For many people, the idea of renting out an apartment to tenants is a simple way to gain more income to fund retirement, education, or vacations. That said, being a hands-on landlord is not easy work. From the process of finding good tenants to maintaining the property, collecting rent, handling complaints, and ensuring that everything runs as smoothly and pain-free as possible, it’s almost a full-time job. If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, or are new to the role, here are five tips to help you succeed:
If you want your rental property to provide you with stable income, you must first treat it like an actual business. It may be your basement or a separate property, but once you place it up for rent, it becomes a business – your business.
And like any business, you wouldn’t just jump head first into it without having at least a solid foundation of knowledge on what’s required for both landlord and tenant. So before diving in, get to know the laws, requirements, rights and responsibilities for both parties. Read the Residential Tenancies Act, make sure your rental unit is legal, inform your insurance company that you have a rental unit, and so on. The more you know ahead of time, the more successful your business will be.
It can be a challenging feat to find great tenants that can be relied on to pay rent and are mature enough not to cause undue wear and tear on your property. In order to avoid dealing with those headaches and situations, it’s imperative to screen each potential tenant as thoroughly as possible. All prospective tenants should fill out rental application, which you can create yourself or find online. Follow up with previous landlords and ask the right questions, like “would you rent to this tenant again?” Verify employment, ask for income statements, and run a credit check. If you are concerned about smoking or pets, do your due diligence before signing a lease.
It can takes months, or even years to recover from one bad tenant, so it is absolutely imperative to employ a proper screening process.
Just as you wish your property (and yourself) to be treated with respect, always ensure to treat your tenants with the same decency. That means handling any situations in regard to them or the property, such as broken appliances or a leaky faucet, promptly and professionally. It is your responsibility to establish your reputation as an honest, reliable landlord.
Being respectful and kind is important, but so too is the need to draw a line when it comes to discrepancies and knowing when you need to put your foot down.
This falls back to the point of treating your property like a business. When you keep that mentality, you will be better equipped dealing with any situations that require a firm response.
Being a landlord can be challenging, exhausting, and even overwhelming at times, depending on the situation and the scale of your rental property. Between the maintenance and repairs alone, sometimes you simply cannot do it all. That’s where a Toronto property management company can help. We step in to help you reap the benefits of being a landlord, without all the hassle that often goes along with it.
If you’re considering becoming a landlord but feel unsure about the work that’s involved, know that you can always ask for help and have a property management team handle all the work for you.