08 Jan More Management Tips For Landlords: Get The Most Out Of Your Rental Property
Being a landlord can certainly be a rollercoaster ride. Whether you like it or not, your tenants can take you through the highs, the lows, and a hundred loops in between. If you are thinking of investing in an income property, or if you already have a property and need some advice, the following quick guide can help you stay on track and get the most out of your rental property experience.
1. Take The Emotion Out of It
You need to treat your rental property as an investment. Far too often, we encounter landlords that are converting their own place into a rental. Though it’s not inherently a bad idea, it will only work if you are willing to break any emotional ties you have to that property.
Treat your rental property in the same business-like manner you would treat an investment portfolio. If you are concerned that a tenant may cause damage to the floors that your great-grandfather installed by hand in a snowstorm during the war while saving some kittens, maybe don’t rent that place out. You clearly will take every scratch personally.
2. Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
If you are going to be successful, you need to do it by the book. Unfortunately, that book is not a page-turner. The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) is an essential document to read and understand. I know it’s as dry as the heart of a haystack, but it is absolutely worth the read. It outlines everything you need to know about collecting rent, entering the property, rent increases, eviction, and more.
There are too many outdated misconceptions out there that can put a landlord into hot water with the Social Justice Tribunal. Get to know your rights, as well as the tenant’s. If you are unwilling to go through this process legitimately, then don’t go through it at all.
3. Importance of Paperwork
Protect your rights with solid paperwork. There are dozens of forms to file and submit to the Landlord & Tenant board. From the initial tenancy agreement to a range of N forms that deal with late payment of rent, non-payment of rent, required repairs, notices of entry, etc. We can help direct you to the proper paperwork and help you fill it out if needed.
Paperwork completed properly, and submitted correctly, will protect you if things ever go sour. The tenant needs your product (the rental unit), and you want the revenue (the reason you’re doing this in the first place). It’s all love and roses when you first find a tenant, but good lovers make great enemies. Get the paperwork right!
4. Be Professional
Keep the relationship with your tenant(s) professional and business-oriented. Landlords need to avoid taking anything personal or getting too buddy buddy.
Be polite and prompt in responding to their requests. Clearly outline the expectations that you have of them and the expectations they should have of you. Taking care of the property goes a long way to keeping tenants happy as well.
5. Check References
Have your prospective tenants fill out and sign an application. Often you’ll need to guide them in the right direction and hold their hand through the process. This is the first step in your vetting process. If they are unwilling to fill it out, count that as a big red flag. I often treat this process like a job interview. The landlords are the business owners and tenants need to show that they will be a trusted employee. Remember to go by the book and keep the situation professional. Be sure to avoid anything that could be construed as a human rights violation, and put your personal prejudices aside when finding a tenant. You cannot select or refuse tenants based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. children) or disability.
Consider A Rental Property Management Company
There is a lot to consider as a landlord. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there’s no shame in seeking help. It’s like anything else – some people do their own taxes or change their own oil, some seek assistance. Property management companies exist because there is a demand for them. They can help you acquire quality renters, take care of property maintenance, ensure compliance with the Residential Tenancy Act, and respond to emergency calls, just to name a few services. Don’t hesitate to contact us to at least see what we have to offer.
Harbourview is proud to be the only full-service property management company of its kind in Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny, and Tay. From offering simple advice to guiding you in the right direction to handling the whole process – we can tailor our services to fit your needs.