When you become a landlord, it doesn’t take long to realize how a great tenant can really help make your life and job much easier. Having a good tenant means less work, less time, and less aggravation for you. But the problem is finding those tenants and holding on to them. If you’re perplexed about where to find the good ones and how to keep them, here are some tips on the best practices that can help you during your search.
Target the Tenant You Want
If you want a quiet, professional tenant with a stable income, your best bet is to go right for the source. For instance if your apartment is located near the Discovery District, use those sorts of keywords in your ad: “Conveniently located near Toronto General Hospital, perfect for residents, nurses, and hospital support staff.” Likewise if you have an apartment, condo, or rental home near a campus that would be perfect for visiting professors or graduate students, use this terminology in your listing.
Make Sure Your Apartment Looks Great
Before advertising and showing off your apartment, make sure that it is in great shape. Any repairs or painting that needs touch ups are important to finish. If you have photos of a rough, unattractive looking space, chances are that you’re not going to attract the best kind of tenants, or alternatively, you could attract no one at all. Make sure it’s clean, that everything is fresh and fixed, and that the photos are bright and taken from angles that capture the space in its best light.
Screen Potential Tenants
This is a normal practice that just about every landlord does to ensure that their prospective tenant can afford to pay rent and has a history as a pleasant, stable tenant. Run a credit check, request income verification, and call references. One question that will tell you everything you need to know from a past landlord: “Would you rent to this tenant again?”
Be Open Minded
It’s natural for many of us to conjure up images of what the ideal tenant will look like. But of course, that isn’t always how they turn out. Do not judge people solely by appearance or occupation. All that matters is that your tenant is clean, pays their rent on time and is respectful of your property and other tenants.
Be a Good Landlord
Once you have found that dream tenant, it’s important to do your part as a landlord if you want them to stay long-term. That means keeping on top of any problems and repairs and being responsive to tenant inquiries.
Use these best practices when searching for your next tenant. With the proper steps you can find and keep that perfect tenant, which can make your job a whole lot easier. A property management company can help with all steps of the process, from interviewing tenants and performing routine maintenance to upgrading the property to increase rental value.
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.
Finding that perfect tenant can sometimes feel like finding a diamond in the rough. We all know someone with a horror story or two of a rental situation gone wrong. So needless to say, we’d rather avoid any situation that might resemble any those. Reducing that risk all comes down to a few important factors when placing up your rental ad, as well as during the screening process.
Use these five tips when creating your rental ad to help you steer clear of any nightmare potentials and land you that perfect tenant.
Use Good Quality Photos
When advertising your apartment, having good quality photos will influence the first impressions about your rental space. If the photos are poor quality and not very good, they can automatically deter potential tenants from applying. When you use good photos you can attract more interest, while setting a respectable and professional impression.
Be Accurate and Up Front
Being a good landlord means being professional, courteous, and also up front about any issues. When it comes to screening, it’s always best to be honest with potential tenants. If there isn’t parking, say so. If the nearest subway stop is 10 km away, don’t say it’s near transit. By being honest right from the get-go with your potential tenants, you won’t waste your time (or theirs) showing the apartment to people who aren’t a good fit. There is someone out there who bikes to work or works from home so transit is not an issue. Appeal to that person, don’t fudge the truth to appeal to someone else.
If these issues are fixable, take care of them before putting up the listing to attract the right tenant and maximize the rental value of the unit.
Use Professional Language
Always use a professional tone and language when creating the write-up for your advertisement. Avoid using any slang, or delving into any unnecessary details about your life, home, or situation. Anything that’s doesn’t involve direct details about the rental property – leave it out of the ad. In addition to using quality photos, using professional language will increase your chances of attracting professional and respectable tenants.
Many apartment hunters search by keywords, so if your apartment is buzzworthy, use the right vocabulary. Spotlight the great features of your rental, like washer/dryer in unit, spacious, 5-minute walk to U of T, updated kitchen, parking included, den etc.
Be Very Clear About Your Expectations
When you create your ad, be very clear about what you expect from a tenant. Whether it’s no smoking, no pets, or if you’re only looking for a single occupant, whatever it is, be clear about your requirements and expectations. Once again, don’t waste your time or theirs, and you’ll find the right tenant.
Treat it as a Business
Treat this as you would a business and always remember to maintain a professional attitude towards this role. If you treat your tenants with a level of professionalism and respect, the chances are much greater that they will treat your property with the same level of respect as well.
Need a little help searching for the right tenant? Just give Simplified Rentals a call. As a leading property management company in Toronto, we take care of everything so you can focus on the short- and long-term return of your real estate investment, not the day-to-day stresses.