Renting out part of your home or an entire investment property can be a great way to supplement your income or pay down your mortgage faster. However, before you decide to become a landlord for the first time, there are things that you should be aware of to ensure that you have a good relationship with your tenants. If you’re considering becoming a landlord, here’s what you should know:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Be sure to ask lots of questions on the rental application. This will give you a better understanding of who your tenant is, and, if you will be sharing the home with them, you will gain insight into what type of lifestyle they have and whether or not it aligns with your own. You’ll be able to find out whether they are a smoker, own pets, if they’re young and single or are a young family looking for a temporary home.
Call the references – Employers and former landlords should be the go-to references when it comes to potential tenants. They will be able to let you know if the applicant paid rent on time, if they were respectful of the property, and what type of company they keep.
Credit check – It’s important to find out ahead of time about a potential tenant’s financial situation. By performing a credit check you’ll find out if they are gainfully employed and able to make rent on time. This should be combined with their references and their rental application to ensure you’ve covered all of your bases.
Sign on the dotted line – Have a clear and detailed lease agreement outlining what is and isn’t permitted in the home and on the property, your duties as a landlord, as well as what you expect from the tenant. Also, be sure to include what is and isn’t included, such as hydro or cable.
Make rent the priority – That’s why you’re doing it, after all. Be prepared to start the eviction process the moment of non-payment.
Know your rights – Before you get into a sticky situation, make sure you brush up on your rights as a landlord. Check out the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) to stay up to date.
Get online – Use online tools to market your rental space effectively. Most people begin their search online, so make sure your property stands out above the competition.
For more info on this topic, and for any questions you might have, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jacob today!