FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Z Score work?

The Z score is how you know who you are renting to. It’s the human part. Your tenants are complicated and multidimensional, the tool that helps you find them should be too. The Z score combines financial, social and personality profiling information into one easy to understand score.

As soon as a tenant fills out the rental application, Zora checks their references and collects feedback from past landlords and employers (on your behalf.)

At the same time, Zora analyzes applicant’s behavioural patterns, such as frequency of moves, employment history gaps and timeliness of payments.

Zora combines all of this with public and private API's such as Experian, Census API, Statistics Canada, LinkedIn and others to look at demographic patterns that help predict long term stability and ensure tenant suitability for your property renting priorities. Examples of the kinds of patterns we’ve identified include families with children between 3 and 12 years old tend to stay at the same rental longer, but also cause more damage than a retired couple and we’ve discovered that further a renter lives from the workplace, the less likely they are to renew a lease.

With the tenant’s permission, Zora's algorithm also analyzes their social profiles and connections. We look at the broad indicators across their networks like education and professional affiliations. We also review the content of their public feed for signs of illegal or high risk behaviors that might lead to damage to properties.

All of that data plus over 70 other risk factors are wrapped up into a simple to understand numerical score, from 1 to a 100, called the Z score.

The Z score is the easiest and safest way to identify great tenants.


What happens after I offer a lease to a tenant?

Once a tenant fills out their application form and gets scored, you as a landlord will be notified to review it.

If the application looks good and you wish to proceed and offer the applicant a lease you can do so from the full application view or the sidebar action menu on the list of applications. You can make multiple offers to applicants.

Once you make an offer, applicant will be notified that the offer has been made and that they have to accept it. If multiple offers have been made, applicant will be notified that the time is of essence and that the first applicant that accepts the lease offer is the one that gets the place.

Once an applicant accepts the lease offer, all other applicants will be notified on your behalf that the unit is not available any more. If you have multiple properties on Zora, a suggestion will be made to unsuccessful applicants to apply to rent one of those instead.


How does Zora check applicant references?

For the reference checking, we use a combination of automation and human fact-checking. The moment a prospective tenant adds a reference, Zora will start a reference checking process. We will first email the reference to ask for a short feedback on the applicant and a 1 to 5 star rating.

If the reference cannot be reached via email (or does not respond to the email within 24h) Zora will reach out to the reference via a phone call. We provide a summary of each reference for you to review before you accept or decline an applicant.

We also pay close attention to the domain names of the references. So for example, if the applicant listed John Doe at Microsoft as an employment reference and their email is johndoe@gmail.com instead of johndoe@microsoft.com we would take a closer look at the reference.

Generally, we manage to complete the entire reference and employment checking process within 24 hours.


Does the Z Score affect the applicant's credit score?

No.
We made sure that Z score does not affect applicants credit score. If you request a FICO score, we do what is called a "soft inquiry" on rental applicants.

A soft inquiry is an inquiry that occurs when a person or company checks your credit report as a background check and not as a qualifier for a loan. Soft inquiry does not affect the credit score and disappears from report after 30 days.


Can I charge applicants an application fee?

Yes.

A lot of landlords use application fees as a way to gauge the seriousness of applicants and cover the loses of their time for showings and advertising the property. You can turn on the application fee as well as set the amount to be collected from the applicants.

Fees collected from the applicants are not refundable (but we might look into making this an option) and will be deposited to your bank account at the end of the work week.


My tenant defaulted on rent. What should I do?

If you have a tenant that stopped paying rent, it is best to start taking action immediately. If the tenant had a Z Score of 90 or above, we will cover the rent for up to three months or until we find a suitable replacement. Considering eviction?

Make sure you have a lawyer. 60% of landlords fill out an eviction notice incorrectly. This could mean months of delay in the eviction process. Not having professional legal help can be detrimental to your case and your reputation. Eviction professionals aren’t free but they often offer a reduced rate due to how brief these proceedings usually are. Never represent yourself. There is a much higher chance that the judge will rule in the tenant’s favour if you do.


What is the checkmark next to applicant’s avatar?

The checkmark next to an applicant’s avatar indicates that they are eligible for the rent guarantee. For an applicant to be eligible for the rent guarantee, they have to have a Z Score of 90 or above.

This means that if the tenant defaults, we will cover the full rent amount for up to three months or until a suitable replacement is found.