5 Tips For Being A Successful Landlord
by Piotr Golinski
So you’ve finally saved enough down payment and pulled the trigger to buy rental property. Being a landlord is a great way to make passive income because it’s stable, constant, and after initial setup, only requires occasional maintenance. You also do not need to necessarily live near the rental property at all, so you have plenty more options as to where you would like to purchase the property. Electronic communication means that the location of your rental is not dictated by the location of your job, family, or any other obligations.
While you might be imagining what you will be able to do with all the extra money, but there’s still plenty that you need to do or consider before this can happen. Here are some things to consider which ensures only top quality tenants make it through your doors.
1. Stay On Top Of Repairs And Maintenance
Routine things like pest control, roof repair, and leaky faucets are all your responsibility as a landlord. By taking care of them right away you are avoiding the potential for disaster or more costly repairs later on. Think about how much easier it is to repair the faulty plumbing rather than replacing water damaged floors later on. Over time, you will also be known as a reliable landlord and will find some of the best tenants through recommendations and word of mouth.
2. Think Of Renovations As Investments
Always choose quality as they will save you (and make you) more money in the long run. Good quality finishes and appliances will be more durable and boost the value of your property allowing you to charge more while having to deal with less maintenance. If your potential tenant sees the quality, then they are more likely to be willing to pay more because – generally – most people are willing to pay more for reliability. Often times they are also more energy efficient meaning you (or your tenants) save on hydro bills. A win-win situation.
3. Always Get It In Writing
Most oral contracts are non binding and run the risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Avoid conversations that start with anything like, “I don’t remember you saying that I can’t sublet the apartment while I’m away on vacation though.”The best thing to do is have everything written up at the start of tenancy in the lease agreement and be as specific as possible. If there are any other agreements later on, they can be made in the form of amendments or separate agreements, just make sure you review the rules on Landlord and Tenant Board to make sure you are not breaking any laws.
4. Hire Help
There are people out there who’s job is to make your job easier. A realtor will not only will they be able to help review the lease agreement, but they will be able to suggest or create any additional clauses you may need. Furthermore, they can help you learn your rights, what you can and can’t do, and most importantly, find a quality tenant. This includes looking into their references, connecting with other agents, and marketing through realtor systems, social media, flyer campaigns, etc.
If you are taking on multiple units and especially if you do not live nearby and do not have adequate time to travel, consider hiring a property manager. They will either be onsite or nearby to help with routine maintenance, repairs, disputes, etc. Often, they will also be able to build trusting relationships with your tenant(s) as well as various trades people for various tasks or maintenance requests meaning better reputation and rates for you.
5. Do Your Homework
Keep up with rules and regulations and trust your gut. If something seems suspicious or incorrect, look into it and ask followup questions. Is a tenant being resistant to providing something standard like paystubs or none of their references are answering your calls, then this might be a sign to pass on them and save yourself a headache later on. Cases like these make using a realtor an especially helpful resource as they will be able to provide you the most current information and experienced advice. For instance, did you know it is actually illegal to require more than first and last month’s rent as a deposit from a tenant? Realtors have likely been on both sides of a rental agreement meaning have helped landlords like you look for tenants and have helped tenants look for places to live, so can offer an opinion as to what kind of tenant seems trustworthy.
To summarize, owning a rental property can be a very lucrative opportunity if you are able to get one started, however the success depends solely on you and how you handle the property and treat your tenants. The best way to ensure success is to hire help like realtors to get you your property and then get the space occupied with top quality tenants who will respect your property.
Have any questions? Reach out to any of us and we’d be happy to help you be the best and most successful landlord possible.