03-12-18 Tenant Screening…how far is too far?
Landlords have in the past relied on a bit of a three legged stool to screen tenants...application with references, credit check, and criminal background check.
While landlords have for a number of years had the additional ability to stalk their prospective tenants on the internet like a Tinder date a couple of Canandian start-ups are taking this to an entirely different level.
Now, of course our customers are real estate investors so for the most part we are in your corner every step of the way. However, some of this does seem a bit overreaching.
Decisions are being made about individuals based on algorithms and data collected through various means. One must have faith in both the math behind the equation as well as have faith in the data being gathered.
One cannot forget either before embarking on the use of one of these types of services that they are at their core tech start-ups with one of them reportedly having a staff of only 12. While one can assume with all companies that their intentions are honorable at the end of the day their ultimate goal is to be sold for a 10x multiple and generate the founders and early investors a hefty return.
Certn even goes as far in one of its blog posts to call out the dangers of "free tenant screening" citing that the landlord is the one collecting the data but is then allowing a third-party vendor (Naborly) to sell that data to yet a fourth party. This is probably carries much higher risk in Canada where privacy laws are more strict than the US; for now at least.
What is your opinion of these types of platforms? Do they really lower the level of discrimination in housing decisions or do they provide a veil by which to further mask those issues? Or, is this the way landlords finally get the upper hand on "professional tenants?"
I always look for a few extra calls on Monday as I know so many investors are working full-time jobs and the weekend is the opportunity to get extra time to view properties and get offers accepted. Text me at 833-FUNDYES a good time for us to talk about your weekend successes and get funding started ASAP!