a basic ad with ten pictures. You can only have two ads running simultaneously, and you’ll have to keep reposting them to ensure they appear on top of search results or pay additional money to boost them.
  2. $130.95/month: You can post an ad with 20 pictures and an urgent flag. The website automatically bumps them up every seven days.
  3. $392.95/month: In addition to the previous perks, your ad receives priority in search results, appearing as a top ad, and you can add a link to your listing.

The website offers several features to maximize your ad’s exposure to ensure it reaches as many users as possible. These include posting a second copy of your ad in Kijiji’s homepage gallery, or highlighting it, which displays it against a blue background, so it stands out. Ads generally expire after 60 days.

kijiji-best-rental-listing-websites-canada-bc

Kijiji has a simple layout, making it easy to list properties. You can even set up virtual viewing features, such as virtual tours or video chats, and check how many people have viewed your listing.  

However, the website offers limited search and filter options, so renters may struggle to find their desired listing. Communication between yourself and prospective tenants is done through Kijiji’s inbox, which can get messy if you have multiple ads running. 

Like Craigslist, Kijiji’s lax vetting can result in fake listings appearing on the website and inquiries about properties that aren’t always serious. As a result, it’s wise to be aware of scams and follow best practices when screening tenants.

Recommended for

DIY Small Landlords

Pros
    • Multiple tiers and upgrades are available to customize your ad
    • High website traffic means that your ad is visible to many people
Cons
    • Communication between yourself and inquiring renters is done through Kijiji’s inbox, which is difficult to manage and organize
    • The free tier restricts you to two active ads at a time

4. Padmapper

Unlike the previous websites, Padmapper is focused only on housing. By signing up for Padmapper, you can showcase your ad to over 464.4K monthly viewers for free. Each ad allows you to post over 20 images, and ads don’t appear to expire.

Unfortunately, the platform is not very user-friendly for tenants and landlords alike. As a landlord, you can post a listing only if you download the mobile app – there’s no way to do so on a desktop. Communication with tenants is done through the site’s messaging system.

Tenants can freely use a desktop to view listings and filter rentals by price, location, and utilities. A helpful map feature also allows them to explore listings by proximity.

However, numerous bugs seem to affect Padmapper’s mobile app, such as the need to log in multiple times before it functions properly.

Recommended for

Landlords, Realtors, Property Managers

Pros
    • Simple to use with no complicated add-on features
    • Tenants can easily search and filter for listings on a desktop
Cons
    • Cannot post a listing through a desktop
    • Mobile app is often difficult to use because of glitches

5. Realtor.ca

Another option besides posting your listing online is to hire a professional. 

Realtor.ca helps connect you with realtors in your area who have the knowledge and expertise to market your property effectively and find a suitable tenant. Though the cost varies from agent to agent, most realtors charge a commission equal to one 1-month’s rent if they can close a deal for you.

There are numerous benefits associated with using a realtor. As industry professionals, they’ll:

  • Take photos and list your property on Multiple Listing Services (MLS)
  • Hold property viewings on your behalf
  • Screen the applicants and ensure you get a quality tenant
  • Set up your lease agreement with the new tenant
realtor-best-rental-websites-canada-list-property-ad-tenants

If you’re willing to pay the commission, hiring a realtor is the easiest and safest way to rent out your property.

Recommended for

Large Landlords and Property Managers

Pros
    • Receive professional advice on how to advertise your listing best
    • A turn-key solution for the full rental process
    • In general, you can expect higher quality tenants
Cons
    • Most expensive option
    • Depending on how many clients the agent has and the situation surrounding their properties, you may not be first on their priority list

6. Viewit.ca

For $54.95/month, Viewit allows you to post property rental listings to their 378.6K monthly viewers. No account is necessary to post an ad, which expires after one month and enables you to post up to 10 photos.

Viewit reviews ads before they go live on the site to ensure each is legitimate. Thus, you can rest easy knowing no one will be reusing your listing information as part of a scam.

viewit-best-websites-to-list-your-property-for-rent-canada

On the flip side, any edits, changes, or cancellations you would like to make to your listing require contacting their team. Their turnaround time is within a business day, but some landlords may prefer a platform that provides them with more control in modifying their ads.

Viewit offers additional paid upgrades to enhance your ad and can even send professional photographers to take photos of your property. 

Tenants can utilize their map view to view nearby listings or the search and filter functions to narrow it down based on their utility preferences. They can message landlords through Viewit directly.

Recommended for

Property Managers

Pros
    • Vetted postings ensure that the listing information you provide won’t be used to scam others

Cons
    • Any changes you wish to make to your listings require contacting their staff, which takes editing and posting out of your hands

7. Rentals.ca

A relatively new rental platform, Rentals.ca averages around 1.5 million monthly views and is still growing. It also boasts a mobile app.

Posting requires signing up for an account, and you can select if you want your ad to expire in 15 or 30 days.

There are three different ad tiers to choose from:

  • Free: no special perks for listings.
  • Promoted: for $24/15 days or $49/30 days, your listing receives added exposure on the map/list and syncs with Facebook Marketplace and mobile app notifications.
  • Featured: for $124/15 days or $249/30 days, you get top listings and priority, a “Featured” tag, and your ad appears highlighted on the map. This is in addition to all the perks in the previous tier.
rentals-best-sites-for-rental-property-ads-listings-canada

You need to provide a floor plan and at least two images for each ad. The website allows you to keep track of your listings and their status and even save drafts. Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you provide directly on the listing.

Rentals.ca reviews and approves each listing, so the website contains very few. Most listings on the website are for apartments/condos.

The website provides good search and filter options for tenants, including a map view that displays nearby listings. Each listing also comes generated with a neighbourhood and transportation information.

Recommended for

Property Managers and Individual Landlords

Pros
    • The website is easy to use and navigate
    • Postings are vetted, which means very few scam listings appear
Cons
    • The company is relatively new, so there’s not as many reviews on it and users have little experience with the website
    • The target market is mostly larger cities and apartment or condos

The Final Verdict: The Best Rental Sites in Canada

Craiglist Kijiji Facebook Marketplace Padmapper Realtor Viewit Rentals.Ca
Monthly Traffic (February 2022)
27M
13.2M
49.9M
464K
22.5M
378K
1.5M
Account Required
Listing User Experience
- Very dated website
- Used mostly by legacy users
- Simple interface: easy to list a property
- You have to keep reposting the listing so it shows up at the top or pay to boost it
- Listing status helpful
- No need to boost listings
-Communications with renters is easy, and it's nice to see their profile, to make sure you were speaking with a real person
- Very confusing and complicated interface
- Only allows posting on mobile app, no desktop access for listing
- Good experience for tenants
- Agents will post listing for you
- Limited control control since all edits, deletions, etc has to be approved by their team
- Allows you to keep track of your listing status and save drafts
Renter User Experience
No real search or filter functionality
Renters have a hard time to filter and limited search capability
Easy for both tenants and landlords
Many glitches when searching for listings and makes you log in multiple times.
Polished and professional look and feel. Lots of listings to choose from.
Tenants can use map view to see nearby listings or filter to narrow down the listings based on utilities.
- Provides good search and filter options
- Including a map view of nearby listings.
Communication
Tenants can only message landlord. Very limited.
Just message landlord. All messages are in an inbox, which is not very organized.
The marketplace app separates messages from your personal ones. Ties it to the listing and sets reminders.
Very basic.
Realtor's contact info is included in each listing. Easy to get in touch.
Send email through Viewit directly or call on provided number.
Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you add.
Fees
No
- Basic : free
-More visibility: $130.95/month
- Most visibility: $392.95/month
No
No
- Fees vary for posting unit
- Most realtors charge 1 month's rent
- $54.95
- Additional costs optional
No
# of Pictures
24
10 ( Free)
50
3 (Recommended)
N/A
10
2 (Minimum)
Ad Expiry
45 or 7 days
60 days (Fees may apply to extend)
No
No
N/A
1 Month
N/A
Fake Listing
Many fake listings
Many fake listings
Many realtors with fake listings to get business
Many fake listings
None. Listings vetted by realtor.
None. Listings vetted.
Very few fake listings.
Pros
Can list virutal tour options
- Interactive ad maker.
- Cross-post ad to Newsfeed, Timeline and Groups
Shows a mapview of rentals
A turn-key solution for the full rental process.
- No fake listings
- Offers professional photographer
- Popular with large property manager
- Shows a mapview of rentals.
- Provides neighbourhood and transportation information
Cons
- Low vetting.
- traffic is shared with other categories.
- Low vetting
- 2 ad limit for free account.
- Low vetting
- Mobile only
- Most expensive option, costing 1 month's rent.
Must contact their team for changes.
New website so not enough reviews on it.
Best For
Small Landlords
Small Landlords
Individual Landlords + Realtors
Large landlords, realtors, property managers
Realtors
Property Managers
Property managers, Individual landlords

Best Rental Websites in Canada by Province

Besides the top Canada-wide rental sites we featured above, each province has specific rental websites popular in the region. We highlight some of the best ones below.

British Columbia

RentBoard

415K visitors per month

RentBoard has an ad credit system where you buy a certain number of credits to post your listing. For example, you can purchase 30 days’ worth of credits and use them to list one ad for 30 days, two ads for 15 days, or even 30 different ads for one day each. If you take an ad down early, RentBoard saves them for the next time you decide to post.

Point2Homes

5.7 million visitors per month 

Signing up for an account on Point2Homes requires approval from their team, and prices vary by region. Real estate agents, property managers, and brokerages primarily use the site.

Alberta

Rentfaster

1.28 million visitors per month

Rentfaster lets you post an ad for 60 days at $45. Some limitations apply as outlined on their website. Once you’ve found a tenant, you can deactivate the ad and reactivate it for $40 at a later date.

RENTcafe

474K visitors per month

RENTcafe is very popular with tenants. However, signing up to post your listing requires multiple steps, including registering with its affiliate company, Yardi, to use their property management software. The website is well-suited for property managers.

Immediate Rent

2K visitors per month

Immediate Rent is one of the newest entrants in the online property rental space. What sets them apart from the competition is they allow payments in crypto-currencies (over 200 in total) – the first rental portal to do so. As a landlord, you can advertise your property for free – there are no listing, monthly, or platform fees to pay.

Ontario

Torontorentals.com

153K visitors per month

TorontoRentals is now part of Rentals.ca, so listings on TorontoRentals will also appear on Rentals.ca and vice versa.

Condos.ca

1.9 million visitors per month

Condos.ca boasts a vast database of users looking to rent or buy condos. The site will put you in contact with a realtor/condo professional to help you list your property.

Quebec

Louer.com

83K visitors per month

Louer specializes in rental units in Quebec and has a French version of their website. It allows you to post listings for free, but your account must be approved before you can use it.

Duproprio.ca

5.3M visitors per month

Duproprio is the largest real estate website in Quebec for buying and selling homes and renting out property. They offer three tiers for ads: free, $49.95/3 months, and $199.95/3 months. Each tier differs in the number of weeks you can display your ad on the site and the number of photos of your property you can include.

Finding great tenants for your rental property in Canada is one of the hardest things about being a landlord. It’s a lot easier when you know where to list your ads, so finding a reliable and trustworthy website is always a good first step.  

If you’re looking to rent out your apartment or home to a quality tenant, SingleKey can help make the process easier, faster, and safer. With our Tenant Credit Check in Canada, you can screen your potential applicants in less than 5 minutes to find the perfect renters for your property.

Cost of Evicting a Tenant: the Ultimate Guide for Canadian Landlords

cost of evictions in Canada
cost of evictions in Canada

One of the biggest risks you’ll face as a landlord is a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent. While you can do your best to screen for quality tenants, there’s still no guarantee of a steady flow of rent payments. Unexpected issues may arise, causing them to fall behind or outright refuse to pay.

In addition, tenants may also become a nuisance, blatantly violate the rules of the lease agreement, or cause damage to your rental property

Sometimes, negotiating a payment schedule with the tenant for past due rent or issuing a verbal or written warning can solve the problem. But, in some cases, there’s no other solution but to evict them from your property.

So how do you go about evicting a tenant in Canada? What does the process entail, and how long will it take to get the job done? And most importantly, how much will it cost you?

As a landlord in Canada, you need to keep three things in mind when calculating the cost of evicting a tenant:

A. Loss of Rental Income During Evictions

The only recourse that landlords have to deal with non-payment of rent and tenants who refuse to leave the unit is to go through the provincial tribunal or court to file for tenant eviction.

The problem is that the process of eviction in most provinces suffers mainly from long delays due to a high backlog of hearings. So it takes a long time  to carry out eviction procedures from start to finish.

The duration of the eviction process in Canada depends on three things:

Statutory Delays

A statutory delay is the length of time you must wait before requesting an eviction order through the tribunal or Court to remove a tenant. It varies from province to province.

This time frame gives the tenant a chance to pay you any outstanding rent. Once the statutory delay expires, you can apply for an eviction order based on non-payment of rent.

How long does it take to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent in each province?

In British Columbia, a landlord must issue a 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent when a landlord fails to pay rent by the agreed upon date. Within the 10 days, if the tenant fails to pay the outstanding balance of rent, a landlord must wait the respective 10 days before they can apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch to claim the lost rental income.

When a landlord wishes to remove a tenant in Alberta, the landlord is to serve the tenant with a 14- day notice to vacate the unit.

In Saskatchewan when a tenant is 15 days late to paying rent, the landlord has the right to immediately end the tenancy by serving the tenant with an eviction notice.

In Manitoba a landlord is entitled to evict a tenant 5 days after the rent is due. On the 5th day, the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the unit and has full discretion in determining how soon the tenant should vacate the unit.

The average amount of time given to tenants to allow them to leave is between 5 and 10 additional days (this is at the discretion of the landlord as there is no guidance on this).

In Ontario, eviction proceedings take at least 25 days.

First, a landlord must issue a Termination Notice (N4 Form) when the tenant is late on rent, then they have to wait 14 days to file an application for eviction (L1 Form) with the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenant.

In addition to this initial 14 days, and unlike any other province, there is also a statutory requirement that the landlord must wait an additional 11 days to allow the tenant to either pay the outstanding balance or vacate the unit before the landlord is allowed to hire a sheriff to enforce the standard order.

In Quebec, the landlord must wait 3 weeks from when the payment was initially due before filing to evict a tenant. Once a tenant is 21 days late, the landlord can then apply to the Tribunal to end the tenancy, remove the tenant, and recover the lost rent.

Following the application for eviction after 21 days, if the tenant pays the outstanding balance to the landlord before the Tribunal reaches a conclusion, then the termination of the tenancy is avoided.

In Nova Scotia, a landlord can only serve a delinquent tenant with a notice after their rent is 15 days late. Further, a landlord must wait an additional 15 days from the date the tenant is handed the eviction notice before the eviction can be carried out, totalling a minimum of 30 days of mandatory wait time before a tenant can be evicted.

In PEI, a landlord can issue a notice to evict the tenant as soon as rent is 1 day late. The tenant then has 20 days to vacate the unit. If they manage to pay the outstanding balance within 10 days, then the eviction notice is invalidated.

Similar to PEI, in New Brunswick the landlord can issue an eviction notice to a tenant as soon as rent is 1 day late. The tenant then has 15 days to vacate the unit.

In Newfoundland when a tenant is 5 days late in paying rent, a landlord will then serve a tenant with notice that the tenancy has ended, and the tenant then has 10 days to vacate the unit amounting to an average of 15 days for the entire eviction process.

Court Delays

Court delays refer to the time between issuing an eviction notice to the tenant and when the arbitrator decides on a verdict. This time frame includes delays in scheduling a hearing date and all the arbitration proceedings until a final decision is made regarding the case.

How long does it take to get an eviction court order?

In British Columbia, after a landlord files the appropriate 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent and a tenant has not paid all outstanding rent or vacated the unit, the landlord must then proceed to claim the unpaid rent amount with the provincial tribunal (the RTB).

In BC, the tribunal can take 1-2 weeks to schedule a hearing for the two parties to plead their case depending on the availability of arbitrators and their caseload. Following the end of the arbitration, the tribunal will make the final decision within 30 days of the hearing.

In Alberta, it can take as little as 5 days to as much as 48 days for a landlord to have a hearing scheduled. On average, it takes 25 days after filing a dispute to get a hearing scheduled. Following the conclusion of the hearing, it takes an additional 10 days for the arbitrator to reach a final and binding decision. Depending on the outcome of the possession order, a landlord may further need to wait between 10 to 30 days before they can regain possession of the unit.

In Saskatchewan, due to the lighter caseload, hearings are scheduled approximately 7 days from when the claim is brought the tribunal.

Manitoba’s court system adds an additional 15 days in lost time. This is because it takes approximately 12 days for the hearing to be scheduled. Following the hearing, the arbitrators release the final outcome after 3 days.

Ontario’s court delays total an average of 51 days. It takes 14 days for the provincial tribunal to schedule a hearing. When the hearing date is set, it is typically scheduled for 4-6 weeks later.

Similar to Ontario, Quebec’s tribunal system is subject to heavy delays. It can take up to 3 months in some cases for a tribunal to release a final decision. However, on average, it takes 30 days for a final and binding decision to be made.

For Nova Scotian landlords, it can take up to an additional 20 days to receive a verdict for eviction. This is a combination of delays in scheduling the hearing and waiting for a conclusion by the arbitrator to be reached. 

In PEI, the provincial tribunal prioritises eviction hearings over other landlord-tenant disputes. So hearings are scheduled between 7 – 10 days after the landlord brings forth the claim to the tribunal.

New Brunswick boasts the shortest court delay length across Canada. Landlords there face shorter wait times as it takes an average of 5 days for the court to issue their decision.

In Newfoundland, after requesting a hearing at the Residential Tenancies, there is an additional 14 day wait before the hearing is conducted. While the average length of delay is 14 days, tenants, in some cases, can have up to 18 days to file an appeal and have the case reconsidered.

Sheriff Delays

In some cases, you’ll need to hire a sheriff to enforce an Order of Possession or a Court order to remove the non-paying tenant. Naturally, this step will lengthen the eviction process.

How long does a sheriff take to evict a tenant?

In every province except Ontario, it takes between 1 and 6 days for the sheriff to enforce an eviction. 

Due to a backlog of cases in the Landlord and Tenancy Board (LTB), removing a tenant in Ontario takes much longer. As a result, you can expect to wait up to 30 days for a sheriff to uphold an eviction order. 

The delay in enforcement is one of the reasons carrying out an eviction in Ontario takes much more time than in other provinces. As the graph below illustrates, the process takes approximately eight times longer than the rest of Canada.

How Long Does the Eviction Process Take in Total?

It takes between two and three months to remove a delinquent tenant, depending on your province. Ontario has the most prolonged procedural delays in the eviction process, while Saskatchewan experiences the shortest delays.

So how much rent in total can a landlord expect to lose?

You can calculate the total amount of rent you can expect to lose during an eviction using the following formula:

TOTAL LOST RENT $ = AVG EVICTION TIME (+1 MONTH TO FIND A NEW TENANT) X AVG MONTHLY RENT $

To determine the total cost in lost rent, you’ll need to estimate the monthly average rent and utilities in your province:

Besides the loss of regular rent payments, you can expect to spend about one month posting ads, screening applications, and signing a lease with a new tenant. You may also need to include the cost of repairs to your rental unit resulting from damage done by the delinquent tenant. 

 In addition, you’ll need to tally up all the legal expenses, court fees, etc., you’re likely to incur during eviction proceedings.

The average landlord renting a 1-bedroom unit can expect to lose $2,000 to $4,000 in rent during an eviction. In Ontario, landlords are subject to much higher losses as Ontario landlords can expect to lose $9,000 in rent! The higher amount is due to the lengthy eviction process in Ontario (three to five months long) combined with the higher average rent prices.

B. Eviction Legal Costs

In addition to lost rental income during the eviction process, you may face thousands of dollars in legal expenses.

There are 3 types of legal costs:

Legal Fees

Legal expenses mainly include the cost of hiring a paralegal to deal with a case on your behalf. Paralegals will file relevant paperwork, handle the eviction hearing, and conduct negotiations that may be necessary throughout the process.

Legal Costs For Eviction in Canada

In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, it costs between $700 and $800 to hire a paralegal to carry out the eviction process. 

However, in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland, the average cost ranges from $400 to $500.

Unsurprisingly, Ontario and Quebec are the most expensive provinces for legal assistance due to longer eviction processes. In Ontario, legal fees cost $2,000 on average, and in Quebec, they cost $1,000 on average.

Court Fees

Court fees cover the cost of filing a claim through a Court or a tribunal. Generally, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100.

Once again, Ontario remains the outlier, as the cost to file an eviction application with the LTB is $186.

Sheriff Fees

The cost of hiring a sheriff to enforce an eviction order varies widely across Canada. On average, you can anticipate paying $100 to $200.

In Ontario, due to the high demand for sheriffs, a landlord can spend approximately $400 to remove a delinquent tenant.

On the other hand, landlords in Newfoundland, PEI, and New Brunswick pay a measly $50 to $75 for the same service.

C. Estimated Property Damage Costs

Lost rental income is already one of the scariest expenses you can face as a landlord. But it’s much worse if the delinquent tenant causes damage to your unit before vacating it.

In Canada, 1 in 6 eviction cases includes a claim for compensation for damages to the unit on top of lost rent. The average landlord claims $1,500 and $3,500 in court against a tenant for property damage 

Damages caused by a tenant can substantially increase your financial loss following an eviction, as you must spend money on repairs. You also lose rental income over an extended period since you need more time to make the unit move-in ready for a new tenant. 

It can take 1-2 weeks to do simple repairs to the property. You may not be able to recover the total amount in damages through the court system and be forced to cover some expenses out of pocket.

What is the total cost of eviction?

The costs that come with evicting a tenant can be substantial. Over the entire eviction process, you can expect to lose about two months of rental income if you decide to end a tenancy. And this figure doesn’t include, on average, the additional month of lost income before you find a replacement tenant.

The average cost shouldered by landlords across Canada is $4,000 to $5,000 in eviction expenses. These costs can even reach $11,000 in more expensive provinces with lengthy processes, such as Ontario.

How do landlords protect their rental income and keep renting risk-free?

As a landlord, the first step you should take to protect your rental unit from delinquent tenants is to properly screen them before signing a lease agreement. A solid screening service will provide valuable insight into tenants’ financial history and background. You can then use the information to help you choose the ideal tenant.

SingleKey offers a comprehensive Tenant Credit and Background Check that includes a full credit check and a background check with a social media scan. All these vital details are packed in a single report, which you can have at your fingertips in as little as 5 minutes!

Dealing with non-paying tenants can be a financial nightmare, even more so if you need to remove them from your property. After all, you become a landlord to earn passive income, not pay a mountain of expenses! If you’re looking for peace of mind when it comes to your rental income, be sure to check out  SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee Program. By signing up, you’ll receive coverage for up $60,000 in lost rental income should your tenant fail to pay their rent.