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How to Screen International Tenants with SingleKey

Key Takeaways

  • With immigration numbers continuing to rise in Canada, homeowners and property managers are turning to solutions like SingleKey’s International Tenant Report to access foreign credit history securely and screen international tenants effectively.
  • Once a tenant completes a SingleKey rental application and the verification process through Nova Credit, the report will be available within five minutes. Some credit checks from specific countries may take longer.
  • In addition to running an international credit check, a landlord’s standard tenant screening process should include verifying a tenant’s identification documents, confirming their income and employment history, and checking their landlord references.

Published on May 30, 2024 | Updated on May 31, 2024

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Screening tenants from abroad presents unique challenges for landlords. Getting a credit check and verifying an applicant’s identity, income, and employment can take tremendous effort, as the information may be unavailable or difficult to source. 

To overcome these obstacles, landlords can now get an International Tenant Report with SingleKey. In partnership with Nova Credit, this report lets homeowners and property managers access a tenant’s foreign credit history.

Here’s how to order an International Tenant Report, what you’ll find in each report, and pro tips to help screen international tenants confidently.

Screening with an International Tenant Report

The International Tenant Report is a comprehensive view of your potential tenant’s credit score and financial history. Here’s a walkthrough video of the important data you’ll get in each report.

Steps to order an International Tenant Report

Follow the guide below to order an International Tenant Report from SingleKey.

Step 1: Create your account or log in

The first step is to log into your SingleKey account. If you don’t have an account, you can create one within a few minutes by providing basic information about yourself and your rental property.

After signing in, select the “Tenant reports” menu option at the top of the page. Then, click the “Get started” button to begin your International Tenant Report.

Step 2: Invite a tenant to complete their rental application

Next, you must request the potential tenant to complete an application form.

Unlike a Tenant Screening Report for an American or Canadian-based applicant, the rental applicant must complete this step on their own. Nova Credit will use the information provided to confirm the applicant’s identity and generate their credit report.

To begin, click the “Create invite” button.

Tenant details

A new page will appear where you must enter the applicant’s name and email. Providing their phone number isn’t mandatory, but adding it can enhance the accuracy of the information in the report.

If there’s more than one individual in the household who’s applying to rent your property, click the “Add another applicant” button to add additional fields.

Next, by checking the applicable boxes, you can request additional information the potential tenant must provide when completing their application. This may include:

  • Proof of income (such as a pay stub or bank statement)
  • Employment references 
  • Landlord references
  • Government-issued ID

Once finished, click the “Continue” button, which will take you to the following page.

Rental unit

In this section, you can enter your rental property’s address. Click the drop-down toggle in the “Rental unit” field and choose “Add new property.”

A new window will appear where you can enter the rental’s address, rent amount, and the date your property is available. Once you’ve provided the required details, click “Add.”

If your rental property is already set up in your account, simply select it in this field. You can edit the existing information if needed.

Under the rental unit details, you can specify whether the applicant must purchase tenant insurance by checking the “Required” box. You can also sign up to learn more about SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee by selecting the “Opt in” box. 

Once you’ve finished, click the “Continue” button to go to the checkout page.

Step 3: Pay for the report 

At this step, you can choose whether you or the applicant will cover the cost of the International Credit Check.

This is where you can choose “International credit” to indicate that you’re ordering an International Credit Check. Use the drop-down menu to select the applicant’s country of origin. By default, Nova Credit will be selected as the credit report provider. 

Next, enter your payment details and check the applicable box to accept the terms and conditions. You can purchase your International Credit Check by using a credit card or Google Pay. Click the “Pay now” button to process your transaction.

Step 4: Receive your report

You must wait for the tenant to complete the rental application form and for Nova Credit to verify their information before receiving the report. The applicant will receive an email that contains a link with instructions to guide them through the process. 

Once your International Tenant Report is ready, you’ll receive an email. To access it, log into your SingleKey account and navigate to the “Tenant reports” page. From here, you can view and download a copy of your report. 

Mac's Pro Tip

Before you’re able to download your International Tenant Report, you must confirm your identity. Upload a picture of yourself and one piece of government-issued identification. Ensure that the name you enter matches what’s on your ID.

Pro tips for screening international tenants

Use our comprehensive tenant screening checklist and evaluate the following criteria to ensure your tenant screening bases are covered:

Examine payment history in a credit report

Reviewing an applicant’s credit report will help you determine how responsible they are with their money, especially when it comes to paying bills on time. Dig into details like their payment history, the amount of debt they carry, and their overall experience managing credit. The more financially reliable an applicant is, the more likely they are to keep up with their rent payments. 

Verify IDs and be wary of fraud

Identity fraud is unfortunately a pervasive problem, so it pays to know the signs of forged rental documents. Always confirm an applicant is who they say they are by checking their government-issued ID. 

Confirm income and employment history

Never take the salary and employment information an applicant provides at face value. Always confirm their earnings by requesting a pay stub or bank statement and verify their employment history by contacting their employer directly. 

Pay attention to previous landlord references

A tenant’s relationship with past landlords can help you uncover valuable facts about their character and habits, so ensure you chat with the references they provide. It’s also good to check current landlord references, but a current landlord may be motivated to give an overly positive account of a troublesome tenant if they want that person to move out.

Our final thoughts

One of the biggest challenges in screening a tenant from another country is accessing their foreign credit history. But with SingleKey’s International Tenant Report, you can get trusted information to evaluate rental applicants from across the globe with ease.

Explore the International Tenant Report to learn more about the built-in verification tools to help screen international tenants.

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