Landlords are in for a great treat as it has now been made possible to access an applicant online to determine their credibility as renters. The new process will involve phone record search, social media evaluation and criminal record check. This new development is all thanks to a Canadian company that is introducing great data and artificial intelligence into the existing rental process.
The sole aim of this new trend is to aim new landlords from making mistakes in their choice of tenants and also cut down on the tedious task of tenant applications.
And although the Naborly Inc’s upgraded tenant screening method is different and convenient, it still makes use of the existing procedures of the rental process which includes credit checks, criminal records, past rentals, proof of employment and previous landlords.
The most evident difference of this new method is its capacity to put together all the relevant records of a renter in just 15 minutes. It also becomes very easy to track down a renter’s credibility through social media.
Dylan Lenz, CEO Naborly Inc. the process is not just about gathering negative information of renters but simply highlights the red flags that are some of the time impossible for landlords to detect while making use of the existing screening process.
In terms of renting, it does not necessary implies that a renter that has a good employment of has a good credit score is the perfect renter. Some renters have other habits or lifestyles that will not suit the property.
Naborly which was initiate in January 2016 at a time when markets such as Toronto and Vancouver were at their highest, it remains under scrutiny to determine how applicable it will be in the fast evolving renting market.
For many landlords, Naborly is a timely intervention that saves them from going through piles of rental applications, doing paper work and legal processes, but for the renter, this raises questions about their online privacy.
For instance, going through an applicant’s Facebook page and discovering a personal romantic picture which discloses an individual’s sexual preference or such other personal related post is not quite pleasing.
According to Ann Cavoukian, former Ontario information and privacy commissioner, it is not a bad idea for landlords to find out much information about tenants as possible but this process leaves renter vulnerable as it reveals very personal information.
For Lenz, although the process has some privacy issues, it is however a good solution for both tenants and landlords as the process also works vice versa which means tenants can also screen a landlord.
He believes that humans can make mistakes, be emotional or miss out on important red flags but computers do not miss anything or have emotions.
Lenz also went on to explain that his company has received over 200 calls pertaining to privacy issues in regards to social media but he stated that the company is not out looking at the personal details of tenants instead they are trying to figure out if an applicant had falsify any information
He went on to give a scenario of a social media scan where a tenant renting a housing claimed that he was staying with his daughters but it was later discovered that he was actually running a brothel and the girls were his pimps.
Lenz’s company has put measures in place to professionally handle applicants information.