It almost goes without saying that landlords want trustworthy tenants, who will be quiet, pay their rent on time and be respectful of their space.
But having that perfect tenant can be an awfully tall order.
Now is probably one of the better times to be a landlord in Toronto because vacancy rates are super low, rents have increased significantly and you have a larger pool of potential tenants from which to choose.
To find that ideal renter, you need to market your room or apartment effectively. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, you should differentiate your property from all others in some way. When compared to other rentals in your area, is yours newer, bigger, more stylish, cheaper, cleaner and safer? Does it have better appliances, amenities and scenery? What is the neighbourhood like? Is it a quiet, family-geared area or a bustling neighbourhood filled with restaurants and galleries?
There’s nothing wrong with advertising your property on Kijiji or Craigslist but be cautious of scammers. There is a good variety of rental sites, some of which require payment in order to advertise. Viewit.ca is a great website with plenty of photos.
To find the perfect tenant, consider placing a ‘for rent’ sign on your property or try newspapers. You can also post flyers at the local library or grocery store. If you’re interested in renting to students, visit the campus housing office of your local college or university.
You can always hire a realtor to help you. At Freeman Real Estate, we offer a range of leasing services such as pricing, advertising and negotiating. If finding an awesome tenant is too time consuming or bothersome, this is a great way to go.
Be sure to screen your potential tenants. Doing this properly in the beginning can save you the risk of loss in future. You will need to do a credit check. Be sure to ask for a confirmation-of-employment letter in addition to references and first and last months’ rent. Ask your potential renter to fill out a rental application form, which requires information about the applicant’s job, supervisor, income, government identification and next of kin.
While the process of finding your ideal tenant may seem too finicky and tedious, remember that being scrupulous early on may save you headaches down the road.