June is Credit Score Month and our Trusted Regina Home Lawyer Robert MacKay of Mackay and McLean want's to help you understand the importance
of your credit score.
It’s often the first indicator that you are an identity
theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Insurance numbers
that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a fraud
victim. Credit reporting companies can help you stop the credit fraud and
prevent future misuse of your identity.
Here are 5 reasons to
check your credit score:
- It’s free. Never pass up a freebie, especially
when it can affects your financial health and well-being. Your credit report
plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial
relationships. Get your annual credit
- It’s an important step in rebuilding and
maintaining good credit. Reviewing your credit report periodically will help
you make sure it is in good shape when you are ready to apply for new credit
and enable you to monitor your progress if you are recovering from past credit
- It’s an important part of managing your personal
finances. You should review your credit report just like you do your bank
statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending
and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful.
- It’s often the first indicator that you are an
identity theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Security
numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a
fraud victim. Experian and the other national credit reporting companies can
help you stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.
- It’s the first step in correcting any
information you feel is inaccurate. The vast majority of the time people find
everything is accurate. But if you do find something wrong, your personal
credit report comes with instructions for submitting disputes and contact
information including a toll-free telephone number, Internet address and mailing
Make sure your credit
Your credit score is
a reflection of the information in your credit report. Checking your credit
score can give you an indication as to whether your credit report is accurate.
If your credit score is lower than you expect, it could be a sign that your
credit report contains errors that need to be disputed with the credit bureaus.
Add a fraud alert
A fraud alert, or identity verification alert, tells lenders to contact
you and confirm your identity before they approve any applications for credit.
The aim is to prevent any further fraud from happening.
Ask the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit report if:
- you've been a victim of fraud
- your wallet has been stolen
- you've had a home break-in
You may need to provide identification and a sworn statement to prove
that you've been a victim of fraud.
You can set up a fraud alert for free with Equifax. TransUnion charges
a fee of $5 plus taxes to set up a fraud alert.
A strong credit profile and reasonable debt ratio are equally important if you want the best mortgage rates and terms.
For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay
Our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay want's to ensure Landlords are fully aware of the financial and legal issues that can arise from criminal activity conducted by a tenant.
A recent article from the Star Phoenix "Regina landlords lose bid to make insurer pay for drug-house explosion" details how a local landlord attempted to gain compensation for the home from the insurance company. The insurance company had denied their claim and pointed to a 2003 notice posted in a renewal package that stated simply: “We do not insure property used for the illegal cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing or selling of marijuana.”
Even though the landlords claimed they took all reasonable steps to screen the tenant and his partner, who had children and were otherwise “model tenants.” There was simply no way for them to know the tenants were surreptitiously running an illegal drug operation in the home, they argued. However Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson rejected those arguments stating "changes to the policy were hardly “buried.” They came highlighted in a special box on the front page of the renewal form". Further, he noted that renting always carries an element of uncertainty — and landlords should be prepared for the worst.
How can a landlord limit responsibility for crime committed by strangers on the rental property?
Screen tenants carefully and choose tenants who are likely to be law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Weed out violent or dangerous individuals to the extent allowable under privacy and anti-discrimination laws that may limit questions about a tenant's past criminal activity.
- Don't accept cash rental payments.
- Do not tolerate tenants' disruptive behavior. Include an explicit provision in the lease or rental agreement prohibiting drug dealing and other illegal activity and promptly evict tenants who violate the clause.
- Be aware of suspicious activity, such as heavy traffic in and out of the rental premises.
- Respond to tenant and neighbor complaints about drug dealing on the rental property. Get advice from police immediately upon learning of a problem.
- Consult with security experts to do everything reasonable to discover and prevent illegal activity on the rental property.
As in this case screening doesn't always help it can limit the possibility of being denied by your insurance company. Ultimately the liability falls on the property owner to be aware of the possible issues that can arise from criminal activity.
Before you decide to rent out a property consult with a lawyer such as Robert MacKay to be certain that you are aware of all the potential legal implications and your options.
Nine years after a "honey hash oil" operation sent a fire ripping through a Princess Street home, the tenants will have to pay more than $179K
ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY, REGINA LEADER-POST Updated: May 29, 2018