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As a landlord, you’re well aware of the hassles attached with a bothersome tenant who refuses to pay the rent on time, disregards the rules, leaves the place in shambles, and disturbs the neighbours. Finding high-quality and reliable tenants is a mammoth task – and one that takes some doing! Mareka Properties Ltd is a trusted condo property management company in Etobicoke that not only offers the innovation, vision, and experience needed to guide your property management needs, but also shares some tips on finding tenants who will take care of your home as if it were their own. Before you begin your hunt for the perfect tenant (yes such a thing does exist), here are 6 tips that will make your job that much easier.
Finding a promising tenant in a pool of hopeful applicants is never a walk in the park. The first step is to conduct a screening process to make sure that their past history is intact. An easy way to go about this is to have a pre-prepared rental application that you can furnish as needed. That way, you have a standard format with your prospective tenants’ information such as names, security numbers, previous addresses, income sources, number of pets, employer contacts, previous landlord contacts, children’s names, and the likes. This makes the curating process that much quicker. A systematic background check helps you steer clear of delinquent or high-risk tenants. The fewer surprises, the better! There are plenty of websites that will research an applicant’s history on your behalf (for a fee) so that you are well aware of their evictions, bankruptcies, criminal records, and credit history.
To stay in the loop, research federal and provincial tenancy laws and identify how they apply to your unique case. For instance, Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act covers a wide range of residential rental units such as condominiums and apartments, semi-detached and single houses and secondary units like basement rooms. However, the scope of the Act does not extend to commercial properties and university and college residences. It also helps to know the annual rent increase thresholds – as a landlord, you can raise the rent just once a year by 1.8% – and eviction rules – to evict a tenant, you must acquire written notice (that clearly states the reason for eviction) in the correct format as made available by the Landlord and Tenant Board. As such, it helps to know what laws swing in your favour and what the redressal process is like if a tenant defaults in any way.
In your best interests, it is always wise to have a clear-cut lease agreement that spells out the terms and conditions to be followed by both parties in the rental relationship. This is with regards to the nature of the tenant’s stay as well as the reasons that will necessitate an eviction. Regardless of whether the agreement is typed or handwritten or is one page or five pages long, it must include all the essentials and is a binding legal contract. Here, you will be including cosigners, pets, renters insurance requirements, limits on occupancy, term of tenancy, deposits and rent, repairs and maintenance, restrictions on illegal activity, and the likes. The better researched you are, the lesser the likelihood of falling prey to an unscrupulous tenant.
Before you hand over the keys, it helps if you have landlord insurance to cover the appliances and the premises of your rental. Seeing as a number of potential lawsuits can ensue owing to tenant mishaps or accidents, it is always best to stay insured as the responsibility could fall on your shoulders. Not only that, rental insurance also acts as a financial safety net if you make your living from your tenants’ monthly rent alone. For instance, if your rental is rendered uninhabitable due to fire, it will take months for the damage to be repaired before your tenants can move back in. A good coverage policy will take care of lost rental income in such a circumstance. Different types of properties will have different risks and hence different recommended coverages. For instance, the risks associated with a student renting a unit are different from those of a family renting a unit. Additionally, long-term arrangements are considered safer than short-term ones, and this in turn will affect the screening checks and how the policy is drafted.
You attract what you reflect. If your unit is well-maintained, spic and span and has new furniture and amenities, it is likely that the tenants you draw in will be responsible and considerate enough to live up to those high expectations that you non-verbally convey. Even before advertising your property, you should make sure it’s in tip-top shape as the demand is high and the unit could get rented out as soon as it’s put on the market. Prospective tenants have already been looking for a while which is why they might respond to your posting mere minutes after it goes up. It bodes well for you to take care of repairs, do a complete paint job and rid the place of clutter before you decide to rent out the property.
To ensure that your rental vacancy ad grabs the most eyeballs, post it on a reputed property site as well as in the classified section of the local newspaper. When posting a listing online, first impressions are crucial. Make sure to take attractive pictures of the unit that do not mislead potential tenants in any way. Imageless ads don’t go over very well with tenants and they may bypass your ad altogether. Additionally, it is also important to keep the copy in your listing brief, informative, and engaging. Mention basic details such as location, rent, number of rooms, amenities, accessibility to public transport, special features like a swimming pool, etc. Besides posting the ad online, you could also put up fliers in a Laundromat or grocery store, broadcast the vacancy on social media and contact schools and businesses to request them to put up your listing in their lunchrooms and on bulletin boards.
Whether it comes to managing the day-to-day operations in a high-rise building or guiding the board of directors of a condo corporation – this is our area of expertise. Call (416) 255-7300 to make your property investments that much more profitable!