Tips on Finding a Dream Tenant
Across Canada, landlords recount endless tales of torment at the hands of bad tenants. Whatever the reason from repeatedly bounced rent cheques, to smashed up granite countertops, to stolen furnaces, getting rid of a tenant from hell can be frustrating, expensive and, quite frankly, confusing. Part of the problem is that your only recourse is to use the legal system, which most landlords believe is skewed in the tenant’s favour. At present, tenants get free legal advice, and can significantly prolong the case using counter-complaints, adjournments and appeals. The whole process can be tremendously stressful, but there is easy way out, follow below tips and avoid hassle:
1) Lower your rental rates. The best way to attract good tenants is to rent it out your property a bit below market value. You’ll get more applicants and this allows you to select, rather than settle, on a tenant.
2) Do your due diligence. Check all references. For instance, make sure the employer or landlord cited is legitimate and not just a friend or family member vouching for a possible deadbeat.
3) Sign a lease. This legally binding contract identifies the roles and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord.
4) Find workarounds. Keep in mind that students and new immigrants may not have a credit history, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make good tenants. Ask for written references from current and former banks or lending institutions. You could also ask for a guarantor—a person who will sign the lease and take legal responsibility for rent owed or damages.
5) Be responsive. Is your tenant having troubles with the locks? Are there mice in the apartment? Whatever the issue, deal with it quickly and effectively. The fastest way to sour a landlord-tenant relationship is to treat your tenant’s concerns as a waste of your time.
6) Last but not least hire a Realtor to help you find a dream tenant, his skills and knowledge will guide you through whole process.