How To Avoid Difficult Tenants

John Manneh October 1, 2013

ID-10031621An Alberta landlord is at her wit’s end, claiming that a tenant has somehow turned her home into a foreign embassy, which permits him to do whatever he wants on her property.

Andreas Pirelli rented a Calgary duplex owned by Rebekah Caverhill. According to Caverhill, Pirelli proceeded to gut the home without permission and when she discovered this he advised her he was a “Freemen-on-the-Land,” the duplex was now an embassy and she had no further rights to it. This ordeal will cost Caverhill thousands of dollars in legal fees in order to be able to evict the tenant.

Here are some tips from the Toronto star,  to make sure that you properly qualify your tenants in advance so this does not happen to you.

  • When you advertise for a tenant, make it clear that you do background and credit checks.
  • Ask any tenant to complete a detailed rental application, showing every place they have lived at least in the past five years.
  • Ask for a current cheque stub from their place of employment as proof they are regularly employed.
  • Ask for at least three personal references and call each one, including any previous landlord.
  • Interview the tenant at his or her current residence to see for yourself how they treat someone else’s property.
  • Try to interview the tenant in person and make note if they are vague or evasive with their answers or try and change the subject.
  • Check out the tenant on social media, whether it is pictures that they post or blogs that they may have written. For example, if you search Andreas Pirelli on LinkedIn, you will see that he gives his title as “Senior Chief Justice” at something called the “Tacit Supreme in Law Court.”
  • Have the property regularly inspected to ensure the tenant is properly maintaining the property and not causing any damage.
  • Treat your tenants with ongoing respect, and they will look after your property better. Consider a gift card or a Christmas present if rent is always paid on time.


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