Starting Out as a Landlord
When you’ve bought your first investment property, there are some important factors to know before jumping into the rental game. It’s not just a matter of sticking up a For Rent sign and handing over the keys to a seemingly decent tenant. Finding tenants, managing rent collection, and handling maintenance can easily become a daunting experience. Armed with the right information, however, being a landlord is a great way to make extra income and provide a more secure future for your family. Before you jump head first into being a landlord, here’s what to know beforehand.
Learn About Tenancy Legislation
Learning about your province’s tenancy legislation regarding the requirements and expectations between both landlord and tenant is imperative. This will outline specific rules and regulations, such as security deposits, breaches of lease, owning pets, and grounds for eviction. This is crucial to understand before renting out a property so that you know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.
Know Privacy Laws
As a landlord, you will have access to confidential information about your tenants, including their social security numbers, credit reports, salary, employment history, and more. You must stay up-to-date on new privacy legislation in Canada to ensure you securely collect and store information about tenants and applicants and do not disclose any personal information without express authorization.
Know Relevant Bylaws
You must ensure that you are complying with provincial and federal bylaws. The status of your property for example, must follow the acceptable stipulations, such as fire codes, zoning and permits. If you plan to add an income suite in your basement, for example, it is not as simple as installing a kitchen and putting up a “for rent” sign. There must be sufficient natural light ratios, noise attenuation, safe egress, a separate entrance, fireproofing, and much more.
Know the Current Market Price
Of course, before placing your rental on the market, it’s important to know what the current price is on the market for other comparable properties based on location, square footage, and features (number of bedrooms/bathrooms etc.). In order to get some bites on your rental, learn what the going rates are to stay on par. You want to maximize rental rates without having the unit linger on the market.
Maintain Records and Inspections of Property
Once you become a landlord, that rental is officially your own business. So it’s important to treat it as one and always keep records of the transactions made between tenants and yourself. In additional, always perform inspections of the apartment before renting, and have tenants sign that inspection form.
Becoming a landlord is a great venture that can provide you with extra income. But it’s a title that comes with a lot of responsibilities as well. So before jumping in, understand exactly what the rights and responsibilities of that title entails.
You don’t have to do it alone. A Toronto property management company can help you with the nitty gritty of being a landlord while you sit back and reap the rewards. It’s property management, simplified.