The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned as a Landlord

I have been a landlord of a couple of rental properties for a number of years. Over time I have met some fantastic and interesting potential tenants. I have learned alot along the way, and yes sometimes the best learning are the most challenging experiences (like one of my first properties where the tenants broke 9 windows and there were so many toys jammed down the toilet we had to replace it)

I have been very happy with my venture into rental properties and how they have created financial stability like nothing else for me. I have often been asked about what it’s like to be a landlord, it can be a great and financially rewarding experience, however, there are some good things to know to help ensure your success. So I’ve assembled some of the top things I’ve learned as a Landlord and encourage anyone contemplating this to please reach out!

The Top 5 Things I have learned:

Take pride in your investment

The better your rental property looks and is cared for, the better tenants you can attract. For example no matter the size, I always ensure there is fresh paint, spotless flooring, all items needed repair have been taken care of and I provide an in-suite laundry and dishwasher. Now some of you might think isn’t that risky to provide extra appliances beyond fridge and stove? In my experience those things make a home more convenient, and a tenant appreciates this and is willing to pay a higher rent for those conveniences.

Work with a specialist to help find the right tenant

Before I was even a Realtor ® I always hired Realtors ® to market the property through MLS and screen the potential candidates. Typically I find less quantity of potential tenants but they tend to be more qualified candidates that use Realtors ® to find their home. I have also hired a property management company to do this work as well, both are good options. This does come at a cost, however you can use that expense against your rental income, and you will have someone experienced to assist with selecting the right tenant and getting the paperwork in order.

Take time to select the right candidate

I have a number of long standing tenants in my properties. Less movement means less wear and tear on your property and I take my time and do my research on each and every candidate. Two mandatory items I scrutinize are current credit report and verification of employment. This is critical and very telling of the character of the potential tenant. I even do searches online and social channels to see what I may come up with. I am only looking for top notch tenants for my top notch properties. Be sure to go with your gut. If you sense something just doesn’t add up to their application or story, and you can’t make amend with that, it’s better to keep looking for the right tenant you feel good about.

Know the regulations

Once you have selected the right tenant you will need the standard lease agreement in place and know your obligations as a landlord. There are regulations, forms, guidelines for allowing access, structured rent increases to name a few. If all this sounds like too much, there are organizations and property managers that help take care of all of that, of course for a fee.

Be a good landlord

Tenants are people too, and they are the keepers of your investment. I find responding in a very timely manner to any questions or items needing repair, the right tenant appreciates that and you start to build a positive relationship. They see you care for the unit, and for most part people will then report anything in need of repair to keep things in tip top shape.

Great tenants are out there - it starts with you being a great landlord will help attract those great tenants that can maintain your investment which helps build your long term financial security.

Heidi Brown

Sales Representative

Direct: 416-898-4565

Oakville Office:

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc., Brokerage

1320 Cornwall Road

Oakville, ON, Canada L6J 0H7

Hamilton Office:

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc., Brokerage

1595 Upper James Street, Suite 101 

Hamilton, ON, Canada L9B 0H7

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