Archive for the ‘Property Management’ Category

Ontario Landlord Question – My Tenants are Awesome, Should I Send Them a Gift Card or Other Christmas Present?

Friday, December 14th, 2012

December 14th, 2012

An Ontario Landlord Asks: “Should I Give My Great Tenants Christmas Presents To Say Thank You?”

It’s a landlord question that comes up every December.

The landlord has great tenants who pay on time and respect the rental property.  They have never been late with rent and the rental unit looks better than ever…these tenants treat the property with care.

With so many bad tenants out there, the landlord feels grateful and wants to show his or her appreciation.

What better way than sending the tenants some nice gifts and presents for Christmas?

The question is especially popular this year because of a popular recent news story. A Los Angeles landlord who owns large buildings sent a special Christmas message to his tenants. In his message he told his tenants they would be receiving $70 their normal December rent.

It’s come up again on the Ontario Landlord Forums this December, 2012.

Here’s the question from the new landlord:

Hello everyone, very excited to find this organization and to share my experiences and question and answers with others.

I have my first set of tenants. One group has been with us since August 1 and the basement tenants have been with us since October 1.

(1) Do other landlords also give gift cards to tenants for a Christmas gift?

(2) What type of gift cards are best? Milestones? Bestbuy? Others?

(3) If not gift cards, what do you give?

Happy Holidays!!

So What Is The Right Answer? Should You Give Christmas Gifts to Your Best Tenants?

The answer is more complicated than you might first think.

You are turning a purely business relationship into something more personal. So before wrapping up that gift, consider the following:

1. What if you eventually have to evict these tenants? If there are personal feelings involved things can easily turn very nasty.

2. We live in a multicultural society, especially Toronto and the GTA. What if your tenants don’t celebrate Christmas?

3. What if your tenants don’t realize your true intentions and view the gift as you ‘showing off your wealth’ or ‘looking down on them’?

4. Your tenants are already happy with the property and how you run your rental business, so why rock the boat?

5. What if one tenant feels slighted because they feel you gave a better gift to another? There have been examples of tenants having problems with other tenants.

These are just some of the things you need to think about.

 

To Discuss This Go to the Ontario Landlords Forum and Find Out What Other Landlords Think About Giving Gifts to Tenants.

Ontario Landlords – It’s the 1st of the Month, Time to Collect Rent…and Check Smoke Alarms

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

October 1st, 2012

 

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Landlords It’s Time to Collect the Rent, and a Great Time to Make Sure the Smoke Alarms Are In Great Shape and Your Rental Property is Up to the Fire Code!

It’s October 1st, time to collect the rent.

Protect your Tenants, Your Rental Property, and Yourself

With furnaces and space heaters soon to be turned on as the weather gets cold, it’s also a great opportunity for Ontario Landlords to check that smoke alarms are present and working in your rental properties.

Let your tenants know ahead of time and let them know you are working to protect not only yourself, but your tenants!

Why Does it Matter?

Not having working smoke alarms can lead to fines and even worse.  See what happened to these Ontario landlords here

Work together with your tenants to ensure your rental properties are up to code and safe!

Be proactive and with the weather getting colder, and furnaces and space heaters being turned on, make sure your rental property has smoke alarms that work and your rental property is up to the fire code.

 

Barrie Landlord Wants to Warn Others

Friday, September 28th, 2012

September 28th, 2012

Barrie Landlord Legal Issue

Be Careful Who You Hire to Manage Your Rental Property!

What’s Going On in Barrie, Ontario?

A Barrie, Ontario landlord wants to warn other landlords about the trials and tribulations they faced being a landlord and renting out a property there.

What Happened?

The Barrie Landlord starts off by saying they have a “huge” warning to potential Barrie landlords about potential Barrie tenants!  Every landlord should read it.

What is Their Warning?

The landlords is on record stating “We have had a home in Barrie and paid taxes to the city of Barrie for over 18 years now.”

So Why Did they Become a Barrie Landlord?

They say: Last year our family returned out west to work. We hired a very large property management company in Barrie to rent out our home. The company said they were ‘Full service’ and would provide landlords ‘Peace of Mind’.

They Were Happy With the Property Management Company? They Did a Great Job?

According to the landlords:  Regarding the promises…”This could not have been further from the truth.”

Who Did the Property Management Company Get to Rent their Property?

The tenants placed in our home had horrible credit, a record of past evictions in Barrie. They were even known to the Barrie police.  She soon found out the only reference that this PM company did  was a phone call to the tenants’ relative (aunt!)

What Happened When the Property Management Company Was Alerted to This?

When she contacted the company about the problems, the company gave her 30 days notice to discontinue the relationship.  This left the landlords on the other side of the country to deal with it.

Then?

The landlords in BC began the eviction process.

What Occurred During the Legal Process?

The landlord says that when she asked why renters that have been evicted ‘multiple times’ should be allowed to go through the system on a continual basis and hurt other families, the government told her ‘It was private and confidential.’

Did Anyone Pay the Rent Owing?

The day before eviction, the County of Simcoe actually paid the tenants’ rent bill in full. This meant the tenants would not be evicted…for now.

These Tenants Were on Ontario Works (OW)

According to the landlord, Ontario Works funded these tenants, who  are known to the police, who do not pay one penny in rent, do not pay any utilities (which, we have been told will be added to our taxes) and do not even mow their own lawn.

As of August, 2012 these tenants continue to live for free and the landlord is now going to have to go through the whole legal process yet again.

How Much Do the Barrie Tenants Owe Them?

The landlord has $8,000 in debts for legal fees.

She says her family is close to being ruined financially.

Has the Government Helped?

The government offices have offered no assistance to her family.

Local MPPs were not interested, and the city won’t help.

What About the Insurance Companies?

The landlord says it’s ironic insurance companies are now revoking policies to people who live out of province and have rental properties.

Will These Barrie, Ontario Landlords Rent Their Property Again?

She says her family will never rent out her house again.  In fact, her family could lose their home because of becoming a landlord.

She asks: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE SYSTEM IN ONTARIO?  It’s the same question Darius Vakili asked after finally evicting serial bad tenant Nina Willis.

She says it’s unfair when government goes to those wh live dishonestly and are rewarded for their deeds year after year.

Who is the Landlord?

Mary-Jane Fogel, now of Duncan, British Columbia.

To read the original newspaper story go to the Barrie Examiner.

To discuss this story, go to the Ontario Landlord Forum.

Barrie Landlords, be warned by Mary-Jane Fogel’s story.  Make sure you choose the right property management company and make sure you know what Ontario Landlords face.

OLA Members in the Globe and Mail: DIY Property Improvements

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

May 11th, 2012

 

Do It Yourself Property Improvements

A Globe and Mail story this week illustrated how instead of hiring expensive contractors, more and more landlords are doing repairs on their own.

Doing your own repairs, or “DIYing” is more popular than ever.

Why are People DIYing?

Cost is always the number one factor.  Good contractors are expensive.

We are also living in very volatile economic times.  Many economics are predicting a recession that is a “double-dip”.  These means cutting costs is important.

Competition for finding great tenants or buyers for your properties is as heated as ever before.  Lost rent or damages can eat up your annual cash-flow fast!

No one wants to put up with unreasonable tenants or being taken to the Landlord and Tenant Board and face a “trial by ambush”

Even worse, Bad tenants aka “tenants from Hell” can destroy your rental business fast.

In 2013, Ontario landlords will only be allowed to raise rents by a maximum of 2.5% (no matter what inflation is) if a new law gets enacted. 

This is a far cry from Landlords in B.C. who can raise their rents by 4.3% in 2012 or landlords in Alberta, who have a lot of freedom in how they raise their rents.

OLA Members Explain Their Strategies

Several OLA members were invited to give their comments on how to do successful DIY projects.

OLA members gave people important tips, such as ” “Doing your own repairs and renovations is really a key point of landlords these days; the days of slumlords are over if you want to get good, qualified tenants.”

Other OLA member tips included:

“When you are renovating a rental, your goal is to maximize return on investment and to attract quality tenants. Your personal tastes are not as important; the goals are different.”

Other commentators included Scott McGillivray of HGTV’s “Income Property”.

To read the original story go to Canada’s National Newspaper, the Globe and Mail

To discuss this in Ontario Landlords Advice forums click here.