Rental properties can be an exceptional source of income, providing a continual revenue stream that can help pay mortgage or allow you to expand your investment properties. However, anyone thinking of becoming a landlord should be aware that it is not a passive income. Even if you are just renting your basement suite, you are in business and you should understand what it is all about.

Being a landlord is a full-time responsibility. There will be maintenance requests at inconvenient times, the tenants may miss out on rental payments or they can be too troublesome but you may not be able to evict them straightaway. Unless you have hired a rental management company, you should be prepared for some hard work. You must do your groundwork before you become a landlord. Here are some tips for first-time landlords from experts at our rental company in Calgary.
Know The Laws
Before you put up the “Apartment for rent” board, educate yourself on the residential tenancy act in your province. You may want to consult a lawyer, speak to your rental management company (if you have hired one) or at least take time to read up. Go through the basics both from the tenants’ and landlords’ perspective. Each province has a website that outlines these laws and all the information you need is available at the click of a button.

Some common challenges that landlords face are non-payment or delayed payment of apartment rental, damage to apartment rental caused by tenants and disruptive tenants. Ensure that you are fully educated on the rules and regulations pertaining to these challenges. For example, in Ontario, you may not be able to evict a tenant just because they have bought in a pet. You cannot have a no-pet clause either. So, it’s better to be aware of these laws beforehand. You should also research your local municipal bylaws. These may include things like standards and the guidelines for fire and the building safety.
Screen Prospective Renters Carefully
Be selective about who you are going to have as a tenant. Make sure you know who you are renting to and that they can afford to pay the rent. The person may make a great first impression and you may be tempted to skip the background check, but never omit this crucial skip. Get them to fill out the tenant application form, get references from the previous landlords and do credit checks. This is where property management companies can make a lot of difference. They can screen the tenants and find you a good match.
Inform Your Home Insurance Company
When you decide to rent out a portion of your home, you should inform your home insurance company. Surprisingly, a vast majority of people don’t do this. Insurance companies charge you a premium based on the risk assessment of a single-family home. However, renting out a portion increases this risk and the insurance company may refuse to pay anything in case of an eventuality such as fire.
Sign A Written Lease
Documents such as the move-in inspection form, the rental application form and the residential tenancy agreement are essential if you want to avoid any trouble in future. Even if you are renting your home to a family member or close friend, have a properly written lease in place. The lease between you and your tenant should clearly outline the rules, expectations, length of the lease term and late rent penalties.
Most property management companies prepare the lease agreement carefully, not leaving anything to the whim.

To summarize, becoming a successful landlord can be ridden with challenges. However, with the right professional help from one the reputed rental property management companies you can get high quality tenants and enjoy high rate of return on your rental property. Get in touch with our property management experts today to begin your journey as a landlord