There’s more to being a landlord than just collecting rent. Real estate investment is very hands-on and requires a lot of work on your part. Many decisions need to be made based on how you want to manage your property. In order to be a Great and Successful landlord, we have a few tips and tricks to set you up for success.
1. Know Your Rights As A Landlord
As a landlord, you need to be well informed and know the Residential Tenancies Act. This is incredibly important in understanding both your rights and the tenants’ rights. It covers everything from eviction, raising rents and the standard lease form that is required in Ontario. Read up and understand this Act before making the decision to become a landlord!
2. If There Is A Problem At Your Rental Property, Act Immediately!
Small issues now can lead to big issues later. Don’t delay when things need to be replaced or repaired – you will only end up paying more for it later on. Preventative maintenance avoids long-term issues and future problems. Also, be aware that a small issue may be a symptom of a larger issue. Make sure you get to the root of the issue rather than relying on a Band-Aid solution.
3. Be Available And Ready
You must be available for your tenants and in case any issue arises. Communication is key to maintaining a good relationship with your tenants as well as being able to solve issues quickly. Have a list of contacts ready so that if a small problem arises, you already know who you have to call. It’s best to have multiple contacts for the same issue so that you can have the issue resolved quickly. Remember to return calls, emails and texts in a timely manner and let your tenants know if you are going to be unreachable for an extended period of time. Have a backup contact if that is the case.
4. Do Not Underestimate Your Expenses
Unexpected costs are going to rise over the course of time. You need to budget effectively and allow for repairs and on-going maintenance. It’s always good to have a slush fund available in case of major events. Remember that things can go wrong and you need to be prepared. Prepare and plan for the worst!
5. Get Good Tenants
Getting good tenants isn’t a matter of luck. You need to properly screen potential tenants and take extra time prior to signing a lease. The first party that approaches you to lease may not be the best quality tenant. Take your time and make sure you ask the right questions. References are always a good way to screen. Bad tenants aren’t common but they make a memorable impression.
6. Know Your Tenants' Rights
Knowing your own rights as well as your tenants' rights is key to being a good landlord. It is also a key step in having good tenants. Be well versed and knowledgable on the Residential Tenancies Act both on the landlord side and tenant side. Remember, your relationship with tenants is a business relationship and you need to be well aware of the rules and regulations around maintaining that relationship and keep it successful for both you and your tenants.