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Tips for New Landlords



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Tips for New Landlords

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
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on Friday, 15 July 2011 in Property Management

If you’re new to the rental property management business, you should know that there’s something of a learning curve. Not only do you need to be able to keep your properties in line with code regulations from all levels of government, you also need to follow some seriously strict rules when dealing with tenants. Thankfully, there are a wealth of materials out there that outline your obligations.

There are some things, however, that you can’t get from simply reading the rules. You need the wisdom that comes with experience. Here are some of the top tips we’ve found from landlords that have been in the business for a while:

·         Pay close attention to discrimination laws. Landlord discrimination laws can be punished severely, and they can put you out of business.

·         Rely heavily on the rental application. Make sure it’s filled out and complete. Verify the information on the application, too.

·         Require and follow up with references. One of the best ways to weed out potential problem tenants is by speaking to former landlords. Don’t base your entire decision on what a previous landlord says, but instead look for long-term patterns.

·         Consider a credit check. A credit check tells you whether the applicant is in the middle of major financial trouble. Don’t turn down a tenant because of a few late payments, but if they’ve got numerous serious delinquencies it should send up a warning signal.

·         Give tenants a written list of conduct and living rule. Have a signed copy on file in your office. That way, there aren’t any misunderstandings.

·         Be as crystal clear as possible. There’s nothing wrong with being redundant when talking to a client. Make sure they understand repair procedures, rent payment methods and dates, as well as emergency contact numbers.

·         Maintain your property. Nothing will convince good tenants to leave faster than neglected repairs. Not only does the rental property need to be habitable and in line with regulations, if you don’t keep it up it will lose value and you will lose tenants.

·         Get the right insurance. Talk to your insurance agent in-depth about the kind of insurance you need to carry. Make sure you’re covered against fire, personal injury, theft, and more. Be clear with your tenants about what is and isn’t covered by your insurance, so that they can obtain the correct renters insurance.

·         Understand landlord entry guidelines. While the specifics can vary from one location to another, most of the time you’ll need to give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the rental property.

·         Document everything. Send any important written notices via a certified carrier and require a signature. If there are incidents with the tenant not following property rules, document the occurrences as well as any response you made.

·         Stick to late fee policies strictly. Don’t forgive late fees, except in rare or extreme circumstances. Otherwise, tenants will begin to see them as optional. Make sure to enforce a late fee from the first occurrence.

·         Regularly raise the rent. Don’t gouge your tenants, but realize that small increases each year are much more palatable for your tenants than large rent increases every couple of years.

·         Maintain a professional distance. It’s easy, especially if you only own a couple of properties, to get attached to your tenants. This almost always ends badly, and should be avoided whenever possible.

Good luck and all the best in all your rental property management endevours.  Don't hesistate to contact Urban City Rental's if you are interested in having your investment property professionally managed to avoid all the above headaches and let us do the dirty work for you!

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Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and management services for unfurnished strata titled apartments, condominiums, lofts and townhouses in the metro downtown Vancouver area Richmond and Burnaby BC.

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