Condo Rental Tips for First Time Landlords
Real estate is still the safest investment choice. Land and home values are slowly and steadily increasing. Condominiums offer a more dynamic investment option as if done correctly they can generate a positive cash flow from rentals. Condo units are also cheaper and usually easier to sell than detached homes. However, to be a successful condo investor, you will need to know and do your duties as a landlord and to learn to find the perfect tenant. Here are some condo rental tips for first time landlords;
- Review your building’s rental rules. Condos in Canada are governed by a set of bylaws and regulations, created and agreed upon by its owners. Check for any rules that might affect tenancy of the unit. You will also have to inform prospective tenants of the building’s restrictions.
- Prepare the condo. Before listing your unit to rent, make sure that it is clean, comfortable and ready for occupancy. Tenants will prefer condos that are ready for them to move in.
- Clean the apartment. Everyone likes a clean home. Wash or air curtains, scrub the floors and bathroom tiles, take the carpet to the professional cleaners, wash the windows and empty closets and cabinets.
- Fix everything. Make sure all appliances are working properly. Replace any defective refrigerator, A/C, stove, washer, dryer or dishwasher. Fix doorknobs, leaking faucets, loose bolts and replace light bulbs.
- Utilities and connections. Rentals must have all the basic utilities like gas, electricity and water which in most of the newer buildings are covered by the tenant. Other utilities like cable, internet and telephone lines are attractive add-ons that will may help you find your tenant the quickest.
- Furnish accordingly. Most temporary relocated professionals, singles, new couples and younger tenants would usually go for furnished condos if offered, while retirees and young families would prefer to bring in their own stuff. Furnish your unit according to your location and prospect tenants.
- Determine your prospective tenants. Your tenant will depend on your location, condo building and your preference. Centrally located buildings will attract the working, dynamic and younger set. While those in the city fringes and suburbs are preferred by young families and those who don't like the hustle and bustle of downtown life. The condo building, its age, built, amenities and reputation will also impact the marketability of your rental. Knowing your prospect renter will help you in setting the appropriate price and how to better market your home. And for your peace of mind, it would help a lot if you like and trust your tenant.
- Wait for the ideal tenant. You don't have to give the keys to the first offer. Properly prepared and marketed rentals will reach the right tenants, so wait for offers that work for you. Thoroughly review offers and do a credit check on prospect tenants – employment, previous landlords and references are some items you can ask your prospective tenants to furnish. You are offering your home, so it is just right for you to ensure its care and security. Insist on an interview with the probable renters where you can discuss with them the rules of tenancy and for you to size up their character.
- Do your part. Be a good landlord. Know your responsibilities. Start by preparing your condo unit with the comfort and safety of your tenant in mind. Prepare and furnish all the required rental documents. Regularly check on your tenant to confirm that the condo is well-maintained, all utilities are up and that all home appliances and implements are working fine. Call them up once in a while, you can never go wrong with checking in with your tenants.