Top 10 Tips for Landlords
Being a landlord is a great source of passive income. However, like many investments, it comes with its fair share of headaches. Rising costs of maintenance, uncooperative tenants, changing regulations and so on, these can weigh the process down and decrease the perks of the role. We’ve asked around and gathered some tips that can help with landlord troubles. Here are the top 10:
Screen Your Tenants
This may seem like a no-brainer, but often when a rental has been vacant for awhile, landlords tend to get anxious and will lease to anyone with a heartbeat and a deposit cheque. Know what your tolerances are (i.e. with regards to pets, smoking, company) and consider a credit check as part of the application process.
Make an Airtight Lease Agreement
As they say, the devil is in the details. Clearly state with no ambiguity what is and isn’t allowed, AND the consequences should the rules be broken. Save yourself from future arguments of misinterpretation by drafting out an ironclad agreement.
Set a Rate Comparable to the Market
Rent rates are subjective to the landlords. Research similar rentals in the market (considering location, property condition and amenities) and set a similar rate. Go too high and you may turn prospective tenants away; go too low and you may raise suspicions on defects in your property.
Stay In Contact
Once you’ve settled on a renter, establish clear lines of communication (e.g. email, phone, text) and an expectation of how soon they can expect a response. Be sure to keep in touch with the renter and don’t go for more than 3 months without a casual check-in.
If tenants report an issue, follow-up until the issue is resolved. Don’t rely on them to DIY a solution to a major problem (e.g. electrical, structural) that could cause issues in the future. Exhibit good customer service by tending to problems and seeing them through till resolution.
Always be Professional
Regardless of the situation, always maintain a professional way of communication. Rude behavior, threats and unlawful actions can and will backfire against you. Never hesitate to involve another professional if you feel that situations have escalated beyond your control. Similarly, maintain nothing but a professional relationship with your tenants. They are ultimately your clients that you have business transactions with. Crossing over into the friendship zone may cause uneasy tensions and unwanted leverage against you that you never thought may happen. (e.g. “Hey buddy, can’t make the rent this week, you know my family situation, right? I’m sure you’ll understand”) Don’t take that chance.
Consider a Property Management Company
If you are busy, living a substantial distance from your rental property, or do not wish to engage at all with your renters, consider a professional property management company. Depending on the company, they can take care of rent collection, emergency maintenance and other services for you. Although they will take a share off your revenue, the ease of management could make them well worth it.
Know the Changing Regulations
Depending on existing conditions (e.g. a global pandemic), regulations surrounding rentals can constantly change. Keep up to date with these changes and know your rights. For Ontario, refer to the official government page: https://www.ontario.ca/page/renting-ontario-your-rights.
Renters are after all, fellow human beings who need a home to settle into. If they have been excellent to work with, let them know or maybe even present a kind token to them. Kindness begets kindness.
Let It Go
Whatever the reason, sometimes you are ready to relieve yourself of your role as a landlord. DCI Properties is here to buy your rental property in the condition it is in, with existing tenants. Reach out to us for a chat on our hassle and stress-free process. It won’t be long before you receive the cash for your next venture!