Jan 17, 2017
Becoming a landlord is a popular financial strategy. Whether you’re purchasing a new home to rent out, are renting out a portion of your current home or sub-leasing your apartment, there are several legal considerations for first time landlords.
The Real Estate and Property team at Chown Cairns has decades of experience in landlord-tenant relations. Please see below for their top tips for first time landlords.
The first step to having a great landlord experience is ensuring that you select the right tenant. Make sure to speak to your potential tenants personally. Another tool is to use a professional rental application, which will help you verify employment to see any past issues in their rental history. Finally, check on all their references. Sounds simple, but many first time landlords skip this step and regret it later.
It is advised that you keep as much as you can in writing so that you have a written record, in the event of a dispute with your tenant. At a minimum, you need to have a Rental Agreement or Lease Agreement. This will help protect you, give you legal rights and make clear the specific terms of the rental (cost, duration and restrictions).
Notice is an important element of the Residential Tenancies Act in Ontario. If your tenant pays their rent monthly, they must give more notice to terminate the rental agreement than if they pay weekly, for example. Also, as a landlord, there are elements of notice you must abide by. For example, there is a certain amount of notice required when increasing the cost of rent. Finally, if you’re planning to evict a tenant, you’re required to give notice, which is typically 80 days.
Ontario landlord tenant law tends to favour, or give more rights to, tenants. However, as a landlord, you have rights as well. You are allowed access to the property for maintenance, with proper notice, for example. You also have a right to evict a tenant who is not following your rental agreement or not paying rent. Some landlords’ rights vary by municipality, it is important to understand how your municipality differs.
There are many great reasons to become a landlord, but it can be a complicated process having a tenant. If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord or have recently done so, consider implementing these tips to ensure that your invest is protected. Before you extend your first rental agreement, have your lawyer review it to ensure that your best interests are in place. For more information or if are experiencing an issue with a tenant, contact the Niagara Real Estate lawyers at Chown Cairns law firm in Niagara today.