There are many landlords with tenants who are more than a tad tardy in paying rent, often excusing themselves on the grounds they are short of funds, because their welfare cheque is late. The question is, is it possible to check out a tenant’s welfare cheque story?
If, you try and confirm the story with the Welfare department, they will only tell you recipients can’t be discussed. I’m sure, you find this rather odd, since if landlords can get information from employers and prior landlords, why not from Welfare?
But, it is a little different where the welfare department is concerned. The public assistance office staff was right in turning down your request, as recipients of welfare cheques are legally entitled to privacy about personal finances.
It’s a whole different matter when employers and past landlords are contacted to verify information, prospective tenant applicants provided when they filled out your rental application forms. Even so, you have to ensure your questions are carefully worded to elicit relevant information about a rental applicant’s employment or past rental history, questions these sources can answer truthfully, without fear of legal liability. However, to walk on the right side of the law, careful employers and landlords will only give information if you have written permission, called a ‘release’, before talking to you.
However, if you are fed up as your tenant on welfare is habitually late in making his / her rental payments; you are not legally obliged to wait for it to arrive. You can take recourse from the legal process of termination of the lease and, if necessary, eviction. To speed up things, terminate the tenancy with the proper notice as soon as the rent is late.
On that cautionary note, another fair bit of advice for both landlords and tenants, do avoid expensive landlord / tenant litigation! Tenants should ensure all promises are put down in writing, and landlords can take necessary precautions, such as, screening tenants and conducting background checks on prospective tenants. A simple click of the mouse and one can visit www.e-renter.com for tenant screening and background check services. On the other hand, tenants can be on their best behaviour!