Determining your rental rate is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a property manager or landlord. The rent you set impacts the amount of profit you make, how long your rental sits on the market unoccupied, and how harshly potential tenants judge your property during viewings. Needless to say, setting the right rental rate is paramount for success as a landlord. If you’re struggling to find the right price to tag onto your rental, we’re here to help! We’ve come up with five important factors to consider when setting the rent for your property.
It’s common knowledge that location is one of the most important factors when it comes to real estate. Owning property in a prime spot almost always works to your advantage when it comes to setting rent! Is your property located in a walkable community? Is it within close proximity to schools, shopping and other recreational options? Is it easily accessed by public transit? These are all questions to ask when assessing the location of your rental property. Since most tenants like living close to essential amenities like grocery stores and shopping centres, they’ll be willing to pay more rent for easy access to these conveniences. So, the more the community and location of your rental has to offer your potential tenants, the more you’ll be able to charge for rent.
2. Size and modernity
Size is another important factor to consider when setting rent. When on the hunt for a home most tenants are usually looking for tons of space. So, a rental property with a high square footage is a lot more desirable than a small home with limited living space. You should also consider how modern your space is. These days, tenants are on the market for open-concept homes stocked with up-to-date stainless-steel appliances. If your property features an older dishwasher, microwave or stove, then you may want to consider setting a lower rental rate.
3. Neighbouring properties
When setting rent, you want to strike a balance between making a profit and being competitive in the market. That’s why it’s essential to know the rent being charged by neighbouring properties in the community. To gather accurate information about competing rentals in the area, we suggest you research similar listings and see how your rental stacks up. So, for example, if you’re renting out a one-bedroom apartment in Greenhill, check online to see what other one-bedroom apartments in that neighbourhood are going for. You can also talk to other landlords or property managers who are willing to disclose their rental information. This way, you’ll be able to charge the appropriate amount of rent and be competitive in the market.
4. Your expenses
Making a profit is the end goal when renting out your property. To ensure you pocket some money from your monthly rental income, you’ll have to factor in your monthly expenses. Take into consideration things like your monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, property management fees, as well as home insurance and management costs. When setting your rent, ensure that the amount you charge is able to cover all your expenses and a little more.
5. The housing markets
Last but not least, the housing market. As you know, housing market conditions fluctuate from time-to-time. At times, when property prices are unreasonably high, it’s better for people to rent rather than buy a home – you’ll want to take advantage of these conditions. You should also adjust your rental rate to accommodate for seasonal changes in the market. For example, people tend to avoid moving during the winter months and as a result of this, things slow down dramatically for the rental housing market. In a situation like this, you should lower your rent to increase the chances of attracting tenants.
The rent you set for your property determines how successful you’ll be in the rental housing market. So, it’s important that you get it right on the first go. With our helpful tips, we’re sure you’ll be able to set a competitive yet profitable rental rate with ease.
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Whether you like it or not, your rental property has a lifespan. It’s only a matter of time until the plumbing needs to be fixed or doorknobs need to be replaced. As a landlord, handling repairs is a big part of your job. The landlord-tenant law requires all property owners to maintain their rentals, ensuring the space is livable. Luckily, when you work with a property manager these are fixes that we can deal with instead. For landlords and property managers ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, here are five common repairs all property owners will encounter.
Plumbing is one of the most common fixes landlords have to deal with, and it’s one we suggest you tend to quickly. A seemingly small leak under the kitchen sink could end up dramatically increasing your next water bill. Depending on the cause of the leak, this is a repair you can possibly take on yourself. However, if you don’t know your way around those pipes, you might want to get a plumber to take on this project.
2. Clogged toilets
While fixing a clogged toilet isn’t always your job as a property manager, it is a situation that comes up quite often. When the toilet in your rental property is clogged, you have to first figure out the cause. If your tenant clogs the toilet themselves, they’re responsible for getting it fixed. However, not all clogs are the tenant’s fault. Sometimes it’s a symptom of a larger issue with the main plumbing line or your drainpipe. If this is the case, then it’s something a landlord has to handle. And, with problems this big, we suggest calling a pro.
3. Leaky ceilings
A leaky ceiling is arguably one of the worst things that could happen to a home. If left unchecked, it could destroy everything from drywall and hardwood to flooring. Leaky ceilings, if left unchecked, also lead to mold which could make your rental inhabitable, and would cost a fortune to get under control. So, when your tenant calls you about a leak from the roof, put it at the top of your priority list.
4. Furnace repairs
Furnaces play an important role in regulating the temperature in your rental. So, furnace repairs should be another fix at the top of your priority list. To prevent the furnace in your rental from breaking down, you should get it serviced yearly and your tenants should replace the furnace filter every three months. However, if problems still arise despite regular maintenance, property managers should have a furnace specialist ready to help when needed.
5. Rundown appliances
Appliances in every home are used quite often, so it’s no surprise if they break down every now and then. Luckily, most of these issues can be easily fixed. New heating elements can be easily installed, and old dishwashers and stoves can be replaced. If the appliances in your rental property need replacing, we suggest visiting a used appliance store first. These stores have a great selection of stoves, dishwashers etc. that are almost as good as new.
Being a landlord or property manager comes with a lot of responsibilities and handling maintenance and repairs for rental properties is one of them. Luckily, with the right skills and resources handling these emergencies for your tenants should be no problem.
Need help maintaining your rental property? Get in touch with us today!
Creating a rental listing that attracts great tenants is simple, though it does require some thought and creativity! The headline, description, and photos should all be clear, concise, and compelling. Here are some ways you can create a rental listing that will attract great renters.
Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
A well-written headline will make people want to click on the description to find out more. If your headline doesn’t immediately grab the attention of a prospective tenant, you may be losing out on valuable leads. If you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes, what would you be looking for if you’re scanning rental listings?
Most renters know the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and price range they want and will click on listings that match their criteria. They’ll also want to know the location and a unique feature to your listing. An example headline would be “$1800/month – newly renovated 2 bed/1 baths in trendy Stoney Creek neighbourhood”. Make the headline direct with a differentiating descriptor and you’ll get noticed.
Include all details, big and small
When you provide as much information as possible, you’ll weed out anyone that isn’t a good match and find those who are. Here are some of the vital pieces of information renters are looking for:
- Location – the neighbourhood your rental is located in and a description of the neighbourhood (is it quiet? Central? Family-oriented?)
- Amenities – access to public transportation; walking distances to groceries, shopping, restaurants; nearby schools; access to highways
- Pets – include any details regarding pets, and if allowed, which kinds are permitted
- Length of lease
- Move-in date
- Square footage
Take high-quality photos
Give prospective tenants a clear feel for the property before they even contact you by taking beautiful photos. It’s best to hire a photographer who specializes in real estate photography. However, if you are taking the photos yourself, here are a few tips to show off your property:
- Get a wide-angle lens to capture the entire room in one shot. There are lens attachments for smartphones that you can find online or at any electronics store.
- Take plenty of pictures from different angles to capture flattering lighting and unique aspects of the room.
- Be sure to stay away from mirrors – seeing someone’s reflection in photographs can appear unprofessional.
- Make sure you use plenty of light – take advantage of the daylight, but also strategically light dark areas and corners with lamps if needed.
If possible, it can be beneficial to show your rental unit furnished to give renters a good idea of not only how large the space is, but also how they can envision themselves living there.
Highlight the differentiators
To ensure that your property is a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity, highlight what makes your unit special. Talk about those features in as much detail as possible to give renters a reason to take notice. Here are just a few features you may want to mention:
- City, park, or lake views
- Large windows that let in plenty of natural light
- A space that’s great for entertaining
- Recently renovated, freshly painted, new flooring, etc.
- Walk-in closet, additional storage, or any other extra space
- Higher-end finishes like granite countertops and hardwood floors
- Parking available for tenants and guests
- A gym, party room, pool, etc.
Be upfront about extra costs
The monthly rent of an apartment may be within a tenant’s budget, however, extras may push a unit out of their range. To ensure your prospective renter knows what they would be signing up for before they even schedule a viewing, include any extra costs that a renter would be responsible for.
- Parking – mention if it’s included or not, the number of stalls, or if it’s underground
- Utilities – explicitly state which utilities are included and those that the tenant is responsible for
- Deposits – mention the damage deposit and pet deposit if applicable
Once the rental listing is written and beautiful photos are taken, give it a final proofread (or two) and post on http://hamiltonhomesforrent.com/ for a wide exposure to prospective tenants in Hamilton.
A lease agreement is the most important document between landlords and tenants. However, not all leases are created equal. A good lease needs to be detailed, clear and contain a few fundamental elements in order for it to be binding and enforceable by law. Since the lease between you and your tenant provides guidelines for their tenancy in your property, you’ll want to make sure you draft a good lease on the first go. Here are seven fundamental clauses to include in your lease agreement.
1. Identify all parties
Every good lease agreement must identify all parties involved in the contract. If you’re leasing a rental property, you should identify all tenants over the age of 18, as well as the landlord or the landlord’s agent. The address of each party should also be included as part of the lease. Identifying the parties involved in a contract is the first step to creating a binding agreement.
2. Property description
Since the property being rented is the focal point of a lease agreement, providing an adequate description of it is important. Your lease should include the property’s address, unit/apartment number, the province and town it is located in as well as its postal code. You can also include any features or details you think makes the property unique from others.
3. Rental term
Another important clause to include in your lease is the rental term. This is the amount of time the lease is valid for. Here, you want to avoid general terms. Don’t state that the lease is valid for six months or a year. Instead, mention the exact dates that the agreement begins and ends. This ensures that the tenant knows exactly when to move in and out of the property.
4. Terms of rent
This section should provide the tenant with all the necessary information regarding their rent. Here, you should state the amount of rent to be paid and when its due. It’s also important to state where the rent should be sent and how it will be accepted – by cheque, direct deposit etc. Terms governing late rent should also be laid out in this section.
5. Security deposit
Most landlords require a security deposit before tenants move in, so, providing a security deposit clause is crucial. This should include the amount of security deposit required, how and when it should be paid, as well as the terms surrounding its return. You should also provide the tenant with reasons why deductions can be taken from their deposit. This is helpful in the case that he/she does not receive their full deposit back at the end of their lease.
6. Tenant responsibilities
Just as landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to provide a liveable space and fix problems around the home, tenants have the responsibility of taking care of the rental while they live there. They must follow all building and housing codes and must not cause excessive damage to the property. In addition to these, this section of your lease agreement should also include the specific tenant responsibilities outlined in your state’s landlord/tenant laws.
7. Renewal and termination
Finally, renewal and termination clauses. If you give your tenant the option of renewing the lease agreement, it should be stated clearly in the document. This also goes for lease termination. You should provide details about how and when both the tenant and landlord can terminate the lease.
A good lease agreement is the foundation of every landlord-tenant relationship. It helps each party know what they can expect from one another for the period of the agreement. With these seven fundamentals, you’re sure to draft the perfect lease for your next tenant.
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