If you’re one of the thousands of Canadians who either already own or are thinking of buying a rental property, then you know that having a great tenant is half the battle. Taking the time to check out references and screening your prospective tenant before signing a lease is a good first step. However, there are other safeguards you can take to help ensure that your rental property operates profitably and gives you a good return on your investment.
Be an interested and involved Landlord
One of the most important things that you can do as a landlord is to inspect the property on a regular basis. It shows the tenant that you are an interested and involved landlord, and that should be well received by most responsible renters. Different provinces have different rules for property inspections, so make sure you check out your local guidelines on your provincial website, or ask your real estate lawyer about the requirements. Make sure that you give the appropriate notice – usually required in writing – of when you will be visiting the property. Do it as often as you can during the first six to nine months, say monthly if possible. You might also make it a habit to drop by in person to pick up the rent cheque for the first several months. What’s more, you should let the prospective know about your plans to visit the property regularly before the lease agreement is signed. If there are any undesirables looking to use your property for illicit purposes, this will discourage them from choosing your property. There are more than a few property owners out there who were once happy to simply receive a rent cheque in the mail every month, only to learn that their house had been used as a grow op and was significantly damaged to the tune of several thousands of dollars.
Be a good neighbour
You can also help to discourage problems by cultivating good relations with the neighbours of your rental property. Introduce yourself as the property owner and if they seem to be reasonable people, you might consider giving them a business telephone number where they can reach you if they see any activity that may affect the value or condition of the property. They may even be a good source for prospective tenants if they have friends or family interested in living nearby.
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