From Screening to Eviction: What a Landlord Cannot Do

Mack Johnson
4 Min Read
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Roughly 5 million households in Canada rent the home they live in-a number that has gradually increased over the years. It is, thus, not surprising to see that the number of rental property owners, or landlords, has been increasing steadily.

If you’re a landlord, you’ve made a smart investment. You have big duties, responsibilities, and rights, as do tenants. However, there are limits to your powers. Keep reading if you want to know what a landlord cannot do!

Invading a Tenant’s Privacy

Every landlord knows that tenants have a right to privacy. You cannot just enter your tenant’s residence without their permission; otherwise, you could be sued for unlawful entry.

However, some of your duties can put you at risk of an unintentional privacy invasion.

For example, when you want to inspect the property for maintenance and repair purposes, you may enter the common areas. But what if the inspection leads to a privacy violation? There are areas of the rental property you cannot access during an inspection without the tenant’s permission.

As a general rule of thumb, make sure that you’ve informed your tenant whenever you want to visit the property for an inspection or other reason. During these visits, keep off the tenant’s private property.

Pressuring a Tenant to Move Out

When you’re a rental property owner, it’s easy to feel that you have supreme authority over your property. You do, but to an extent. For instance, you have the power to reject a renter who doesn’t pass your tenant screening process.

However, once a tenant moves in, you cannot force them to move out for whatever reason.

If the tenant defaults on rent, for instance, you cannot force them to move out. There’s an eviction process that you must follow. Reporting tenants to credit bureaus is the correct thing to do in such a scenario.

If the tenant violates other terms of your lease, such as keeping pets that are not allowed or hosting loud parties, you still have to follow the legal eviction procedure.

Discriminating Renters

You can reject an application based on a renter’s criminal background, credit, employment, or rental history. But you cannot deny them housing based on their race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.

During tenant screening, it’s easy to get caught up in a discrimination suit if you’re not careful. What stops a renter you rejected from accusing you of discrimination based on their race, for instance?

This is likely to happen if your tenant screening criteria vary from applicant to applicant. Make sure that all renters are subjected to the same screening process, and the questions you ask during screening must not be discriminatory.

Know What a Landlord Cannot Do

Knowing what a landlord cannot do is key to being successful in the rental housing industry. There are landlord-tenant laws fleshing out the rights and responsibilities of each party, so you can find yourself in court if you don’t respect tenant rights.

Keep reading our blog for more informative content.

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Meet Mack, a dynamic and insightful tech and general niche blogger whose passion for innovation and curiosity about the world drive their writing. With a keen eye for emerging technologies and a knack for breaking down complex topics into accessible and engaging content, Mack has become a trusted voice in the online space.