On being the landlord

For RentWe recently purchased a revenue property and have now officially entered the world of the landlord. This side of the business is fairly new to us and neither have rented for many years so we’re quickly educating ourselves about how to find a good tenant, what paperwork needs to be produced and how to get a full nights sleep without waking bolt upright and screaming at the top of our lungs “WHAT THE HELL HAVE WE DONE?!?“. Needless to say it hasn’t all been pretty.
We’re in the midst of finding a tenant using newspapers and craigslist and can report that the response has been quite good but the various inquiries, requests, wish lists, critical requirements, demands, pleadings, observations and even advice from applicants has been more than varied. It’s hard to sum up someone’s character over the phone during a brief conversation and trusting someone enough to let them move into a home you’ve paid for is even more disconcerting. There’s no shortage of renters but it’s finding the good one that seems to be the trick.
I’ve had lots of advice from friends that have rental properties and all say that it’s a good investment but the stories of bad tenants, skipped rent, damaged property and police visits to loud parties are not as rare as I had hoped. ‘Sure’ they say, ‘it’s all in who you rent to’ but some have told stories of executive-types in nice cars and shiny suits that have stiffed them for months of rent and provided an astounding collection of bounced cheques and empty payment promises.
I’ve rented numerous apartments and houses over the years and always left them in better condition than they were when I moved in. In the early 90’s I renovated the interior of one rented home in Richmond just to improve the quality of my living space and at no charge to the owner (other than paint and a variety of light switches and towel racks). Surely there’s someone out there that would like to rent a nice, quiet, comfortable home in Coquitlam? And if you’re reading this, drop me a note because we’d love to rent our home to you.

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