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Old 11-13-2018, 01:50 PM   #1
Sheva #7
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Hello,

I am looking to rent out my 1 bedroom condo soon, any tips/tricks for first time landlords that you guys can share?

Can be anything raging from important clauses in the contract to have to anything else that you feel might be important, any useful links, tidbits you can share?

thx
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:52 PM   #2
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Tip #1 - sell your place and let someone else deal with the headache of being a landlord.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:56 PM   #3
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Tip #1 - sell your place and let someone else deal with the headache of being a landlord.
You missed the part saying 1 bedroom condo.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:01 PM   #4
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Get an electronic version of the condo bylaws ($10.00 from land titles) and print a set out for your tenant.

Inform yourself of your obligations under the condominium property act as it relates to the condo corp.

Inform yourself and tenant about move in process at the condo, where to park the moving truck, how to book the elevator, etc.

Your tenant could be a great tenant, but a crappy neighbour - which could create big headaches for you.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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Depending on your preferences, you could spell out some anti-cannabis rules in the rental agreement if you don't want issues from that perspective, i.e. your 1 bedroom being turned into a grow op, or disturbing condo neighbours with smoking, etc.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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Be very clear on your contract about how many people are allowed to live in that Condo. If you have no problem having a couple share it that's fine, but meet both of them, and have them both sign the lease.

It is not unheard of for large groups of people to share a place, some of whom may be people you wouldn't approve of.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:07 PM   #7
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Tip #1 - sell your place and let someone else deal with the headache of being a landlord.
Came to say this.

Landlord advice: Don't.

Or: Hire a really good management company to take care of it for you.

Tenants can be either awesome or hell on earth and you find yourself driving across town in the middle of the night to fix a toilet or change a lightbulb or some such nonsense.

Never. Again.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:09 PM   #8
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Don't be afraid to be super critical and discerning during the interview process.

Maybe I'm too much of a hard-azz but when I had a rental for a very short period of time, I did not respond to anyone who had poor grammar or who wouldn't call me back to talk and only texted basic, cryptic responses.

Last edited by dubc80; 11-13-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:10 PM   #9
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Depending on your preferences, you could spell out some anti-cannabis rules in the rental agreement if you don't want issues from that perspective, i.e. your 1 bedroom being turned into a grow op, or disturbing condo neighbours with smoking, etc.
There's no way the panel for a 1 bedroom condo could supply enough power for a grow op. Yes, there could be enough power to grow the government mandated 4 plant maximum but 4 plants does not a grow op make.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:22 PM   #10
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There's no way the panel for a 1 bedroom condo could supply enough power for a grow op. Yes, there could be enough power to grow the government mandated 4 plant maximum but 4 plants does not a grow op make.

I don't know the legal definition of how many plants are required to be a "grow op",but he point still stands - if they don't want the condo being used to grow plants, it should be put in the contract. Though, I do wonder what would be the consequences of growing even 4 plants in a small space? I have never done such a thing, so I don't know if it would be a mess or not. Are they worse than the run of the mill tropical plant?
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:25 PM   #11
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At the very least investigate getting a management company. They're not a silver bullet because sometimes you end up spending as much time managing the management company as you did on managing the rental, but they can be good as well. They're pretty expensive though IMO. But if it makes economic sense it can be a good option.

Familiarize yourself with the landlord tenant act, there's lots of obligations and procedures that many small landlords break constantly that can come back and bite them. You should know what to do in all the major possible scenarios, and where to go to find out what to do in the less common scenarios. What do you do when they don't pay their rent? What do you do when they're damaging your place? How often are you going to do inspections? Who's going to do the repairs? Who's going to let them in when they lock themselves out? Do you have trades you can call for all the various things that will happen that are time sensitive (appliance repair, plumber, electrician, etc)?

Even from an investment point of view is this the best avenue? What's the benefit of doing this vs selling it and taking that money and investing it elsewhere?

EDIT: Make sure you can get insurance that covers your situation, finding insurance that covers rentals is harder these days. And after the flood the coverages and deductibles are sometimes impossible to accept.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:30 PM   #12
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Read your condo bylaws and make sure the tenant has a copy. Point out any major things in the bylaws that they need to be aware of. Also, make sure that the lease spells out that any fines or chargebacks issued by the board will be passed on to the tenant for immediate payment.

Make sure the tenant understands that living in a condo essentially means they have two landlords, you and the condo association. Their neighbours aren't just other tenants, but potentially members of the board and/or owners in the building. The Condominium Property Act actually makes it much easier for a condo association to evict a problem tenant than it is for a landlord.

Even if the condo bylaws allow smoking and/or pets, I'd put a prohibition on both in the lease.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:46 PM   #13
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When screening tenants make sure to do a credit check. They can and do lie about every other single thing but a credit report tells the honest truth no matter what. I rented out 450 units during a two year span as a real estate agent and it's remarkable how few times my feeling about someone was correct. Almost without exception the people I thought were losers turned out to be great tenants and the good looking ones were scum.



Make sure to do a walk through report with the tenants and document everything. You can't keep their security deposit unless you have a move in report. And know what you can and can't charge for, like what is wear and tear and what is extraordinary damage. Tenants also need copies of everything. Pics are great.



If you can furnish the place you might get more rent, especially if it's downtown. I can furnish and outfit a place for about 4k and it used to get me an extra 3-400 a month on a one bedroom. I think now it might just open up other markets for you and make it easier to rent.



Hiring a management company is not a bad idea. Lots of people rent through companies. Everything is much easier and it usually costs half of the first month and maybe up to 10% a month afterwards. If it saves you one month of vacancy a year it's almost paid for.


Tenants often turn into buyers. Just keep that in mind if you're wanting to sell.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:49 PM   #14
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You missed the part saying 1 bedroom condo.
I didn't miss anything. I wouldn't rent out a bird house if I owned one, and I wouldn't rent out a one bedroom condo.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:52 PM   #15
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As someone who is heavily involved in the Rental Apartment industry id say a couple of things.

1. Discriminate Heavily, This person could cost you tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and lost rent.

2. Its not weird to ask for a pay stub, or proof of employment. And DO!!!! call them and just ask if X is employed there.

3.Ask for references from their past landlords again this is standard practice. and DO!! actually call them!! ask if they would rent to them again, and if they got their damage deposit back, and if they Smoked/Had a pet. as people often lie about these things.

Albertalandlord.org has some valuable info for you as well
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:56 PM   #16
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I didn't miss anything. I wouldn't rent out a bird house if I owned one, and I wouldn't rent out a one bedroom condo.
Well sure but in this market you are taking a huge bath on a 1 bedroom condo from what I have heard.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:59 PM   #17
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It's really not that bad. Have been a landlord for close to three years now.

Just hire a decent management company and you're set. The guys I deal with usually can find me a decent tenant within two weeks.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:25 PM   #18
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It's really not that bad. Have been a landlord for close to three years now.

Just hire a decent management company and you're set. The guys I deal with usually can find me a decent tenant within two weeks.
This is the key.

A lot of people try to save money by not going with a property management company.

I'd recommend choosing a decent management company, at least for the first few years.

If you're thinking about buying more properties, you could also think about setting up a holding company for tax and liability purposes. I don't know a lot about this.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:29 PM   #19
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Personally I wouldn't hire a management company for 1 unit in the same city you live in. If you're looking at multiple rentals the economics may make sense.

Just ensure you screen correctly for tenants.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:35 PM   #20
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I don't know the legal definition of how many plants are required to be a "grow op", but the point still stands - if they don't want the condo being used to grow plants, it should be put in the contract.
Absolutely.

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Though, I do wonder what would be the consequences of growing even 4 plants in a small space? I have never done such a thing, so I don't know if it would be a mess or not. Are they worse than the run of the mill tropical plant?
One could easily grow 4 plants in a grow tent with LED lighting and air filters with no impact on air quality or humidity. There might be a slight hum from fans but nothing a closed door wouldn't cover.
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