There is a lot to be said for real estate investment properties. Purchasing a rental property is not just a great way to supplement your income but it could launch a new business. And that’s the best way to handle your new role as a landlord – treat it like a business.
All tenants basically want the same thing: ‘A place that’s well-maintained, safe, close to work and school, and is owned by a landlord who’s professional.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about becoming a landlord.
Get the right info.
This is not the time to listen to your friends and neighbours but do your own research. Read the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and make sure you understand your rights and obligations. It’s also worth your time to check out your local municipal bylaws and ensure that the unit meets fire and building standards.
If you are renting a unit in your home, you are obliged to inform your home insurance company, you may need extra insurance. Don’t assume that if the tenant has insurance (which can be a lease requirement) that the unit is covered.
Your rental income is subject to tax. Before you start renting, a discussion with your accountant to fully understand how the extra income will affect your current tax status might be prudent.
Buying or selling a rental property, has it’s own set of complications. An experienced real estate agent will help you successfully navigate a successful result.
Always, always have lease.
Even with friends and family, a properly written lease clearly outlines the rules and responsibilities for both the tenant and the landlord. There is where you can set your expectation as a landlord for such issues as: late rent penalties, bike storage, noise levels, parking.
Landlords can also request references, emergency contact information and set the length of the rental term.
Set up communication channel and reasonable response time, whether it’s a repair or an emergency.
Re-signing the lease annually, for you as the landlord to do an annual home inspection checking for damages and cleanliness.
Don’t dismiss student rentals.
If you live close to a university or college student rentals make be the solution. Most students only stay 8 months of year, returning to you the privacy of your backyard for the summer.
While student renters come with their own set of complications (loud noises, parties etc.), they are also usually attached to larger institutions that may be able to help you have problems. Parents are often willing to co-sign a lease and help pay for the rent, guaranteeing that there will never be a missed payment.
Students often have lower expectations. Not having an updated kitchen, or the latest furniture, will likely be of little concern to them. For a reduced rate in rent, they may also be willing to take on some of the home maintenance chores such as shovelling the snow or taking out the garbage.
While student rentals are mostly short-term a good experience with a one student tenant can keep you in referrals forever.
Learn from other landlords.
Knowing the tricks of the trade is important and who better to learn from than other landlords? The Ontario Landlords Association provides ‘networking, news and education for landlords’. In the end, if you set a professional tone with your renters, they will mostly likely respond in the same manner.
Looking for a investment property? We would be thrilled to what you are looking for. Contact us Today!
Karen Paul & Associates | Real Estate
905-333-6234 | karenpaul.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Burlington • Oakville • Hamilton • Milton • Niagara
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