Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview: Questions and Tips on being a Landlord

A lot of people build laneway houses for the purpose of an rental income generator. I thought I would ask one of my good friends some questions in regards to being a landlord to get some insights and tips.

How did you shortlist your potential tenant's?
Luckily I solicited my current tenants from working in the same company. Otherwise I would do reference checks and ask for pay stubs

Ask for paystubs? That's normal protocol?
Yup. Need assurance the tenant is employed and capable of holding down a job

How often do you inspect the rental property?
At the beginning every month when I go pick up rent. After they earned my trust every 6 months

So for the first 6 months you would review the apartment for any possible problems or damage? What happens if you find an issue?
Talk to the tenants about it and come to a mutual solution. Some landlords have super detailed contracts that stipulates what the tenants are responsible for including costs. Damages can be taken out of the damage deposit
But my tenants are super awesome so we havent had to deal with any of that. They made their own upgrades and paid for it themselves

How often do you raise the rent? Do you give them a break on the rent since they are such good tenant’s?
Legally I can raise the rent once a year with 90 days notice. And yes, I give them breaks once in a while like Christmas. I view them as my clients because essentially they are so I need to take care of them and manage our business relationship

That is actually quite opposite of how most landlords manage their tenants. Most will continue to raise rent and treat their tenants like problems... Which will only compel them to possibly move. My competitive advantage is how I treat my tenants and I believe they have stayed longer than originally planned because of our relationship

Breaks on the raises or breaks on the regular rent? Like take a percentage off?
I have not raised rent in 3yrs. And I give them a break off their monthly rent from time to time. $50 off here and there is a small price to pay to not have vacant months without tenants and the headache of having to attract new tenants.


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