I recently wrote a blog about what makes an ideal tenant so it only seems fitting to write a blog about what it takes to be a successful and ideal landlord. Investing in real estate has many benefits but the thought of having to deal with tenants can be overwhelming for some. After being in the real estate business and specializing in the sale of downtown Toronto condos, I have helped many investors set up a real estate portfolio of Toronto condos. As a broker myself, I do provide property management services for my clients but I am providing you some of my best tips!
1. Get organized - Keep a binder or folder with all documents and information about your condo unit in one place. This is also a great place to keep the phone number for the Conceirge and Condo management and the contact information of your tenant.
2. Hire an agent - When you are ready to list your unit for lease, I always recommend to hire a real estate agent. This piece of advice may sound conducive coming from an agent like myself however listing with an agent allows your property to be listed on MLS. It is a known fact that tenants with higher ratings and higher credit scores use MLS to find their rental units. It can be challenging to advertise your rental condo elsewhere on sites such as kijiji or rent now. There is also another huge benefit of having an agent is that they take care of setting up the showings for viewings by potential tenants. Typically, the cost to use an agent for the lease process is one months rent. In the big picture, this fee is minimal for the services you acquire.
3. Do your homework - Before accepting any offer to lease, dig a little deeper into who your potential tenant is. Verify the employment of your tenant, check their references and even google them to make sure you know who will be staying in your unit. You want to make sure what is put in the application is actually the truth. If you have hired an agent, your agent usually does this leg work for you.
4. Prepare an information package to give to a new tenant that would include how to arrange a move-in elevator, condo by-laws, how to set up their own utility accounts like Hydro or which internet providers are common in the building. Also include your contact information should the tenant need to contact you in case of an emergency.
5. Set up online banking to deposit your monthly rental cheques or to receive monthly interact transfers directly from the tenant. I always recommend having a separate bank account for your rental investments so that you can easily keep track of money coming in and money going out to pay for property taxes and maintenance fees. This also allows you to quickly reference if the rent has been paid and when it was paid.
6. Make sure your condo unit is clean and in great shape. You want your tenant to be happy when they are moving in and this also sets an example for the shape and condition the unit should be returned upon vacancy.
7. Another great tip is to keep a record of the exact paint used in your rental unit. I also like to keep a small paint can in the closet or laundry cabinet for the tenant to use to match up and picture hanging holes or scuff marks on the wall.
8. Be the perfect landlord by adding that extra touch by to including a small welcome basket. One of my favourites is to give an assortment of environmentally friendly cleaning products that look great and gives your tenant the tools to keep the unit clean! If the stove top or stainless steel appliances require a special cleaner, this is also a great place to add them.
9. Set yourself reminders in your calendar of important dates. Know when you are coming up to the 60 day notice of the end of your tenancy agreement. Reach out ahead of time to ask if your tenant will be extending their lease past the initial agreed time frame. Determine what the allowable government rent increase is for the following year and determine if you will be implementing the increase. As a landlord, you must provide 60 day notice in writing of a rent increase past the initial agreed time frame.
10. If you and your tenant agree to extend the lease past a one year lease for example, note that the last month rent that is usually given as a deposit gets carried over to the last month of their stay. Therefore this would mean that the tenant would be required to now make a payment for the 12th month and the last month would stay as a deposit.
Investing in real estate can be a great way to create wealth especially for retirement and managing your rental property can be easier if you have the right tools. Now that you know some of my best tips, finding the right downtown Toronto Condo to invest in to be successful is equally important. For the best kind of properties to invest in, please visit the blog Why first time investors should chose a downtown Toronto condo . I am always available and can be reached anytime to discuss your goals and available Investment Condos for sale in Toronto that meet your goals.