“A Good Kick in the Ass for the Not-So-Good Tenants”

The Landlord Credit Bureau says the law is not enough for landlords.

The process for evicting people in Ontario is continuing, even as many people believe that the process is frozen.

It is in this environment that Zac Killam, the CEO of the Landlord Credit Bureau, lawyer, and real estate entrepreneur appeared on the Property Profits Real Estate podcast with host Dave Dubeau on January 19, 2021. 

The impact of The Landlord Credit Bureau on one particular tenant is the focus of this week’s Canadaland podcast. 

Killam’s company did not respond to Canadaland’s request for an interview with him, but Killam did spend significant time talking to Dubeau about his business. Here are a few highlights from that conversation. The following has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity, where needed.

Watch the episode in full here: 

Describing the purpose of the Landlord Credit Bureau

 “We are essentially a central repository of tenant records. So landlords are able to register their tenants with us, and then report their monthly payment habits. So, did they pay on time, did they pay late, or did they not pay at all? Then, in addition to that, they can share reviews about their experience with that tenant. And so then this all forms part of the tenant resume, or the tenant record, which is then accessible to future landlords when they’re looking at an application to potentially rent out their unit to an individual.” 

– Zac Killam

Tenants from Hell

“A challenge that a lot of landlords have had over the years is that they get a tenant from hell and there seems like there’s no way to find out ahead of time if they are going to be a nightmare. You know, we’ve got our hands tied legally, what we can and can’t ask, there’s challenged with, you know, being accused of discrimination if we don’t let certain tenants in. So it is tough for  landlords to do proper due diligence on the people that they are getting into their multiple $100 000 assets as tenants.” 

-Dave Dubeau          

Privacy legislation that protects landlords

“The Bureaus are governed by the legislation called PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection electronic documents act. They allow landlords, credit grantors to report to bureaus if they’re doing so for the purpose of collecting a debt. For tenants suing for whatever, anybody could sue for anything, but they’re not going to win.” 

– Zac Killam

“In our history since 2012, we have now about 34 000 landlord property management numbers across Canada and the US, nobody has successfully brought a privacy or any other action against our members or us for using the landlord credit bureau.”

– Zac Killam

Killam says that the app manages tenant’s behaviour by allowing them to register a ‘tradeline’ versus a public record. According to Killam they report to the credit bureau every month and can see the benefit of timely payments.

Equifax defines a tradeline as a ‘credit account’. It is the information provided by organizations who have lent you money, such as a credit card, car loan, or mortgage. This information includes your credit limit, account balance, and whether you have made your payments on time.

You’re on the App, Even if you Didn’t Sign Up

“When searching our database, if the particular individual’s record is not found there’s, of course, no charge for that. But what we also do is enable the pulling of credit reports from the big bureau, like Equifax. So even if we don’t have a record in our database, we’re still going to facilitate the pulling of the credit report. So [you] will not be empty-handed…

…If they [the tenant] decide to be delinquent and stop paying you, now you no longer require consent so instantly that record is going to start reporting the tradeline on their record.”

-Zac Killam

 “Awesome awesome awesome stuff…It’s a good kick in the ass for the not-so-good tenants.”

-Dave Dubeau 

The Carrot and the Stick

“It’s the carrot and the stick whole scenario. You know what if you’re are paying your rent on time…then you’re going to be rewarded because we are going to report this positive behaviour to the credit bureau so you can do all the great stuff people with good credit ratings can do If you choose not to pay and be delinquent then it is going to affect your credit score negatively and that is going to be around for quite some time.”

-Dave Dubeau.


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