To find a good tenant, you have to know what you’re looking for. So first up, create a mental list of who your ideal tenant is and then think about how best to attract them. Once you’ve narrowed and targeted your search, have a reliable system in place to make sure that they are who they say they are.

  •     Know your target renter well, so you know where they’ll find rental ads.  Focus your marketing spending on the most likely place for your target demographic
  •     Do complete background checks every time, including calling references, credit checks, job confirmations.

Contracts and leases
The lease is a valuable tool that protects your investment. When getting tenants to sign, make sure you consider these points:

  •     Know that although leases often look the same there are subtle differences in each and that it is your job to have a standard one that you understand clearly and that fits your local landlord and tenant laws.
  •     Feel free to make an addendum to leases as part of the contract for anything that you agree to verbally. Nothing will stand up in landlord and tenant court if it is just verbal. Write it down and get it signed by all parties.
  •     Make sure that everyone in the house (who is of age) reads, agrees and signs the lease, not just one party.

All properties will need repairs from time to time and if you want to keep good tenants, you’ll ensure they are done as quickly as possible. To see the job is done cost effectively, follow these tips:

  •     Get three quotes at a minimum for any job that’s more $1,000.
  •     Then sign and date an agreement with the contractor you choose, which includes the job’s price estimate, time lines, quality of finish, clean-up after renovations, etc.
  •     Finally, build financial penalties into the deal if these parameters are not met.

When handling tenant issues
Problems do arise from time to time, but don’t let emotion rule over common sense. Campbell recommends property investors:

  •     Follow the book to the letter. No removing doors to get your tenants’ attention.
  •     Each province has very clear step-by-step rules dealing with all tenant issues. You must know them and follow them. Any breach puts you at risk of losing a case in court.

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