Imagine the following scenario: You own a beautiful one-bedroom apartment that has been your home for many years, but it’s time to move on to something bigger. After weighing whether to sell the unit or hold on to it, you have decided to lease it out and generate extra income. You never imagined before now that you would be a landlord, but here you are, and you have lots of questions and probably a few butterflies as well.
Don’t worry! You landed on the right blog at the right time to find out everything you need to know about leasing.
As a leading local rental agency, Nid d’Amour helps dozens of owners rent out their condos and apartments across the city and has experienced every possible situation. That said, we know that what’s most important to you is earning the highest rent possible while renting to a tenant who will pay their rent on time, care for the unit as if it were their own and give you as little trouble as possible!
To achieve your goal, here are 5 answers to your most important questions to consider !
The first question you are asking yourself is, will I hire a rental agent or will I do the job myself?
PROS : The main benefit to leasing a condo or home on your own is to save the money you would pay in commission to a real estate broker and the standard cost is one month’s rent.
CONS : It takes a lot of time to market the property, conduct viewings, screen tenants, manage the paperwork, follow up on with home insurance subscription, Hydro Quebec subscription, coordinate reception of keys, collect rent cheques and make sure you thought of everything to ensure your full protection.
Unless you are an experienced landlord who has the time and resources to rent out properties, finding a qualified tenant and avoiding mistakes along the way is often easier said than done.
How do I prepare my property For Rent?
When prospective tenants tour your property, they will get an impression of who you are as a landlord and how much you care about your property from the moment they walk in. Small things like burnt-out lightbulbs, dirty light fans, beds undid and a not so perfectly clean bathroom are red flags. A prospective tenant will ask themselves, “If my landlord is not willing to properly clean a home when they are trying to rent it out, are they going to be quick to assist when maintenance issues arise?”
With that in mind, here is a short but essential checklist to prepare your condo or home for rent:
- Deep clean of the unit paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom
- Ensure that all light fixtures are working properly
- Repair any damage to the walls
- Apply a fresh coat of paint if required
- Ensure there is a new caulking/grout in the bathroom(s)
- Check that all of the window coverings, closet door tracks, kitchen cabinetry & all appliances are in good working order
Should I have Professional Pictures taken?
When prospective tenants search online to find their new home, they make record-speed decisions and they will zero in on 5 to 10 places to check out, they narrow down the list of possibilities and move into action! So, it makes sense that the photography and listing presentation is on point.
Professional pictures are essential to finding that perfect tenant that will appreciate that level of attention to detail! Consequently, we always recommend that landlords have professional pictures taken. Beautiful photographs attract good tenants and in turn yield higher rental rates. Not to mention, for an approximate $200 investment, you will have pictures of your home that will be reused any time you have tenant turnover in the future!
How do I figure out the right price for my property?
Before your listing goes live, it is essential to do market research and develop a pricing strategy to rent at the most optimal value. But how do you do this? Well, there are many ways to go about it and it’s not a perfect science even though the method is clear to us. For example, if your condo is in the downtown area, it is not uncommon that 2 to 5 units will be listed at the same time in the same building allowing you to compare with your direct competition. Consequently, it is vital to consider these units and price yours accordingly.
Additionally, seek out recent comparable rentals in the immediate area. What did they rent out for in the end? What time of year were they rented? How long did they take to be rented? Also, why not consider speaking to the rental agents for these properties to find out how much activity they received and what type of prospective tenants they attracted with their marketing strategy?
Finally, think of your listing price from the perspective of potential renters. What else would they be considering in the area, and why would they choose your unit over another? Features like an unobstructed view, building amenities, a unique layout, premium appliances, school districts and parking are all part of this equation!
How much time should I consider for screening Tenants?
We’ve all heard horror stories about bad Tenants, so it’s easy to understand that an effective screening process is paramount.
Quebec has some of the most tenant-friendly rental laws in North America. If a tenant does not hold up the end of their contractual obligations of the lease, it can be a long and costly headache for the Landlord. Side note, because the screening process is so important and necessary, we will dedicate our next blog post to the subject. Check us out shortly! So how much time should be dedicated to screening your next tenant? Let’s put it this way, when we handle this part of the rental process, time is never a factor! Taking the time to dot your i’s and to cross your t’s could save you a lot of sweat and tears down the line.
Finding your 5-star tenant requires a lot of preparation, planning, and an exhaustive due diligence process. However, the fact you’re reading this article tells us you’re already on the right track to protecting your property and handling your rental like a pro!
If you are looking for more information about how to be a great Landlord that attracts the absolute best tenant, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for additional advice because when it comes to leasing, we’ve got you covered from start to finish!