Common Questions About Property Management
• Assess the rent amount
• Assess any work that may need to be done
• Act as agent for landlord
• Recommend trades
• Market the property
• Screen applicants
• Implement lease and edit to suit property
• Collect first and last rent before move in
• Make sure utilities are in tenants name
• Make sure tenant insurance is in place
• Issue keys
• Handle tenants calls
• Coordinate maintenance
• Do inspections
• Be ambassador to tenants
Hiring a professional property manager will be beneficial in many ways. A well versed property manager will know and be able to recommend maintenance required to attract good tenants, rent for more money and at the same time, keeping your property in a good state of repair which also increases the value.
Your manager will know what current market values are and be able to recommend the right rent for your property to rent quicker and be beneficial in securing long term tenants.
Your manager will also have the ability to edit and execute a comprehensive lease.
A seasoned manager will have the skillset to screen and find the best tenant for your property.
A good property management company will also have a good relationship with and be able to recommend all of the best licensed trades in the area.
You may live a long distance from your rental property and it is too difficult to manage. Also, insurance companies don’t look favourably on long distance landlords and may even refuse to insure your property unless you have a local management company in place.
The best part is, it take all of the stress away from you, the owner.
After all the information about your property is gathered and photos are taken, a complimentary write-up is done listing all the properties assets. The property is listed for rent on the most relevant websites. As replies come in, the screening process begins and appointments to view the property are made. The interested tenants will be guided through the application process.
• Stabil employment with the income to qualify
• Current landlord reference
• Good credit history and score
• Proof of identity
• Integrity – good attitude – responsible
• Suitability – the unit is a good fit
This can vary depending on the market, the vacancy rate the condition of your property, the location and the amount you have the rent set at. With this in mind, it is wise to listen to your property manager with suggestions on all of these factors. In most cases, a property that is attractive, maintained well and the rent is competitive, will rent relatively quickly.
The tenant is guided to deal with the property manager for all their needs including rent payment. The rent is processed for any fees that are owing to management and then forwarded to the owner electronically along with an invoice. If there is a problem with the rent, the manager will address this by the second of the month.
If a tenant is not on time with the rent and they don’t contact the property manager the manager will contact them to see what can be worked out. If it isn’t paid in a timely manner, the manager will issue an N4 notice. This notice puts the non-payment on record and can be used for an eviction. In most cases the rent is worked out and back on track. If this is not the case, a seasoned manager will know if this is turning into a problem that should be taken to the Landlord and Tenant Board Tribunal for an eviction.
When the tenant contacts the property manager with a maintenance problem, the issue is analyzed to verify that it warrants the need for a tradesman to attend, then the owner is notified (except for emergencies) to give their input and to agree. At this point, the tradesman is contacted and arrangements are made to attend the property and initiate a solution. After the problem is rectified the owner will be billed by the tradesman.
There is an emergency call line in place available 24/7 by calling the business number and following the prompts. It is answered by people that have access to the database and all the trades, who are trained to be able to handle any emergency or decipher if it is something that can be handled during business hours.
There are various different times the property will be inspected. It is inspected before it goes on the market for rent the first time, and inspected between tenants. There is also a fire inspection once a year to inspect the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Other inspections can be done at various times as the need arises. Inspections can also be done by request of the owner. There has to be a valid reason to do an inspection.
In cases of a freehold house, the lawn care and snow removal is designated to the tenant in the lease. In condos, the condo management usually has it done. In low rise apartments, it could be divided between the tenants or it could be contracted out, whatever works best in the situation.
This is assigned to the tenant in their lease. In some cases, landlords will setup a company like Reliance to do this in a service plan.
The best way to start any project is to start it off right and then everything has a tendency to follow suit. It is the same with a rental property. One of the key elements to a successful income/rental property is to have everything in the property in good working order, well decorated and attractive. This serves several purposes. This will attract good potential tenants to choose from, it will set an example to the tenants of how you like the property kept and it will add value to your property.
It has been known through time that real estate is one of the best investments that can be made for the best return on your money. That is even more so with a rental property. You will have a tenant paying down your mortgage while the property is gaining equity at the same time. You are winning on both ends.
Over time, as the property gets paid off, you will have accumulated a great nest egg for retirement. And depending on your circumstances, it is not always wise to sell at that time either. You can be bringing in a monthly cash flow from the rent for a number of years and the property will still be gaining equity until the day you do eventually sell it. Hiring a property management company would make this effortless and stress free as well.
This is a great scenario if you can have a positive cash flow each month from your rental property but that depends on a number of factors. This depends on how much you paid for the property, how much of a down payment you made, how long you have owned the property, if there is more than one unit etc.
It is not a requirement to be making money each month. If you can break even you are doing fine. Even if it is costing you some money each month you can consider that as putting money in the bank because as mentioned earlier, the tenant is paying the mortgage down and you are gaining equity. You need to look at the big picture of where you will be with this investment, years down the road.
Years ago, landlords didn’t believe in supplying appliances with a rental property. Over time they learned a lesson the hard way that tenants moving appliances in and out of a rental unit caused extensive damage.
Since that lesson was learned, it is considered a standard that the landlord supplies, fridge, stove, washer and dryer and it is a nice touch to supply a dishwasher. A water softener is also a wise investment as it protects the plumbing and taps from lime and calcium buildup and is appreciated by the tenant.
If the tenant is responsible for yard maintenance and snow removal, it is also a good practice to supply a lawnmower along with some yard tools.
A landlord is allowed to increase the rent every twelve months the percentage amount allowable by the guideline that is posted by the government each year, unless there is a fixed term lease in place.
Yes, during the application process, the landlord can turn applicants away for having pets. But, once a rental agreement has been entered into, the landlord cannot say no. This is because the Landlord and Tenant Board have no jurisdiction until a rental agreement has been entered into. The lease cannot state no pets. If the pet is causing damage or bothering other people, the landlord can ask for the pet to be removed or evict the tenant if they don’t cooperate.
Yes, you can say no smoking in the advertisement and put that in the lease. In most cases, it is stated, no smoking in the premises.
You will need to contact your insurance agent a let them know that you are renting your house out or you have bought a rental property. They can advise you the type of policy that is required. You need to let them know if you are using a property management company. They tend to look more favourably on this, especially if you live a distance away. You need to be thorough to make sure you have all the coverage that you need. The tenant will need to have a tenant policy as well for covering liability.