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Property Management Tips

So, you've made your investment and have taken on the task of  being a Landlord. Now the question is; how are you going to sustain your investment? Make it grow? Maximize your success? This can be summed in one word; MANAGEMENT.

Financial

A property investment starts with having capital to invest. Secondly, a business plan which includes a sound cash flow plan, discipline, and ability to adapt to changing conditions.  Investment, Liabilities, Equity, Return On Investment (ROI) are key terms you need to understand. Learn more Business Strategy and Planning...

Being a Landlord

How to qualify tenants?

The best way to secure tenants are with credit reports, reference checks, background checks, employment verification, and knowledge and understanding in what to look for in a tenant.

What is my property worth?

Access your property's value with Service New Brunswick. Find out what properties sold for, the current assessment value, request for appeal, and do this at no cost. Learn more here...

What is expected from a Landlord?

Concisely, the landlord is responsible for making sure the premises and the land meet health, safety and other standards established by local, provincial, and federal law. The property must be justly suitable for occupation, subject nature and location. Compostions in the tenancy, such as appliances, should be kept in working order and properly insulated. Rental rates should also be kept in balance with the local market.

What costs should I be prepared for?

The rental business does not come without certain costs. First and foremost, a property needs to be maintained. This can include but are certainly not limited to repainting, replacing appliances, pruning trees, spraying for pests, repairing a wide variety of components, re-keying locks, replacing smoke alarms, cleaning ducts, servicing furnaces to name just a few. There are tenant placement fees and arbitration costs from time to time as well.

What does it cost to find/replace a tenant?

When a property becomes vacant, undertaking the replacement of the tenant(s) with another of equal or better quality can take many hours of your time. Expect to incure significant expenses such as advertising, long-distance, travel, credit checks, photocopies, and optional signage, are all common hard costs that can exceed $200 per month. Time committed spans phone calls, showings, screening, and administrative considerations. A typical vacancy involves more than one person and often more than 10 man hours.

Should I consider vacation rentals in the peak season?

Do your homework first! Costs are considerably higher in maintaining a seasonal rental. There may be more repair and maintenance due to heavier use.

The tenant used to be so good but now is creating problems

No matter how much care and attention to detail is exercised, it is impossible to guarantee the actions of a tenant. While most tenants come and go without incident, a tenant may try to sneak in a pet, smoke indoors, pay rent late, cause damage, or skip. You should do regular drive by's in your day-to-day travels and conduct property inspections with due diligence. Certain properties and certain neighbourhoods may be prone to more problems than others but the potential of the occasional problem of varying magnitude is a risk that comes with the territory.

How do we prevent a grow-op or other illegal undertaking?

Actions speak loudly. Regular inspections of the premises are the single-most effective way to prevent illegal activity. The most widely known (and feared) activity is a marijuana grow-op. Grow-ops may occur in as many as 1 in 10 houses. A crop of marijuana can be produced and harvested in less than two months. If someone is expecting a regular inspection, they are much less likely to undertake a grow-op or other illegal activity, and may likely opt not to rent in the first place. Your insurance company probably has a clause requiring you to have the premises inspected on a specific interval to keep your coverage valid. Some local governments are passing bylaws which penalize a landlord for not ensuring regular interaction with the property if a grow-op is discovered.

How much rent can I get?

For the most part, the market determines the rental rates obtainable. The condition of your property also affects the obtainable rent. In most scenarios, the market can be affected by waning demand from time to time, over-supply, seasonal fluctuations, and timing.

Can I raise the rent?

Yes, you can raise the rent subject to the law which requires three months notice which must be properly served before the end of the month preceding the month in which notice begins. For example, if you wish to raise the rent for May 1, you would have to serve notice before the end of January. Rent can typically only be raised once per year subject to a prescribed economy.

Can I inspect my property?

Certainly. As a Landlord you must give a minimum of 24 hours notice to the tenant unless a recognized emergency is at hand.

Why do we have to wait for notice to be received?

Notice, if verbal or by hand-delivery is deemed received immediately. If notice is posted at the property or mailed by regular mail, notices are deemed to be received after 3 days. If mailed by registered mail, notice is deemed to be received after 5 days.

Do I have to return a security deposit?

Yes, unless there are valid deductions. Keep in mind that a landlord may not withhold a deposit for reasonable wear and tear. A landlord may also not withhold a pet deposit for anything other than damages related to pets. But if a tenant does not provide a forwarding address, the deposit may be held until such time as one is provided. On occasion, it may be necessary to file for arbitration to obtain a holdback on deposit funds.

Can I remove a service or facility?

On occasion it may be necessary to remove a service such as laundry or parking. Be prepared to compensate the tenant fairly in lieu of the exclusion.

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