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How to Find Great Tenants (Part 2)

May 5th, 2013 · Landlord Solutions

 how to find great tenants

Last month we discussed ways to find great tenants. Let’s continue talking about how to use Craigslist.

Craigslist ads with Pictures

The key for Craigslist is to remember your ads purpose.

Remember, you only have two simple goals for a Craigslist ad:

1. Get the Click: Get the reader to open your ad in the midst of hundreds of competing ads.

2. Get an Inquiry: Get the reader to respond, typically by phone, email, or sending them to a website.

Photos attract more inquiries and responses. It is up to you to close the deal once an inquiry is generated. Pictures encompasses any time of word description that one puts in a rental ad. People will appreciate more information, especially in the form of images, about the things that they intend to buy or rent.

To Get Results, Take Enticing Pictures

Improve your ads by posting photos of your property. But before taking photos of your rental units, take the time to clean your property first. Some rental ad photos on Craigslist are poorly done they may discourage potential clients instead of enticing them.

Put down the toilet seat before taking shots of your bathroom. Open all blinds and shutters and turn on all the lights. This will create a brighter, more airy atmosphere of your property.

Let’s Go Back To Some of the Reasons It’s Important to Find Great Tenants

This all seems like a lot of work. If you feel a bit fatigued, click the following links.

1. Barrie, Ontario Landlords News – Arrest in Landlord / Tenant Dispute

2. Prince Rupert LandLord – Let My Tenant Nightmare Be a Warning to Other Landlords

3. Gov’t Approved Tenant Destroys Calgary Rental Suite!

4. University of Manitoba Student Wants to Break Her Lease After Bullets Shot Into Her Rental Property

Feel motivated again?

How Can You Learn More?

The Ontario Landlords Association Membership option has a terrific manual to help you advertise your rental property.

Ontario landlord how to attract great tenants

It’s important to learn from those who have walked the path you want to walk.

Good luck and go find those great tenants!

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Barrie Ontario Landlord Question – How Can I Attract Good Tenants? (Part 1)

April 2nd, 2013 · Barrie Ontario Landlords

 Find Great Tenants Take Pictures

A Barrie, Ontario Landlord Emailed In a Question Asking How to Find Good Tenants

A terrific email was sent in from a Barrie, Ontario landlord. She said she loves this blog and now understands the important of renting to tenants with good credit (and the importance of credit checks!)

However, she says she’s been having trouble getting credit-worthy tenants to apply for her rental property. She wonders how she can fix this as she doesn’t want bad tenants that many other Barrie, Ontario landlords face. For example:

Barrie Ontario – Tenant Allegedly Assaulted Landlord with a Punch…and a Broom and Knife!

Pictures Equal Results (and those results mean lots of good tenants wanting to rent your property!)

To obtain more positive results from your rental advertisements, you may want to add photos. To a serious renter, carefully captured photos of the unit you are trying to rent out carries more weight and becomes more irresistible. In fact, chances of your property getting chosen over other rentals increase exponentially if you put pictures on it. And we know how tough it can be to evict a bad renter.

Benefits of Putting Pictures in Your Ads

1. People LOVE to Look at Images.

The reason why Pinterest has become very popular these days is because people love pictures. One of the reasons why Facebook is enormously famous is because one can immediately post his pictures online and have all his acquaintances follow his life’s progress and vice versa. Why do people love photos? It is because…

2. Pictures Rarely Lie.

By posting pictures of your rental house on your ads, you are giving a preview of the features of the property being rented out. It is a gesture of openness and sincerity about the asset in question. Potential clients will have an insight on what the property is all about before they make a visit to the actual site. They would know partially based on the pictures that you post if it is the unit that they want. This saves both yours and the customer’s time.

3. Ads That Stand Out

Pictures of your rental property can make your ad stand out from the rest. Undeniably, we usually take a look at adverts with pictures posted on them to narrow down our search. By putting photos on the ad, you are also narrowing down your customer’s’ search efforts.

4. It Builds Trust.

Rental ads with photos mean landlords that are honest and trustworthy. If you put photos on your ads, it only means that you want people to immediately know what is in store for them before they make a trip to your property. It means you are not trying to hide anything and you want them to directly get a look at the features of your property.

We will continue to discuss this important matter soon. To discuss rental ads and how to attract great tenants, go to the Ontario Landlord Forum and networks with landlords across Canada!

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Canadian Landlords – How Difficult Is It To Get Rid of Bad Renters?

March 4th, 2013 · Canadian Landlords

Canada Canadian landlords evict tenants renters

An international investor who is interested in putting her money into Canadian rental properties and becoming a landlord here emailed us a question:

“How difficult is it to get rid of bad renters?”

It’s a good question

It is a good question. And the answer won’t make her happy.

Evicting bad renters in Canada is not an easy thing to do compared to many other countries (including our neighbours down south in the United States).

No matter what province you are in, evicting a bad renter can be a very time consuming process.  In some provinces such as Ontario, Canada the laws (called the Residential Tenancy Act) and the process you have to follow to evict (called the Landlord and Tenant Board) are extremely biased for tenants.

What can you do if you have a bad renter?

Every landlord/investor with a bad renter wants to know how quickly they can re-coup their losses by evicting the renter and finding a new one (who pays the rent!)

Canada is filled with great renters, but there are many, many cases of bad renters causing problems for landlords across the country.

1. Ontario LandlordsBarrie Ontario Tenant Allegedly Assaulted Landlord with a Punch…and a Broom and Knife!

2. Alberta LandlordsAre You Renting to a Hoarder

3. British Columbia LandlordsLet My Tenant Nightmare Be a Warning to Other Landlords

4. Nova Scotia LandlordsTenants Claiming Mold Ordered to Leave Rental Unit

5. Manitoba Landlords  – Floor Stomping Set Off by Loud Music Leads to Stabbing

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Reason to do lots of research before investing.

The best way to avoid bad renters is to screen carefully and find great tenants you don’t need to evict. But what if you end up with bad ones?

It’s important to catch problems early

One idea to try to avoid problems is to set up automated payments as opposed to a check. This means that on the second of each month you can head online and see whether the rent has been paid. All you need to do is check your online bank statement. If no money has appeared in your account then you can deal with the problem there and then. If they have missed a payment then it is likely it was just an oversight and they may pay you.

Of course, in some cases a financial situation may actually change.

This will mean that they have no intention of paying you now, or even in the near future. How can you get rid of them? Well, it is imperative that you do so as soon as possible because a few tenants at this point start to damage the property, or even disturb other tenants. This is of course going to make everything much more difficult to deal with. They may even be carrying out a number of illegal activities which can be damaging for you in the future.

The renter won’t leave and the eviction process takes months. What can you do?

Welcome to the World of Being a Landlord in Canada!

We will discuss ways to evict bad renters in upcoming blog posts. If you are considering investing, make sure you research carefully. One way to to learn the ropes is by joining a Landlord Forum.

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Landlord Forums – Canadian Landlords Are Networking For Success

February 20th, 2013 · Landlord Forum, Uncategorized

Landlord Forum Landlords Networking and Getting Advice

A Landlord Forum Is A Terrific Way For Canadian Landlords to Network and Gain News Skills and Insights

You hear it all the time: the importance of networking.

Legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffet explained why he values networking so much:

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than your and you’ll drift in that direction.”

So what is networking?

It’s the creation of relationships with other withe whom you can share knowledge and practical experience. This friendship and sharing can bring you advantages in business and new opportunities.

Landlords Can Benefit from Networking

Landlords all over Canada face many challenges.  These range from Tenants From Hell to Rental Scams attempting to rip-off both landlords and tenants.

Landlords can begin networking by joining an excellent landlord forum where landlords from across your province and across Canada and meet, talk, discuss and help each other succeed.

How Can Joining a Landlord Forum Help You?

1. If you dream of buying an investment property joining a landlord forum can help you learn aspects about being a landlord to help you start out.

2. You can get advice based on the experience of other landlords to help your rental property business succeed.

3. You can be recommended to high quality, proven landlord services to help you succeed.

4. By discussing issues and opportunities with other landlords you will be motivated to keep working hard.

5. If you run into any problems running your rental property business you will have others available to assist you and support you.

What Landlord Forums Can Help Me Succeed?

If you are in Ontario, join the free Ontario Landlord Forum.

If you are in British Columbia, join the British Columbia Landlord Forum.

If you are a landlord in Alberta looking for advice join the Alberta Landlord forum.

Landlords Who Want Success Know Networking Is Key. Make Sure You Join A Good Landlord Forum And Network With Other Landlords.

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Advice To Landlords – How to Track Down Deadbeat Tenants Who Owe you Money

February 7th, 2013 · tenant screening

 debt collector landlords find deadbeat tenants who owe you money

Landlords, How Can You Track Down Deadbeat Tenants Who Owe You Money?

We’ve see a mountain of evidence of how bad tenants can create problems for landlords.  In Barrie, Ontario a landlord was actually bitten.

Even amazing tenant screening isn’t always the answer.

As all experienced landlords know, no matter how much you screen your tenant there are always those who ‘turn’ on you and leave owing large debts.

Can you imagine the financial and legal challenges you would face if your tenants started a grow-op?

And we all know how difficult it can be to evict bad tenants.

Experienced debt collectors  says the more information you get on your rental application the easier it is to eventually track down deadbeat tenants who owe you money.

It’s recommended you get the following information on your new tenants:

1. Date of Birth

You don’t really care about their age, but it will be easier to find them later on.

2. Social Insurance Number

Some tenants will be reluctant to give you this. If they are good tenants they have nothing to be afraid of.

3. Previous places of residence

You need to find out where they lived before, as it can help identify them later on.

4. Employers

Knowing their current employers is a great way to find deadbeat tenants fast.

5. Personal references

If they can’t be found through normal means, being able to contact friends and relatives is a great route to find them and hold tenants accountable.

Of course, finding tenants who are are stable and care about their credit rating are the best tenants.  However, things can change during a tenancy.

Whether its a loss of job, a divorce, an addiction or numerous other factors, it’s important for landlords to protect ourselves and get the information we need in case the tenancy goes bad.

As Ronald Reagan said many years ago: “Trust…but verify.”

Discuss this and other topics at the Canada Landlords Forum.

For more information to protect yourself and succeed as a landlord join an awesome association in your province!

Ontario landlords join the Ontario Landlords Association.

Manitoba landlords join the Manitoba Landlords Association.

Saskatchewan landlords join the Saskatchewan Landlords Association.

Nova Scotia landlords join the Nova Scotia Landlords Association.

Alberta landlords join the Alberta Landlords Association.

British Columbia landlords join the British Columbia Landlords Association.

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Canada Landlords – Credit Checks, Rental Kits, Networking, Landlord Forum, Leases, More!

January 17th, 2013 · Alberta Landlords Association, British Columbia Landlords Association, Ontario Landlords Association

 mine-field

Using Quality Services and Networking With Other Landlords Is Essential For Canada Landlords To Succeed in 2013

The news from Barrie, Ontario on the Simcoe County online newspaper was shocking. It’s also an important wake-up call for landlords all over Canada.

According to the newspaper, Barrie police officers were called to go to an apartment after a fight between a landlord and her tenant.

The police heard allegations the tenant first punched the landlord.  Then, hit him with a brook handle. Then threw a knife at him.

It didn’t end there.

The 20 year old tenant proceeded to go inside the rental property and damaged it.This isn’t the first example why landlords need to protect ourselves.

How can a landlord protect themselves and be on the path for success?

Let’s take a look at the answers to your question.

1.  The importance of Tenant Screening

Inexperienced landlords will often accept the first tenant who applies and has money to pay for rent.

This rookie will deposit first and last, sign some sort of agreement and hand over the keys to the rental property.

Wow, it’s easy to be a landlord!

Except what happens when the rent isn’t paid? What happens when the tenants won’t answer the phone? What happens when the neighbors complain about cars parked on the front lawn and parties every second night?

You need to make sure you find a qualified renter who respects paying on time and respects your property.

*  Credit Checks

Running a formal credit check important information about a potential renter.

Credit checks reveal any past problems with bankruptcy, foreclosure or eviction.

A credit check will also tell a landlord about a tenant’s income history, which is important to ensuring that the tenant can pay rent each month and afford to keep the rental unit clean and well-furnished.

*  Use a Tenant Finding Company

There are some great companies out there who have experience in finding great tenants for landlords.

2.  The need to use proper leases, applications and other forms

As a landlord, being meticulous about record keeping and documentation is one of your best keys to success.

3.  Hiring top quality companies

We keep hearing stories about bad companies that claim to ‘help landlords’ but in reality are more interested in over-charging them. Some of the horror stories we hear are companies claiming to champion landlords rights who then charge excessively, charge huge rates, fail to get results, and then threaten legal action against the landlord if they dare make their concerns public!

Make sure you only hire companies recommended by your provincial landlord association.

4.  Networking with other landlords

Networking with other landlords allows you to learn from experienced landlords. It also allows you to discuss problems, issues and solutions to any problems you fact.

5.  Join a provincial landlord association

How can you network with other landlords? Try joining one of your provincial associations.

If you are small residential association be careful what association you choose to become a member in. Many of the large corporate landlord associations represent those huge buildings you see downtown. They are bureaucratic, have their own tiny groups running things, and don’t share your concerns as a small residential landlord.

We recommend:

*  Ontario Landlords go to the Ontario Landlords Association

Alberta Landlords go to the Alberta Landlords Association

*  British Columbia Landlords go to the BC Landlords Association

*  Saskatchewan Landlords go to the Saskatchewan Landlords Association

Manitoba Landlords go to the Manitoba Landlords Association

*  Nova Scotia Landlords go to the Nova Scotia Landlords Association

Wherever you own rental property in Canada, 2013 is a year full of potential pitfalls.  Whether you are an Ontario landlord, an Alberta landlord, a BC landlord or anywhere else make sure you do credit checks, proper leases, and network with other landlords.

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2013 Rent Increases for Canadian Landlords and Why Credit Checks Are More Important Than Ever

January 10th, 2013 · Credit Checks, tenant screening

Picture-of-good-tenants

Why the 2013 Rent Increase Guidelines For Canadian Landlords Means You Need To Do Credit Checks and Great Tenant Screening

It’s already the second week of 2013.  Have you thought about raising your rent yet?  Do you know most provinces have rent control.  This means you can only raise the rent as much as the provincial government says you can.

Allowable Provincial Rent Increases for Canadian landlords

Ontario landlords can raise the rent by only 2.5%

The rent increase should be higher, but the government capped rent increases to this low number.

*  In British Columbia the allowable rent increase for 2013 is 3.8%

*  In Manitoba the allowable rent increase for 2013 is only 1.0%

*  In Saskatchewan the system is different. No increases are allowed during a fixed-term lease unless the landlord and thetenant agree to the amount of the increase and time when an increase is to come into effect at the time they enter into the fixed term tenancy.  Read the details here.

*  In Nova Scotia landlords can raise the rent by 3.0% in 2013.

*  In Quebec some specific rules apply to residential rent increases. For leases longer than 12 months, the landlord and the tenant are free to adjust the rent during the course of the lease. If the duration of the lease is 12 months or less, the rent may not be increased during the course of the lease. There is no cap on rent increases or fixed rates of increase however the tenant must be given proper notice in writing.

*  In Alberta landlords don’t have to have the government tell them how much they can increase their rents. Read more here.

Question:  What’s The Common Theme In All of The Government Allowable Rent Increases?

Answer:    The Percentage You Are Allowed To Raise the Rent is Low!

Costs are rising fast in Canada.

And what if you get tenants who don’t pay on time or do damages? What if you need to do major repairs? What if your other rental properties are empty and you need to rely on getting cash-flow from an other of your rental property?

Low allowable rent increases are a reason who need to avoid renting to bad tenants and that means proper tenant screening including credit checks.

 

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Barrie, Ontario Landlords Be Careful – Tenant Bites Her Landlord!

December 29th, 2012 · Barrie Landlords

A Barrie, Ontario Landlord Was Actually Bitten By His Tenant

This is a warning to all landlords out there when dealing with bad tenants.

The warning comes from a landlord in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

(Yes, we’ve written about landlord and tenant matters in Barrie, Ontario before)

There was a dispute between a tenant and her landlord in the evening. The landlord called the police and the tenant was told to leave the property.

She did, but the tenant came back as soon as the police left.

Once back the tenant started going crazy and began to smash all the windows of the rental property.

This led to the landlord coming back to try to stop the vandalism.

The landlord confronted the tenant and the tenant once again left. Only this time the landlord followed the tenant and again called the police to report all the smashed windows.

The tenant kept going. The landlord kept after her, while talking on the phone to police.

Then the tenant turned around, faced the landlord, and bit him! Yes, bit him!

The police arrived and arrested the tenant. She was charged with not only ‘assault’ but also charged for ‘mischief’ and breaking her probation rules.

The tenant was then held for a bail hearing. The landlord went to get medical attention.

What’s the lesson from this?

#1 Be careful when dealing with any confrontation with tenants. You never know what can happen. In this case, the landlord was bitten. It could have been much worse.

#2 When dealing with any potential confrontation with your tenants, make sure you have a cell phone so you can contact the police for help if any violence erupts.

#3. If there is any confrontation, don’t try to be a hero. Let the authorities do the job they have been professionally trained for. Othewise you could wind up as a landlord with legal problems.

#4 Do credit checks and make sure you rent to good tenants. Good tenants are out there. It’s up to you to find them.

Let this Incident Experienced by a Barrie, Ontario Landlord Be a Warning Call! Become a professional landlord. Avoid confrontation by finding good tenants!

 

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How Can I Find A Great Tenant? Tenant Screening Is Your Key To Success

December 1st, 2012 · Find Great Tenants

Tenant Screening is the Key To Success for Landlords To Find Great Tenants

The problem with new landlords is they will often rent to the first person interested in their rental property.

They see someone interested in renting their unit, and this person has money. And this can be a huge loss.

And why not?

The landlord is already paying for the mortgage of the property.

Each and every month it is vacant is a huge financial loss for the landlord.

This means the first potential renter who shows up, seems pretty nice, looks presentable and tell you he or she want the place….looks like your perfect tenant! Of course it’s always best to hire professionals.

So You Say “Not so fast”

You are making new landlord mistake number one. There are so many crazy tenants out there!

And it’s a mistake that could end up costing you not only tens of thousands of dollars, but your peace of mind.

What If the Potential Renter Seems Decent?  Nice Car, Friendly, Well-Dressed and Stuff?

Some of the worst ‘Tenants From Hell” have come across extremely well when first meeting their future landlord. They have practiced and they know the key words they need to say and how they need to look to get into the unit and avoid proper tenant screening. Professional property management companies won’t be fooled, but many small business landlords are.

So What Do I Need To Do?

First you have to request the applicant’s information.

Okay, Then What?

Are you have all the applicant’s information, you need to make sure it’s true.

You Mean Tenants Might Lie?

Yes. It happens all the time. You need to verify everything to make sure the tenant is qualified to rent your property.

Your tenant screening process starts.

#1 Do a credit check

#2. Verify employment

#3. Verify income

#4. Verify current and former rental addresses

#5. Verify and references

It Seems Like A Lot of Hard Work

It is. But it’s nothing like the work you will have to do if you get a non-paying tenant, or worse.

Landlords, Make Sure You Only Rent To Great Tenants! Proper Tenant Screening is Vital!

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Barrie Ontario Landlord Warns Others about Their Legal Problems

November 2nd, 2012 · tenant screening

 

There was a very heart-felt letter in a Barrie, Ontario newspaper. A Barrie landlord who is now living in British Columbia wants other Barrie landlords to know about her landlord legal problems and to make sure you hire a great property management company!

There are lots of lessons to be learned from this letter.  For example, make sure you choose a good property management company that does proper credit checks before putting tenants in your rental property.

Here is her letter.

It Begins…

This is a question our family has been forced to look at this past year. This is also a huge warning to potential landlords.

Where Was Her Rental Property Located?

We have had a home in Barrie and paid taxes to the city of Barrie for over 18 years now. Last year our family returned out west to work.

How Did They Plan to Manage the Property?

We engaged a very large property management company in Barrie to lease our home. Its fees were called ‘Full service’ and its brochure advertised ‘Peace of Mind’.

This could not have been further from the truth.

What Happened?

The tenants placed in our home had bad credit, a very bad history of past evictions in Barrie and were known to the police. We then discovered the only reference that this company did have was a phone call to the tenants’ aunt.

That Is Terrible Tenant Screening! It Usually Leads to Big Problems for the Landlord.

Did the Landlord Complain?

When alerted, the company kindly gave us 30 days notice and left us on the other side of the country to deal with it. We then went through the legal process to have these people move off the property.  She didn’t hire a property management company offering high quality landlord services.

Of course, when we questioned as to ‘Why?’ people that have been evicted multiple times should be allowed to go through the system on a continual basis and hurt other families, we were told, ‘It was private and confidential.’

Did They Evict the Tenants For Non-Payment?

The day before eviction, County of Simcoe stepped in and paid the tenants’ bill in full.

Yikes!

In a nutshell, Ontario Works funded people, 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 cut their grass.

What’s the Situation Recently?

We are now into August. The tenants continue to live for free and we are now faced with going through the whole legal process again.

How Much Has This Cost the Landlords?

We now have more than 8,000 in debts and legal fees. Who pays our bills?

Our family is close to financial ruin.

Has the Government Helped the Landlord?

The government offices have offered no assistance whatsoever to our family.

The local MPs were not interested, the city is not interested.

The final irony; the insurance companies are now revoking policies to people who live out of province and have rental properties.

The government is crying there is not enough housing.

What Do The Landlords Think About Being Landlords In Ontario?

We will never rent again and we could lose our home because of it. If there is damage done to our property, who should be held responsible. The property management company? The County of Simcoe? What is wrong with the system?

There is a great deal wrong when funding goes to those, who year after year, live dishonestly and are rewarded for their deeds.

Landlords, the warning is clear!  Make sure you hire high quality rental property management companies to take care of your rental properties.

 

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