Rentcore, Author at RentCore
Everything You Need To Know About Renting To Students

Everything You Need To Know About Renting To Students

Eventually, kids grow up and go off to college. It’s a natural progression for them, and they’re going to need a place to stay while they’re getting a higher education. While a lot of students may opt for the traditional dorm room, others prefer to live off campus so they can concentrate better.

For landlords, this can be a boon, but there are some things to consider before you decide to rent your property to a student. Risky tenants come in many forms, and students are no different. If you’re going to entrust your property to them, you should know what to watch out for.

THE GOOD: PLENTY OF TENANTS TO CHOOSE FROM

If your property is located near a college or university, you’re in luck. Every year, new generations of kids are leaving home – many for the first time – and pursuing higher education. That means your property is in a prime rental location, and many students would undoubtedly be happy to rent it. 

In fact, one of the greatest benefits of renting to students is the “turnover guarantee.” Once a student has completed their studies, they’ll move out and make room for another student to move right on in. If handled correctly, you can guarantee a steady revenue stream for years, if not decades.

THE BAD: LACK OF CREDIT HISTORY

Young people lack credit; that’s just a fact. Unless they started working at a very young age and penny-pinched their way into a 700+ credit score range, chances are they won’t have anything in the way of established credit or collateral. However, with no opportunities to build a credit score, many young people become stuck in a financial rut.

If your tenant has a good history, no criminal violations, and is backed by a co-signer, such as a parent, it may be beneficial to rent your property to them. Your rent should be guaranteed, while the student can build up a solid credit rating in the process. If the worst does occur, and a student needs to leave, chances are you will find another to take their place.

THE GOOD: HIGHER RENTAL FEES

Supply and demand is a reality when it comes to any area of economics, and renting real estate is no different. If your house is situated close to a college or university, chances are it’s not too far from other attractive amenities and services, as well. With everything centralized in one key area, the attractiveness of your property shoots up dramatically.

That means you are justified in charging higher-than-average rent. Doubtlessly there will be many students competing to rent your property. All you need to do is decide which one is the best candidate, and watch the money roll in.

THE BAD: IMMATURE BEHAVIOUR

College students may technically be adults, but they have a long way to go before they’re considered grownups. The pursuit of higher education also includes drunkenness, hedonism and rowdy parties, all of which can spell trouble for your property. If you are going to rent out to a tenant, you run the risk of such behaviour taking place.

Even if you have a no-party rule stipulated in the contract, some college students may still participate in heavy drinking, drug use or other behaviour that they believe will go unnoticed. Make sure to lay down the law early on, and schedule regular inspections to make sure nothing nefarious is going on inside the walls of your property.

THE GOOD: STUDENTS AREN’T FUSSY

Students are so thankful to strike out on their own that they probably won’t care much about anything else. While it’s always a good idea to maintain your property, renting to a student usually means that non-vital upgrades and repairs don’t have to be prioritized. That means skipping luxurious kitchen and bath upgrades, and keeping things as they are for the time being.

Over time, you may wish to upgrade your property, but there’s no sense investing money into something that isn’t necessary at that moment. Students will spend a significant amount of time either studying, or sleeping. When they’re not doing either of those, they’re out on the town with their friends.

THE BAD: THEY MAY BE LAZY

Many kids grew up with mom and dad taking care of everything, from the laundry, to lawn mowing, and that can become a problem when they finally move out. Some student tenants are so used to living the cushy life under their parents’ roof that they may not be able to grasp the most basic of property maintenance rules. 

This can manifest itself in everything from noise complaints and icy porches, to vermin infestations. Be prepared to draft a contract which lays out the rules in a clear and explicit manner, and make sure to schedule regular inspections to make sure they’re upholding their promise. Otherwise, irresponsible tenants can make short work of your property, which can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

CONCLUSION

If you’re interested in making a lot of money by renting out your property to a student, make sure to look at all the details. Otherwise, consider offloading the responsibility onto a property management company. RentCore has a lot of experience renting properties to student tenants, and we know exactly what to look for when it comes to choosing the right one, and making sure they abide by the rules.

For more information on how RentCore can help you achieve a stress-free rental experience, contact us today! 

How To Handle A Lease Renewal

How To Handle A Lease Renewal

Eventually, most people move. It’s just a common fact of life, and it pertains to the property rental market as much as it does people who own their own houses. Tenants who rent properties tend to stay for at least a few years, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stay for the long haul. Many move out so they can find a property closer to their job, cut down on travel times, or deal with a change of life such as a marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child.

That being said, you as a landlord depend on filling your property’s vacancy to maintain your cash flow, and lease renewals are a big part of that. Whether you’re renewing the lease of a tenant willing to stick around for a bit longer, or replacing said tenant with another prospect, it pays to follow some simple tips.

 

BE PROACTIVE

Depending on the length of your contract with a tenant, you should give ample notice of a lease renewal so that both parties understand what’s happening. Alternatively, you can opt for an automatic renewal of the lease if stated in the original contract. Typically, these kinds of automatic or manual renewals eschew the standard 1 or 2-year tenancy obligation in favor of a month-to-month rental contract.

If this is the case, it’s important to guard yourself against sudden vacancies. Tenants need to provide 60 days notice minimum before the lease expires if they wish to renew the contract, and both parties agree. Similarly, they must give 60 days notice if they intend to vacate the property before the one-year lease expires.

If either tenant or landlord is not satisfied with the conditions of a lease renewal, ample notice should always be given in writing. You as a landlord cannot enforce a renewal without the express consent of the tenant, and that includes their signature on the contract as well. If you’d rather forego a lease renewal option, a month-to-month tenancy schedule can be applied, provided the tenant agrees to give 60 days notice before vacating.

 

RENT INCREASES

If a lease renewal coincides with a justified increase in rental fees, landlords should approach this topic carefully, and with sensitivity. Rates increases may be applied every 12 months based on the allowable limit set by the Ministry of Housing. All rent increase notices must be delivered to the tenant 90 days before they go into effect, and must be done in writing using proper forms. This does not apply to residential buildings, houses or condos built after 2018. In those cases, landlords can increase the rent every 12 months with no cap, provided there is 90 days notice given.. 

Regardless of what you decide, tenants should be informed as soon as possible about your decision. Most tenants are fine with a modest and acceptable rental fee increase, but a massive spike based on rising property or rental rates could prove to be a shock to the system. Notice must always be given so that tenants can make informed decisions. This gives them time to decide whether to stay or move, which will give the landlord ample time to find a replacement tenant. When in doubt, give factual and fair justifications for a rent increase to your tenant.

 

ANTICIPATE TENANT REQUESTS

Lease renewals don’t always operate one-sidedly. In fact, many tenants may wish to renegotiate their leases when the old one has run its course. This also includes the option for tenants to exercise their automatic renewal clause. In this case, never assume.

When renegotiating a lease renewal with a tenant, always ask the following:

  • Do I want to keep my existing tenant?
  • What are my limits within the legal framework?
  • What are the local and national vacancy rates?
  • Should I offer upgrades and perks for my existing tenants to get them to stay?

Make sure to perform all applicable research, while trusting your gut. Good tenants can be hard to find on your own. If you’re working with a property management company, you will have greater flexibility when deciding on tenant demands and requests during a lease renewal. Otherwise, you’ll have to take a risk. 

 

YOUR REPUTATION WILL AFFECT A LEASE RENEWAL

If you’ve been a courteous, firm, but fair landlord who has garnered a great relationship with your tenant, you will have options when it comes to lease renewals. Oftentimes, a departing tenant may go to bat on your behalf, and start advertising the vacancy to their friends, family and coworkers. This is a social networking advantage that is totally free for you to enjoy.

If you’ve handled yourself admirably during the existing lease term by providing prompt tenant support for things like complaints, repairs and maintenance, you’re well on your way. Being a landlord means having a relationship with your tenant where both view your property as their own home. That’s the ideal situation, and it will pay dividends when the issue of renewal pops up. 

 

CONCLUSION

Lease renewals don’t have to be a scary scenario. By following the above tips, you can renegotiate with tenants, or part ways on excellent terms without suffering a prolonged vacancy. This offers greater peace of mind, and a smoother property rental experience as a whole.

To make the process of lease renewals even easier, consider working with a property management company like RentCore. Not only will we navigate the intricacies of lease renewals, but we’ll also help find the best prospective new tenants, while keeping tabs on all the duties associated with being a landlord, so you don’t have to. Contact us today for more information. 

Everything You Need To Know About Property Management Fees

Everything You Need To Know About Property Management Fees

Many would-be landlords interested in renting out their properties may struggle to figure out exactly what kinds of fees they can expect to be charged by a property management company. There is no defining set dollar amount, but rather, a series of variables that determine the final cost of the service.

Rest assured, the benefits of a property management company are worth every penny, especially for those who may not realize just how competitive and affordable their services are. However, it’s good to know how property management companies calculate their fees before deciding to work with one to rent out your property.

AVERAGE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FEES

Depending on the nature of your property, your needs and location, and even the number of tenants renting out your space, a property management company will charge an affordable rate in exchange for great service. The typical range of fees is between 6% to 12% of the rental value of the property, which pertains largely to landlords charging mid to high-level rents. Often, a property management company will swap this for a flat fee in order to manage properties with a lower rental value.

Landlords may also own multi-unit properties with many different tenants, and a property management company may simply decide to charge a flat rate to manage all of them simultaneously, as opposed to variable rates per tenant. This is done largely for the convenience of both parties involved, and helps maintain smoothness and consistency of service.

EXTRA FEES

Certain property management companies may charge marginal fees for extra services required only once in a while. These can include everything from finding and placing new tenants, to evictions and maintenance charges. Similarly, extra fees may be incurred when advertising your space to potential tenants, as this takes time and money.

These are considered standard fare, and of no real surprise, but landlords should be aware of anomalies that may arise in the rental process. One of these instances is the act of evicting a bad tenant, which is costly and time-consuming. A property management company can handle this problem much better than most, but charges may be billed for legal processes, notably in pursuit of a court eviction order, which can cost up to $2,600 on average in Ontario.

NEGOTIATING FEES

A good property management company knows the value of working with landlords to draft up the right package of services, for the best cost. There are lots of factors that both parties should talk over in order to come up with a mutually agreed price, but landlords should be aware that it’s usually standard practice for the property management company to charge for a flat range of services. 

Outside of these basic services, landlords can pick and choose from a variety of ancillary services that are customized for their benefit. This can help save time, money and headaches, all for a nominal and acceptable rise in fees. When in doubt, always ask. Property management is all about the relationship between the company, the landlord and their tenant(s), and the better that relationship is, the happier everyone will be.

INITIAL FEES

Setup fees are not uncommon when dealing with a property management company, and these tend to be upfront when the account is first created. This is largely administrative in nature, and designed to save time and money later on. By setting up your account properly, a property management company is ready to represent you, so that you can immediately shift your focus to other things.

BANG FOR THE BUCK

If you’re a landlord reading this for the first time, you’re undoubtedly surprised by how affordable and straightforward property management fees are. This is good news, as it can help make your decision that much easier. In return for the modest fees charged each month, property management companies deliver a wealth of services that can give you fantastic peace of mind.

Remember what a property management company brings to the table in terms of value – the knowledge and experience necessary to seek out and locate excellent and reliable tenants, shorter property vacancy cycles, less expensive legal complications and hassles, a robust rent collection process, etc. When added up, this presents an incredible level of value, especially for landlords who want to focus on their career, family or personal health. 

CONCLUSION

Now that you understand the variables surrounding property management fees, you’re better equipped to know what to expect as you move forward. Here at RentCore, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to work with landlords with properties of all types, and flexibility is a key component of our strategy.

If you’re interested in renting out your property, but you don’t have the time to focus on managing it, we can help. We’d like to hear from you so that we can determine the best range of services to offer you. Contact us today!

Finding A Great Property Management Company

Finding A Great Property Management Company

Both landlords and realtors face a challenge when it comes to renting out properties to prospective tenants. It’s a time-consuming process to select the best candidates who are responsible and will pay on time, while respecting the property, and handling things like maintenance and repairs. For that reason, many opt for the services of a property management company that can take the load off. This is especially relevant for those who have multiple properties and growing real estate portfolios that need managing.

Finding the right property management company means examining your personal needs as a landlord or realtor, first and foremost. From there, it’s a matter of checking out various property management companies to see how much experience they have, as well as their track record of success. RentCore prides itself on being a top-level property management company serving the Greater Toronto Area, and we know the criteria necessary for success and client satisfaction. Read on to learn more.

IDENTIFY YOUR OWN NEEDS

Before you can begin to find a good property management company, you must first identify your needs. Are you an ambitious entrepreneur with very little time on your hands? Do you want a better work/life balance? Are you interested in a “set it and forget it” approach to renting out your properties for the sake of peace of mind? There are many factors to consider before you begin your search for the right company. It’s also important  to identify any challenges and issues you’re facing with your current property management company, if you have one. Don’t stick with your current company out of convenience, or it may cost you in the long run. Instead, be prepared to switch companies in order to take advantage of better and more robust services, not to mention greater professionalism and results.

CHOOSE A LOCAL COMPANY

When searching for a property management company, it’s wise to choose one residing in the area of your property. Local companies already know the various real estate bylaws, not to mention trends that can affect everything from marketing, to tenant selection. Moreover, local property management companies have undoubtedly established ties with various businesses in the area, many of which provide repair and maintenance services at good rates. When it comes time to put your property up for rent, a good property management company will maximize exposure, simplify the process, and guarantee a seamless experience for the long term.

ASK ABOUT SERVICES

It’s important to choose a property management company with a solid list of helpful services that can take the stress and grind out of your daily routine. A good company knows how to handle all marketing and advertising for your property, as well as tenant selection, the drafting of contracts, and things like regular inspections. They’ll also handle rent collection, including tenants who are in arrears, while providing transparent and straightforward accounting and reporting records. A property management company should keep track of regular maintenance on your property, as well as any necessary repairs. And finally, 24/7 on-call emergency contact information is a must to guarantee peace of mind and platinum-level service.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

The online world is a great place to learn more about any company, and it’s easy to find Google reviews, Facebook comments and other social media content that can shed more light into how a property management company runs. The best companies know the value of transparency, and they will strive to present themselves as human beings who are willing to treat you the same, as opposed to just another number. Service is a number one priority for great property management companies, which means it will inevitably show in client reviews. Analyze what they have to say, including any potential criticism, and whether the property management company responded to it in a professional and constructive manner. And of course, when in doubt, it’s always handy to check the Better Business Bureau to see if a property management company is virtuous and honest. 

TRACK THEIR WORK

If you’ve decided to go with a particular property management company, you are now in a position to see if they are able to live up to their reputation. Great property management companies know the value of transparency when it comes to showing their work, which means regular reports that clients can easily decipher and digest. Most use advanced software suites to keep tabs on every element of the property management process, especially as they grow in size and stature. By accessing regular reports generated from their software suites, landlords and realtors can keep an eye on real-time results, month-per-month. This is very advantageous and convenient, as it allows for better record keeping, and a stronger sense of how your property – or properties – are faring in the rental market. 

CONCLUSION

If you’re in need of a property management company that understands your needs, concerns and real estate goals, we recommend getting in touch with RentCore today. We’d like to hear your story so that we can determine how best to service your property needs.

Everything To Know About Subleasing

Everything To Know About Subleasing

Many landlords are familiar with the term subleasing (or subletting), but few actually understand the full implications. Subleasing involves a primary tenant renting out their space to another tenant. There have been many horror stories circulating in recent years about tenants performing this practice without the knowledge of the landlord, which is considered illegal.

However, there are times when subleasing is done in a legal manner, with the approval of the landlord. It’s more common than one might think, but the circumstances tend to be the determining factor. Here’s everything there is to know about subleasing, especially if you’re a landlord with property to rent.

SUBLEASING VS. ASSIGNMENT

The terms “subleasing” and “assignment” may appear similar, but there are some differences between the two. Subleasing involves a secondary tenant paying rent directly to the primary tenant, or the landlord, where the primary tenant who is on the lease is held responsible for payments made on time, as well as the state of the property.

By contrast, an assignment  involves a new tenant taking over the existing tenant’s lease, which is essentially a hand-off. The secondary tenant becomes the primary tenant, while the previous primary tenant walks away from the contract with no responsibilities to the property. 

SHORT TERM VS. LONG TERM SUBLEASING

Subleasing can be short term or long term, depending on the situation.  Tenants may wish to enter into a  shirt term subleasing for a variety of reasons such as traveling, or migrating to a different locale during a particular season. While they may still be technically on the hook when it comes to paying rent and maintaining the property, landlords may allow these tenants to sublease the property for a short period of time to cover rental costs. 

By contrast, long term subleasing is done with the intention of eventually passing off the property rental contract to a new tenant. Though similar to the aforementioned assignment, a long term sublease may not kick in right away. Secondary tenants may rent the property for a while before the full exchange is done, and the primary tenant is able to walk away.

HOW TO SUBLEASE

Landlords should always be aware of subleasing, regardless of the situation, or if otherwise stated in a contract. Landlords should always be aware of who is residing in their property, and what their background is. Property management companies know full well how tricky this process can be. The wrong subtenant can create a nightmare scenario for a landlord, which is why any and all subleasing propositions should go through official channels. Background checks should be done, including credit histories to prevent delinquent payments.

In the end, the primary tenant is still liable for paying the rent, and guaranteeing the upkeep and maintenance of the property. However, costly disputes can still occur which means due diligence should be practiced before any subtenant steps foot onto your property.

ADHERE TO ALL LAWS

Various provinces in Canada have specific rules regarding subleasing, and it would serve landlords well to familiarize themselves with all the details before choosing this option. A list of subleasing laws for the province of Ontario can be found here.

Understanding these laws will help you draft the appropriate contract that is legally binding, and leaves no room for misunderstanding. Or- allow your property management company to take care of this stage for you, so that you can be sure you haven’t missed anything due to the complex legal language in provincial law.

IN CONCLUSION

If you’re comfortable with your tenant subleasing your property, then be sure to follow the above advice to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Failure to do so can lead to sticky situations that can be hard to resolve, especially given how difficult it can be to remove delinquent tenants from a property.

For ultimate peace of mind ,when subleasing, consider hiring a property management company that knows the ins and outs, and how to deal with any complex problems that may arise. This will grant you extra confidence when subleasing. Contact RentCore today for more information on subleasing, and whether you should allow your current tenant to pursue it.