Becoming A Landlord: 10 tips for the income property owner

If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord or investing in an income property – keep reading!  In the GTA there are many property owners who have decided to invest in or turn parts of their home into income properties.  Renting can be a financially rewarding experience –  providing extra income or helping to pay off a mortgage.  However, it can also be a disaster – both financially and mentally.  With this in mind I decided to put together a blog post for those of you that might be considering becoming a landlord.  Check out the Tips For Income Property Owners below, if you’d like more information contact me directly.  Happy Renting!

Tips For Income Property Owners

  1. Contact your local or municipal government to first decide if you are legally permitted to turn your home into an income property. Depending on the type of property you are renting (ie. a house) you may need to do some work to ensure the unit adheres to all existing building and fire codes. (Click here for City of Toronto information).
  2. Get to know the landlord-tenant relationship regulations in your province. These laws will give you a better understanding of your role and responsibilities as a landlord.  (Click here for Province of Ontario information).
  3. Inform your insurance company about your plans for renting out space in your home and ask them if you require any additional coverage.
  4. Know how much rent you can realistically expect to get.  If you are buying a property for the sole purpose of renting it out this is integral.  You don’t want to find out that the rent you are able to get is going to leave you short.
  5. Make sure it’s worth it.  As per #5 you need to know that the money you will spend (both on the cost of the property and any renovations required) add up.  Avoid spending more than 2 years of rent in renovations.
  6. Set a realistic budget.  When renovating any space you should always add-on 25% – just in case!
  7. Get your home “renter-ready”. From a simple change such as a fresh coat of paint to a major renovation, try to make your home look and feel as spacious, bright, and comfortable as possible. Your home should look appealing inside and out to attract potential renters.
  8. Price and market your unit competitively.  We utilize MLS as well as many other social media sites (ie. Twitter, Kijiji, Craig’s List, LinkedIn and Facebook) to get the word out to prospective tenants.
  9. Conduct a screening process for applicants.  We always run credit checks, get a list of  references, ask for a letter of employment, and contact information for past landlords from potential tenants, for all of our clients that are renting out their property/properties.
  10. Draft a written tenancy agreement and have the tenant sign it. It should contain information such as: the date the tenant will move into the rental unit, the rent amount, the date rent is to be paid, what services are included in the rent (such as electricity or parking) and any separate charges, as well as the rules that you require the tenant to follow.  Ensure the tenant receives a copy and keep the original for your own records.


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