Archive for the ‘Rental Property’ Category

Ontario Tenants – Our Landlord Community Wants To Hear From You (And Work Together For Mutual Success!)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

ola landlord and tenant win win campaign

Renting Should Be a Win-Win Situation. Ontario Landlords Want to Rent to Good Tenants and Ontario Tenants Want To Find Good Landlords and Great Rental Properties. We Want To Help Make It Happen

With property prices increasing in Ontario over the past few years and rents rising, rental properties (and the landlords and investors who own them) have been in the news a lot recently. 

We have also had the new Rental Fairness Act which makes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Many small landlords were expecting some important changes to balance the playing field. By adding urgently needed protections for small landlords it would keep a lot of good people in the rental industry and encourage more investment, more rentals, and more affordable options for tenants.

Bad Landlord Alert…or not

While the media seems to focus on the “bad landlords out there” the reality is these are rare cases and not representative of the larger Ontario rental market.

There are a lot of great people who are landlords (or want to invest in residential properties) and we need to make sure there is a fair regulatory environment to protect them. These landlords are huge corporations with unlimited resources. 

In reality many landlords are teachers, fire fighters, nurses, doctors, electricians, plumbers, contractors and people working hard for some cash flow and their retirement.

Changes need to be made to protect small landlords

We need to discuss important issues such as allowing damage deposits and pet deposits.  We need a healthy debate on allowing a fixed term lease to really mean the lease actually ends unless renewed by the landlord and the tenant.

It’s important for all stake-holders to make changes in how we can quickly evict tenants who don’t pay or abuse other tenants or their landlord.

Many Ontario Landlords area also greatly concerned about the legalization of marijuana and how this will impact rental properties. Many landlords are gravely concerned this will lead to many tenant vs. tenant challenges.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Very Fair

Instead of dealing with important issues, there were policy changes such as expanding rent control and making it even harder and more expensive for family landlords to get control of their property for their own use. There were also punishing new rules for those who include utilities in the rent.

Alberta landlords are working hard to let the general public know how hard they work and how much they care and it’s time we did the same in Ontario.

Good Landlords Want Good Tenants…And Good Tenants Want To Find Great Landlords and Great Properties

Experienced and successful small Ontario landlords know we are running a business and our tenants are our “clients.”

As we usually own only one or two rental properties we usually do our own tenant screening. This means we are personally involved in the rental process.

Successful small residential landlords also know the key to a profitable rental business means we have to first attract some of the great tenants out there to rent from us, and then we need to work hard to ensure they love renting from us and want to stay. It’s hard work and it’s not easy.

Secrets and Tips From Successful Landlords

We asked our most successful members to share some tips to help other small landlords and investors on how to avoid problems and create a win-win situation between the landlord and your tenants.

(a) Screen your Tenants Yourself

With the excellent tools available landlords can take their business “into their own hands” and make sure they know who they are renting to. Make sure you know the rules and laws. 

For example: Getting a real estate agent friend to run credit checks for you can be illegal and cost your real estate friend their license with Equifax. If you are running credit checks make sure they are legal.

(b) This Is A Hands On Business

Get to know your tenants and get to know your rental property. Make sure you make the place safe and comfortable. 

One of our Ottawa landlords wrote: create a rental property that you would want to live in.

(c) Treat Your Tenants With Respect And Appreciate Them

You provide a terrific, safe, fairly priced rental property to your tenants. You are a service-oriented landlord and that means when things need fixing or issues arise, you make it a priority and get things fixed fast. When you fix these issues you cooperate with your tenant to make sure both sides are satisfied with the solution.

(d) Many Ontario Landlords Were Tenants Not So Long Ago

One OLA member wrote on the Ontario landlords forum:

“I rented for years when I was in university.  My first year was in residence and after dealing with the meal plan and a small room I couldn’t wait to get out and rent a property with my friends.”

“Looking back the experience renting a house wasn’t the best.  The landlord would didn’t ever make repairs.  When the basement flooded we were told just to ‘not go down there’ and the stove only had 2 burners that worked (and the oven was so weak it took what seemed like hours to cook french fries.)”

“Now I’m planning to buy an income property near a university.  Maintenance and dealing fast with any issues will be a priority.  But what else can we do to stand out from the crowd and offer a terrific housing experience for student renters?”

(e) What Would Lead You To Stay At A Rental For A Longer Period of Time?

Many landlords feel stressed out when looking for new tenants.  While there are a lot of great tenants out there, there are also people who know how to play the system and can lead to a lot of financial and emotional stress.

What are Tenants Looking For When Choosing a Rental Property and a Landlord?

Our members usually own one or maybe two properties. They aren’t large, huge corporations that don’t care about individual tenants and don’t care about vacancies.

Ontario Landlords Want To Hear From Ontario Tenants

The media keeps talking about “super high rents” and “bad landlords.”  They fail to differentiate between large corporate landlords and small landlords who are simply trying to run a rental business.

Here are some questions from small landlords to help us improve how we run our rental businesses:

 1. What Do Tenants Want In a Landlord?

2. What Type Of Features Are You Looking For In a Rental Property?

3. What is the Best Way To Advertise To Attract Good Tenants?

4. How Can Service-Oriented, Professional Small Landlords Show You Their Professionalism?

We Welcome Tenant Comments on Ontario Rental Industry

Are you a tenant now?  Are you looking to rent? Let us know your experience and your feelings. 

Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com

(Please note you will not receive a reply upon emailing us)

Tell us what is happening and we’ll share it with landlords to help improve the Ontario rental industry!

While recent rules seem create a narrative of “landlords vs. tenants” the reality is good landlords want good tenants and good tenants are looking for professional landlords and great rental properties. Let’s work together to make this happen!

University of Toronto: How Can Landlords Rent to Students In Ontario?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Toronto landlords rent to students

University of Toronto – More Top Tips for Ontario Landlords Who Want To Rent to Students

Our post last Spring advising Ontario landlords how to successfully rent to students led to hundreds of emails coming in.

Landlords across Ontario kept telling us how much they appreciated the advice presented by the helpful Manager of Rental Housing Service for the University of Toronto.

It looks like more investors are looking at renting to students as way to create a profitable rental business. We even had some Alberta landlords send some questions in.

One of the highlights of the mail was from a BC landlord. She wrote how the latest CBC News story on some “serial tenants” in British Columbia has led her to thinking of changing her rental business strategy to renting to students only and thanked us for the tips.

The manager is Jennifer Radley and the U of T is lucky to have such an helpful person who cares about student tenants and wants to help student landlords (because creating more educated and professional landlords helps students in the long run).

Here are more questions and answers from Jennifer to help landlords successfully rent to great student tenants.

1. Do students normally have guarantors who can sign the lease?

Not always, especially if they are international students.

Some students will obtain a letter from their Professor or Registrar confirming that they are a F/T student and most likely have the financial means to study/live at U of T.

2. Do students like furnished apartments (beds, tables, chairs, etc.)?And will they

    be willing to pay for the furnishings?

Yes, many students do like furnished apartments. The ideal situation is where furnishings is optional. Depending on how much extra, they could be willing to pay.

3. Most students are pretty young.  Is it worthwhile to do a tenant credit check on

    them before renting?”

We do recommend that landlords protect themselves, but many students may not have much of a credit history, so what you find out may be limited.

However, most students do have funding to cover the costs for their studies, including housing, which they may be able to provide you with evidence of, and may also be able to show they have been responsible in paying off their tuition and other fees to date.

4. How can I screen student tenants?

 We recommend treating a viewing like an interview – ask them questions about past tenancies (if applicable), their source(s) of funding (e.g. OSAP, grants, awards, employment income, etc.), how long they are here to study, etc. and also ask for references – past landlords, registrars, residence deans, etc.

5. Engineering students have a reputation as party animals who wreck their  

    residences.  Any truth to this in 2014?

Not in our experience – most of our residences actually have the opposite experience: Engineering students are so busy with their heavy workload, they do not do engage in enough social activities.

Most engineering students tell us they can only afford to do non-school related activities one night a week.

6. Is it true Masters & PhD students are better tenants compared to undergrads?

Not necessarily. U of T is a challenging school that attracts high caliber students for all its programs.

Most U of T students are hard workers who take their studies, and their financial commitments, very seriously.  

7. How can I explain to students I’m a good landlord who only wants rent paid on   

    time and won’t bother the students at all and will fix things?”

Tell them. Students are looking for honest, kind and hard-working landlords – similar to hat landlords look for in a tenant.

8. Should I hire a female property manager if all the tenants are female nursing

    students?”

 That is not required.

 9. Does the University of Toronto have a department to deal with tenant complaints?”

Yes, Housing Services! We have a formal complaints process for both landlords and student tenants.

Ontario Landlords – Do you want to rent to students?

Learn from the advice provided by the University of Toronto and become the type of landlord student tenants are looking for.

Landlord Investment Opportunity? Toronto Tenants Choosing to Rent Condos

Friday, January 18th, 2013

January 18th, 2013

OLA Happy Toronto Tenants In Condo

Every landlord wants to find good tenants and avoid bad ones.

Owning properties which attract the good tenants everyone is looking for is one of the keys to being a successful landlord.

After all you want to be able to attract people who can pass your strict tenant screening process.

According to a report at Conda.ca more renters are turning to condos in Toronto as their rental property of choice.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (also known as TREB) shows that the fourth quarter of 2012 saw an impressive number of condo rental transactions. The number of condo rental transactions was up 13% over 2011 at 3,648.

Equally impressive was that the number of condo rentals listed was up 18% over 2011.

Why are condos attracting tenants?

TREB states that condos consisting of one and two bedrooms are most popular with Toronto renters.

These condos are usually much more expensive than normal rents of the same size. So why the popularity?

Elite Condos Rule

Want your condo to be in demand by tenants? Condos in good locations with up-scale amenities and elite finishes will get you attention as many renters are willing to pay for quality and location.

Elite properties can attract great tenants you desire …although you still must be careful. The last thing you want is to have a great property and rent to a bad tenant who you have to eventually evict.

How much are these condos renting for?

A typical 1 bedroom condo rented for $1620/month. This was up four per cent compared to 2011.

A typical 2 bedroom condo rented for around $2090/month. This was in an increase of two per cent compared to 2011.

I keep hearing the Toronto condo market is going to crash in the media

Jason Mercer is a market analyst for the Toronto Real Estate Board. Despite some media reports, Mercer states there aren’t any real indication of a an oversupply of rentals in the Toronto condo market. This is why it’s important to join a real provincial landlord association consisting of landlords to make sure you are up to date on the facts of the marketplace.

Mercers says that while there has been an increase in supply, rents have also gone up. In fact, he says there are so many tenants out there looking to rent, condo owners can still raise prices.

More people are choosing condos as their rental home than ever before.

CMHC (aka Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has stated that 22.6% of all Toronto condos are now rented.  This has provided a huge supply of rental housing for the city.

Income property investors take note: more and more renters want pretty condos, with great amenities, in great locations. The Toronto condo market has changed the rental market in Toronto. To discuss this and other topics join the free Ontario Landlord forum

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.

 

Open Letter to Mr/Ms. Tenant – from an Ontario landlord

Friday, August 17th, 2012

August 17th, 2012

 

An Ontario Landlord Explains Their True Goals and Objectives

Dear Mr/Ms. Tenant,

I am an Ontario landlord. I have purchased a rental property for several reasons. This open letter to you is to share information so that we can be a team. After all, you need me, and I need you.

1. I am not getting rich on this venture.

In fact, for the first 12-18 months of me buying this property, I am going to lose money. Even then, this duplex/triplex that you are living in will net me approx $200-$300 per month after all expenses have been paid. Doing the math, I believe that works out to $2,400-$3,600 per year.

At some point in time, I hope that this property gains value, and I can sell it for more that I bought it. It’s a great concept that you could work towards in your lifetime – if you are so inclined.

Until then, you need a place to live, and I need a tenant.

2. Please take care of our property.

It’s your home, but it’s my house. If I know that you will keep your home in decent condition, I will be much more motivated to ask you to help me pick out a colour next time I paint the walls, or replace the carpet. Please don’t be a Tenant from Hell.

3. I promise to respect you and your personal rights.

I will give you all the notice I can before I have to enter your apartment. After all, this is your home, but it’s my house. If I need to replace a toilet, or fix something, I will give you advanced notice.

I hope the respect will be mutual. After all, it’s the little things that count. If we can all get along, we will both enjoy working with each other. I am not here to mess with your life.

4. I was you once, perhaps you will be me one day.

I know what it’s like to rent. I know what it’s like to be a tenant. It’s actually a decent way to live.

I never worried about the roof, the plumbing, needing a new stove, or fridge, or even if the carpet was getting worn down and needed replacing. I never worried if the city increased utilities, or taxes – I paid a flat rent, which can only increase by a very small amount each year. I let my landlord worry and take care of all of that.

You need me, and I need you. If neither one of us are jerks, this will work out just fine.

Sincerely,

Mr/Ms. Ontario Landlord.

Discuss this at the Ontario Landlord forums here.