Comprehensive Tenant Background Checks for Landlords in London, Ontario

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June 9, 2024

As a landlord in London, Ontario, one of your top priorities is to ensure that your rental property is occupied by reliable and responsible tenants. Conducting thorough background checks on potential tenants is crucial in achieving this goal. This process helps you avoid problematic tenants who might cause damage to your property, fail to pay rent on time, or create disturbances. Here’s how you can effectively conduct background checks on tenants.

1. Pre-Screening Applicants

Before diving into detailed background checks, start with pre-screening. This step involves assessing the initial application forms and conducting brief interviews. During this stage, ask prospective tenants about their rental history, employment status, and reasons for moving. Pre-screening helps filter out unsuitable candidates early in the process.

2. Employment and Income Verification

Verifying a tenant's employment and income is essential to ensure they can afford the rent. Request recent pay stubs, employment letters, or bank statements as proof of income. Additionally, contact their employer to confirm their job stability and income level. This step helps you gauge whether the applicant has a reliable source of income to cover rent payments.

3. Credit Check

A credit check provides valuable insights into an applicant’s financial history. It reveals their credit score, outstanding debts, and payment habits. Tenants with high credit scores are generally more likely to pay rent on time and manage their finances responsibly. Use reputable credit bureaus to obtain this information and look for any red flags, such as late payments or significant debt.

4. Rental History Verification

Contact previous landlords to verify the applicant’s rental history. Ask about their payment punctuality, property upkeep, and any issues during their tenancy. Previous landlords can provide firsthand insights into the applicant’s behavior and reliability as a tenant. Be cautious if an applicant hesitates to provide references from past landlords.

5. Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is vital for the safety of your property and other tenants. This check will reveal any criminal history, including past convictions or ongoing legal issues. Ensure you comply with local laws regarding the use of criminal records in tenant screening to avoid discrimination claims. A clean criminal record indicates a lower risk of illegal activities on your property.

6. Personal References

Ask for personal references from friends or colleagues who can vouch for the applicant’s character and reliability. Personal references provide additional insights that may not be covered in other checks. Contact these references to ask about the applicant’s general behavior, trustworthiness, and lifestyle.

7. Review and Decision Making

After gathering all necessary information, review it thoroughly. Compare the findings against your criteria for a reliable tenant. Consider creating a scoring system to objectively evaluate each applicant. Once you have assessed all candidates, make your decision based on the comprehensive background check results.


Conducting thorough background checks on tenants is essential for protecting your rental property and ensuring a hassle-free tenancy. By following these steps, landlords in London, Ontario, can minimize risks and find reliable tenants who will respect their property and pay rent on time. LSK Property Management is here to assist you with professional tenant screening services to make this process smooth and efficient.