How to Be a Successful First-Time Landlord

If you’re considering renting out a portion of your property or purchasing a home as an investment property, it’s important to realize just how much responsibility is involved in becoming a landlord. It can be a great way to bring in some extra income, but it can also become a stressful endeavour to take on without any prior knowledge on what exactly to expect.

Before you take on that role, consider these factors first so you can avoid common mistakes and reap the benefits instead.

Learn About the Legal Factors

There can be many laws, regulations, and Bylaws that dictate your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. This is the most crucial point in succeeding with this type of venture. You need to learn what the legal implications and Bylaws are for your particular set-up. Factors of particular concern should highlight the length of tenancy, security deposits, pets, damages and the rights that both you and the tenant are entitled to. These rules are ever-changing, so you need to stay up to date. Late last year, Toronto City Council approved a new set of rules to protect tenants in apartment buildings from bad landlords. These rules will come into effect in the summer of 2017.

Be Particular and Thorough When Screening Potential Tenants

Choosing the right tenant can make all the difference. Of course, knowing which one is the best choice can be difficult to decide at face value. Don’t take the screening process lightly – especially if the space you are renting out happens to be a part of your own home. Be thorough with checking references, income, and credit history.

Treat this as a Business

Far too many landlords treat this role as merely a hobby that provides some extra income. Whether it’s an additional means of income, or something you solely depend on, you must learn to treat this operation as a business. Being a landlord is not as simple as cashing a rental cheque each month. In order to be successful, it is imperative to maintain your property according to legal standards, respond promptly to any complaints, and thoroughly understand your level of responsibility that’s required. Preventative maintenance and proactive management will always save you time, money, and stress over last minute fixes and Christmas Day calls to unclog a toilet.

Hire Property Management to Assist

Sometimes, we love the idea of taking on a new venture solo. But when the reality sinks in, we realize that it’s not always as great as we envisioned. That’s where a property management company can help. They can take care of everything, including advertising, maintenance, and even evictions. If you love the idea of being a landlord but don’t want to deal with the day-to-day operation, a property management company can take over the duties and responsibility for you.

With the proper knowledge, preparation, and mindset for taking on the responsibilities as a landlord, it can be a great way to bring in some extra income. However, if those duties and responsibilities become overbearing, understand that you can hire a property manager to take on that extra work so you can reap the rewards with none of the stress.

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