Simple tips for the Landlord that Works

1. In Canada, the law supports the Tenants. The law protects the tenants because they are the poor ones and the landlords are the rich ones.

2. The most important thing to do is find an honest, ethical tenant. Do not be too anxious to rent out to anyone in order to get the rent money fast. Often times will results in finding a poor tenant and your home gets destroyed. You may believe you can sue the Tenant, but if the tenant has no money, then there is nothing to sue. You are better off find good tenants than spending your time on lawsuits.

3. Older mature tenants are better than younger ones. Rich tenants are better than poor ones. Working professionals are better than low end job tenants. This is just a generalization. Treat everyone the same and give everyone a chance. As long as the renter is honest and ethical, you should be OK.

4. Be a good landlord. Fix what is broken and care about your tenants well being.

5. A Property Manager is a better name than a Landlord.

6. Make sure the renter is employed and verify employment. People who don't work CANNOT pay you.

7. Make sure your house is safe. If you tenant ever gets injured in your house, you will be liable.

8. Always have a Rental Contract. It clears communication and makes sure your tenants understand your expectations. You may want give an orientation to go through the contract to ensure your tenant knows what is expected of them.

9. You do not have to be nice when meeting a renter for the first time. You have to be firm, fair and observant. Being too nice may cause them to take advantage of you once they move in.

10. Be careful of rental scams. Protect yourself by not giving any personal information away and you have done your research on the Renters.

11. If you do end up making money, give something back in return.

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How to keep good tenants

I must be really good at keeping my tenants because my tenants have been with me for many years and the tenants I don't want, have often left within less than four months.

So the advice I am about to offer must have some merit.

First and foremost, I care about my tenants. I care about my tenants because they put their trust in me and accept me as their property manager. I go the extra mile to make sure my tenants are happy with where they are staying and compromise with their needs.

However, one may believe, with being too nice, the property manager could be taken advantage of. Rightly so, the property manager can. So, as a property manager, I make sure I establish a strong understanding in my tenant's personality. By doing so, I will understand what it would take for them to appreciate my efforts. If they are the type of person that would never appreciate anything I do for them and they would always look for things to take advantage of, then I would not want them as my tenant. However, if they are the type of person that I can understand the value of my effort, then I can begin the process of a healthy business relationship.

In fact, many of my tenants have become my friends where we actually go out and eat dinner.

One may wonder how do I know the difference between the renters that will appreciate my efforts and those who will ignore them and see it as my obligation.

First, experience renters are more likely to value my effort than inexperience renters. Experience renters know what landlords are like. So when I go the extra mile, they will appreciate it. Inexperience renters will believe my effort is an obligation because they have never had anyone to compare with.

Second, I never offer anything on paper or verbally. My actions represent my effort. Offering verbal and written commitment will come to the renter as expectations and they will not appreciate it. When meeting my renters for the first time, my first impression is never to represent that I am a hard working property manager. My first impression is always to be cautious and concerned about whether the renter can pay the rent. That is, I never represent myself as being a friendly, nice guy during the first meeting. By doing so, the renter will have come to have certain expectations based on the first impression.

Third, I never always agree to everything. If the renter has request, there has to be some compromise. The renter must realize that I am human just like anyone else and cannot do everything. I normally communicate my obstacles hoping to come to some sort of middle ground. If the renter's request appears unfair, I would question the renter's perception of this business relationship. If I cannot change the renter's perception, then I may aim to end the relationship. Being a property manager is not always about the money.

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How to Evict Bad Tenants

Sadly, as a new landlord and even experience landlord, the likelyhood of you running into a bad tenant is high. In Canada, unlike the United States, the process to evicting a tenant is not as easy as throwing their items out.

First, before you consider evicting the tenant, look at your own behavior and agreement as a landlord. Make sure you have done everything fairly and you are not being unreasonable. To make sure of this, ask around including the Tenant Association in your province. If you know your tenant is at fault and you have given the renter every opportunity correct him or herself, then you can begin the process of figuring out how to evict your tenant.

The best way to remove the tenant is to somehow let the tenant conjure up that idea for him or herself. Removing the tenant by force often lead to more problems. After all, the tenant is living in your house.

Some ways to do that may include, reduce your services within the limits of the rental agreement. Give hints that you would like the tenant to move. Maybe even resort to making the rental property distasteful enough for the tenant to move out.

And if that doesn't work, that you will have no choice, but to resort to eviction by law.

For example, in Ontario, if you and your tenant are NOT sharing the same washroom and kitchen, then you must let the Ontario Rental Tribunal take care of the eviction process. Ontario has already provided you a form that you can use to terminate your relationship with your tenant. You must have a valid reason to evict your tenant. Valid reason includes someone else is moving in, the house is being sold or the tenant have done something that violates the rental contract.

In Ontario, if you and your tenant are sharing the same washroom and kitchen, the Ontario Rental Tribunal does not apply. Only Social Law applies and Social law is much more vague. This means you can evict your tenant anyway you want that makes most sense. You can even resort to locking the room and moving their items out. But whatever you do, make sure the renter has agreed to it in the rental contract. This agreement will protect you.

Check with your own province, what the procss to eviction is. Make sure you have a  rental contract that includes eviction agreement, which your tenant has signed and agreed to.

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How to begin your Career as a Landlord

Taking the risk to be become a landlord can be a hard stepping stone. There is no course on it and there is no certification to ensure this career can be successful.

Partially, the reason for this is because being a landlord is actually quite easy. Some people have called it making money while you sleep. Well, I haven't reached that point in my life, but as I get better, it is really becoming that easy.

So to new landlord, how does one actaully take this initally step and still minimize risk? If you make one wrong move, you literally can lose your entire house!

So here's my suggestion:

First, the safest thing to do is rent out a room in your own house. That's right! One may argue that they don't want to live with their tenants and rightly so, living with your tenant can be a pain, but who says learning is easy.

By living with your tenent, you get first hand understanding in how a tenant behaves. You can then compare your tenant's behaviour and begin categorizing the type of tenants you want. The skill you are looking to develop is to find good tenants.

Secondly, by renting out a room, you don't have to spend the money to buy a whole new house just to rent it. Renting out a room safely allows you to test the waters without having to dive completely in it and have no point of return. If didn't like your new career as landlord, you can always leave the room empty and still not suffer a huge loss.

Thirdly, by living with your tenant, you can closely monitor your house. Often times, houses are wrecked because the landlord is not there to make sure the tenant is behaving appropriately. This prevents fire and other dangerous behaviours that your tenant may resort to when you are not around.

The learning phase to becoming a landlord can really be dangerous and stressful, if not done correctly.

After you become comfortable in your ability to filter out the good tenants from the bad, then you can become renting houses outside of your reach.

A landlord career always starts off as a part-time job. Don't quit your day job because you will need the extra cash to invest in your second career. Also, do not expect to make huge amounts of money quickly. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.

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Planning to Rent - Plan Ahead

1. Finding a good place to rent is not easy. First, the best places are most often taken. Second, you have to know where to look. Third, you have decide on your own wants, needs,. affordability and lifestyle.

2. Some renters may take the perception that they want the cheapest place possible. The cheapest place is a room for rent. However, can you live with other strangers? Can you put up with the possible mess, noise and share responsibilities? There is a lifestyle you already have for your self. How much of your lifestyle are you willing to sacrifice for a cheaper rent.

3. Renting can be viewed as an experience. You're moving to a new place, a new environment and with new possibilities. Regardless of whether the experience was good or bad, you will certainly learn a lot. Take light in the possibilty that you may rent a bad place and be prepared to move if that occurs.

4. Plan several months a head to view the market and what is available. Look in newspapers, Internet and referrals. Get to know the area you intend to live in. What activities are available and how to intend to enjoy your new stay. Get to know the landlord and make sure you can work with him. Just like there are bad tenants, there are also bad landlords.

5. Know the law. Each province has it's tenant act that helps renters resolve issues. Most of the time, the province law is designed to help the tenants, but you need to know what you can do. Do you know what you can do if you get evicted? Do you know what you can and can't do while rening someone else's house? Do you know how much rent the landlord can charge and how often they can raise rent? The main page of provides you with a link to the tenant laws to each province.

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Make a good first impression - this matters

Dress to Impress

Too many times, renters think just because they are the clients, they think there is no need to present a themselves and it is up to the landlord's job to do all the work.

The monthly rent doesn't cover the cost of the house. Smart landlords are very cautious when rentng out a house. They need to make sure the renter is reliable enough to pay the rent on time and still not damage the house. Any other type of renter would be unacceptable.

I once met a renter who was more than an hour late for our scheduled appointment and he didn't even have a reason. He then continued to make commitments to show up in 15 mins every 15 minutes! Clearly, I didn't give him the room. It was a pain just meeting him.

I had another case who thought he had the house because he had good references and was reliable. He was so mad when he discovered I gave the house to someone else that he sent me an e-mail complaining that I had wasted his time. Fact is, I only had one house and two renters. I do not need to reveal anything to my renters and my renters do not need to know anything about my approach to selecting my tenants. Applications can get rejected for many reason.

As a renter, show up on time, present yourself as a reliable, responsible, mature citizen. Impress the landlord and then, if you don't like the house, you can reject it rather than getting rejected by it.

Smart landlords only want good tenants!

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Evaluate your Landlord

How to evaluate your landlord?

Before beginning to even renting a porperty, make sure you get a landlord you can reason with. Make sure the landlord is reasonable and trustworthy. To do that, just like a landlord can ask for references, so can renters. That is, get references from your landlord from past tenants.

I once rented a room from this inexperience homeowner who really didn't know what she was getting herself into. She thought I was going to only sleep there and never cook or actually stay in that room. She started complaining that I turned on the lights too many times and cooked too late. These complaints were never in any any agreement or rental contract that she never created or even verbally stated. She even started going into the room that I rented when I wasn't around! She didn't know her rights as a landlord and she didn't know the responsibilities of being a landlord.

As a tenant, you also need to know your rights. Your landlord won't tell you and you really don't want to learn it the hard way.

Once when you know your rights, managing your landlord should be much easier. You know your landlord has an obligation to repair damage rental property items through wear and tear. Make sure your landlord is making the effort to keep the rental property in good condition before signing a lease.

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Is it possible to negotiate the Rent?

Renting a property is not the same as buying a car or buying a product. The property is limited in quantity to only one renter and so, the need to reduce the rent may not be seem profitable to the landlord.

To bring up the idea to reduce the rent to the property manager can hurt your chances of getting the rental property. Some landlords do not want to waste their time with cheap tenants.

If you believe, the rental property is of value, then do not bother. There is a high chance other potential renters will feel the same way and bringing up the idea of negotiating the rent will only hurt your chances.

If you believe the landlord has given any indication that the rent is negotiable or that the rental property is not to your interest, than you may be able to suggest a reduce rent amount.

In the most simplistic case, simply ask over the phone "Is the rent negotiable or firm?" This question won't hurt your chances too much because it doesn't waste too much of the landlord's time and you are not directly asking for a rent reduction.

Another idea is to look for rental properties near the end of the month. If the landlord has not found any tenants, then it is not likely the property will be rented out for the next month. The landlord will then be more inclined to reduce the rent rather than to lose a month's worth of rental income.

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Renting Etiquette

One may wonder why tenant etiquette even exist. Since it is the tenants that are paying the rent, does tenant etiquette even matter? My answer is an absolute yes. By being a good tenant, your landlord will treat you better. If things, break your landlord is more likely to fix it faster. If you need references for future rental properties, your landlord is more likely to give you good references. At the same time, it is proper manner to have etiquette in a civilized world.

1. Pay your rent on time without having to be asked.
There are bills that are not visible to the tenant such as property taxes, mortgages and possibly utilities. All these bills need to be paid on time. If not, the landlord will be charged interest. Paying the rent on time lets landlord worry about other things like maintaining the property for you. You are allowed into the rental property every day without ever being asked. So, as tenant, you should pay the rent without waiting to be asked.

2. If you are going to be late for the rent, let your landlord know a head of time.
Money is hard earned. By letting your Landlord know a head of time, your landlord can prepare for other ways to pay the bills.

3. Do not overuse areas that isn't yours.
Generally, unless stated otherwise, a room for rent implies your are only renting the room and not use of the whole house. Only if you are cooking or using the laundry, should you be using the other common areas. Do not treat the common areas as additional space for you to store things and take advantage of. This is not appropriate and actually against room rental standard rules.

4. When you move out, keep it in the same condition it was when you moved in.
This is the gernal rule. It is not against the law to leave it as a mess, but just nice to do. It helps the landlord rent to the next renter and helps you get a good reference.

5. Although having proper etiqutte is nice, but you do not have to be overly nice.
The area you rent is yours. If you find your landlord violating your space by either stepping into it without your permission, your landlord has violated your rights as a tenant. Do complain and make your concern heard. You do not know what your landlord is doing when you are not around.

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Rental Scams

A Toronto couple finds an awesome rental deal.

They had found a modern three-bedroom condo in downtown available to rent for only $2,000. The landlord was kind, pleasant, and professional. After showing them the house, the landlord requested first and last month's rent in certified checks.

When they arrived a week later to move in, they found another couple is living there. The phony landlord had rented the condo out to 7 other renters before skipping town. It turned out the phony landlord had actually rented the condo for himself just a few weeks before advertising it for rent.

There has been many cases of people renting other people houses. In fact, there has even been cases of people selling other people's houses. To make sure the house you are renting is indeed owned by the landlord, get references from past renters and make sure they were indeed legitimate renters. Request to obtain the deed to the ownership of the property. Don't give out any money until you are absolutely sure the landlord is indeed a landlord of the rental property. If you know the landlord is a fraud contact, the police immdeiately.

Real Estate scams scams has been on the rise in Ontario for the past number of years.

For more information on Fraud in Canada, link to the phonebusters website

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