How to Figure Out the Best Rental Price for Your Home

How to Figure Out the Best Rental Price for Your Home

Becoming a landlord is a big and exciting process. You have made the decision to rent out your home to another, and in doing so have a number of things to consider. You have to consider when you want to rent it out, who to rent it out to, and what rental price to charge. Luckily, Rentfaster has some amazing tools that can help you find the perfect rental price based upon where you live, rentals similar to your own, and the current economy. Here is how to figure out the best rental price for your home.

 

Getting Started

In order to find the best rental price for your listing, you must first make your free Rentfaster.ca account. Simply using your email and password, your account will be created. Once that is all set up, you will see a number of tools at your fingertips – free rental forms, inbox, ‘For Rent’ signs, etc. But to find the best rental price for your home, click the top tab titled ‘My Account’ and then select the ‘Pricing Tool’ option.

 

What is the Pricing Tool?

Clicking this button will take you to a new page where you will see a number of different things. Essentially, this page will show you the statistics of rental homes and prices in different areas. This tool is important in finding homes similar to your own (in comparable areas) and determining your relative to those. Use each section to get as close to the best rental price as possible:

Selecting Your Area

Selecting Your Area - Rental Price

  • Begin by selecting the city of your rental – you can choose from any city across Canada.
  • Once your city has been selected, you can get closer to your location by choosing the property location (north, east, south, west, or inner-city). You can also select your proximity or community through the two other tabs beside ‘city section.’

Type of Property

Type of Property - Rental Price

  • In order to best price your rental, you need to find other rentals almost identical to yours to compare it to. Use the options under ‘Type of Property’ and select the one that best describes your home.
  • Next, select how many bedrooms your rental has and whether or not your home is furnished or not.

 

Reading the Statistics

Now that you have found the listings that are close to you and similar in style, you can begin to compare. The rental statistic tool will auto-populate the numbers for you and will create a number of graphs for your assessment.

NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that some cities may not have many listings with Rentfaster.ca yet. In this case, broaden your search and remove community tags, doing a wider search across the city.

Current Market Overview

Current Market Overview - Rental Price

  • The first statistic you will see is the ‘Current Market Overview.’ This will tell you how many rentals are in the area you are searching, the minimum rental price, the maximum rental price, and the average price. These are important numbers to keep in mind when figuring out the best price for your own rental.

Current Listings Price Distribution

Current Listings Price Distribution - Rental Price

  • The next statistic you will see is a graph with the current listings’ price distribution. You can hover your mouse over any part of the graph to see a more detailed description of each area.

Historical Number of Listings

Historical Number of Listings - Rental Price

  • You can use this graph to compare the amount of listings that were available in each year. The lower the number of listings, often means the higher the rental price.
  • Compare the number of listings by different timelines (3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years).

Historical Average Price

Historical Average Price - Rental Price

  • Possibly the most important tool to help you determine the best rental price for your home. Compare the average price of rentals similar to your home (based upon your search specifications).
  • Compare over the years and the different months to determine what price best matches the time of year you plan to rent out your home.

Average Days on the Market

Average Days on the Market - Rental Price

  • This is one of the newest features on the Pricing Tool application. It is still new, so depending upon where you are searching, there may not yet be enough data. For this reason, it is beneficial that when you do rent out your home, you provide this information to help build the statistics!

 

Use this tool to find homes just like yours and determine the perfect rental price for your home! Once you have found the ideal price to charge for your rental, put up your listing on Rentfaster and begin to look for that perfect tenant! Happy renting!

How to Bring Attention to Your Rental Property

How to Bring Attention to Your Rental Property

You listed your rental property on Rentfaster.ca and already you have had a few people view your listing online. Congrats! In order to find that perfect tenant though, it is important that you share your rental listing with as many people as possible! The more outreach you get, the more likely you are to find the tenant just right for your home. Not sure how to share your rental? Here is the ultimate guide to bring more attention to your rental property on Rentfaster.ca!

 

‘For Rent’ Signage

For Rent Signage - Rental Property Attention

Just because you know that your home is for rent, those driving and walking by will not! Bring awareness to your rental property with the use of rental signs! Having a ‘For Rent’ sign on your front lawn can draw in a surprising amount of traffic to your listing. Even better, Rentfaster.ca has FREE ‘For Rent’ and direction signs! The Rentfaster.ca signs are better than the average ‘For Rent’ signs, as people will know where to go to find your listing for more info – and paired with the map feature on the website, finding you will be a breeze!

 

Professional Photos

Rentfaster Professional Photos - Rental Property Attention

Our society is driven towards beauty and often disregards photos that are of poor quality. People are drawn towards bright, attractive, and clear images – which is why having high quality professional photos of your rental is a must! Take clear photos that are well-lit and show-off  the space and layout of your rental. The more pictures you have, the better of an idea potential-tenants will have of the home. Not good with a camera? Rentfaster.ca has a number of professional photographers all around Canada available to come and photograph your home for only $35 (plus tax). With better photos, your rental listing will be more appealing and draw in more views!

 

Share on Social Media

Sharing Social Media - Rental Property Attention

Once you have created your listing on Rentfaster.ca, sharing your listing with everyone is easy. On your listing information summary is an arrow button, found in the left hand corner. Clicking this button will allow you to share your listing with those on your social media pages. Your listing will automatically populate on Facebook with images and info. Reformat your caption, or leave it as the auto-populated one and let your social media audiences know that your home is available for rent!

 

Use Rentfaster Hashtags

Instagram Page - Rental Property Attention

Would you like to use social media even more to advertise your rental property? Rentfaster.ca has a number of specialized hashtags that can be used to share your rental. Rentfaster.ca is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@Rentfaster for all platforms), where you can use the #RentfasterCA hashtag. If you use this hashtag on pictures of your rental property, you may even be selected to be featured on the Rentfaster.ca platform pages! Those homes with white-styled interiors may even be featured on our beautiful Instagram page. And be sure to tag us in your photos!

BONUS: If you use Twitter, tag us in your shared rental listing because we will always retweet! This is a great way to reach your audiences and ours, so you can rent out your home… faster!

 

Use these methods to share and bring attention to your rental listing. Soon enough, you will be in the tenant selection stage and well on your way to becoming a landlord! Good luck!

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Screening for Good Tenants

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Screening for Good Tenants

If you are a landlord, you probably have dealt with less than ideal tenants. We have all heard the horror stories of the tenants from hell who ruin our furniture and destroy our property. Having bad tenants can be a never ending emotional and financial drain. Luckily, as landlords, there are steps you can take to lower your chances of dealing with a nightmare tenant. While it is important to ask your tenants proper questions, keep in mind that there are provincial human rights legislations and municipal bylaws in place that protect tenants’ rights. Keep reading to find out what questions you should be asking applicants.

 

1. What Is the Human Rights Legislation in Alberta?

In Alberta, the governing law is the Alberta Human Rights Act (the AHRA). The purpose of this Act is to shield tenants from discrimination and to make sure they have an equal opportunity when it comes to renting a place to live in. The AHRA has 14 protected grounds including:

  • Race;
  • Ancestry;
  • Place of birth;
  • Religious beliefs;
  • Gender;
  • Physical/mental disability;
  • Marital status;
  • Family status;
  • Income source; and
  • Sexual orientation;

Note that age is not a protected ground under the AHRA. Take for instance a landlord who advertises that they are only looking to rent a condo to adult tenants because the building only allows individuals over the age of 21 to live there. An 18 year old tenant cannot make a human rights complaint against the landlord on the grounds of age discrimination.

 

2. What Questions Should I Ask my Tenant In a Background Check?

There are certain key questions you should ask future tenants when conducting a background check. These include:

  • When do you plan on moving in?
  • Can you afford to pay the rent?
  • Can I get a credit report?
  • Do you have a budget on rent?
  • Do you own any pets?
  • Is there anyone else that you will be living with?
  • Have you given notice to your current landlord that you will be leaving?

Make sure to have a set of questions prepared so that, when prospective tenants call, you can screen the good from the bad tenants immediately without having to waste time scheduling viewings with individuals who are a bad fit. Ensure that you are asking the same questions to each applicant to avoid being subject to an AHRA complaint.

 

3. Ask Your Tenant Why They Are Moving

This is a good question to ask as it can reveal a lot about a tenant. Make sure the reason why your tenant is moving is a legitimate one. Good reasons include tenants who wish to move closer to their work or school or those who want more space.

Bad reasons for moving include when tenants are evicted for violating their lease agreement, or individuals who have a bad relationship with their current or previous landlord. Be cautious of renting to tenants that have a history of arguing with their landlord or neighbours as this can help you avoid headaches in the future.

 

4. What If a Potential Tenant Wants To Move In Right Away?

If a prospective tenant wants to move in immediately or in a week, this can raise red flags. Legally, in Alberta, the Residential Tenancies Act requires that tenants give at least 30 days’ notice before ending a lease. Generally, responsible tenants will begin looking for a new place to live at least one month in advance of the date they plan to move in. You do not want to be the landlord who receives last minute notice and has to scramble to find a new tenant.

 

5. Find Out How Many People Will Be Living At Your Rental Property

A good rule of thumb is for a maximum of two people to share each bedroom. The less people living there, the less your property will experience wear and tear. Overcrowding on your property can pose a huge health and safety risk. Make sure to follow the local municipal bylaws where your property is located in as that can limit the number of individuals that can legally reside in your property.

Also, you can ask whether an applicant will have any pets living with them. If you have a “no pets” policy, this allows you to efficiently disqualify those who do.

Tip: You can limit the number of people living at your property by including this information in your lease agreement.

 

6. What is Your Potential Tenant’s Monthly Income?

You CAN ask potential tenants how much monthly income they make. This allows you to know if they will make enough to be able to pay for rent and utilities. Note that your tenant’s income may not tell the entire story. Requesting a credit check can help you figure out how much debt the individual owes, which may impact his or her ability to pay rent.

You should AVOID asking about the source of an individual’s income. In the past, human rights tribunals have found that discrimination exists when a landlord refused to rent to a tenant after learning that they received rental subsidies, AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), or other benefits.

 

7. Know the Applicant’s Rent-To-Income Ratio

You should ensure that a prospective tenant has income that is at least 2.5 – 3 times the rent amount. The ideal way of validating finances is through a credit report. You should also confirm that they have enough money to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit upon signing the lease.

Be cautious of tenants who request to pay security deposits in installments as this could be a sign that they will want to pay their rent in installments in future.

 

8. What Is the Applicant’s Credit History?

A more reliable indicator of financial risk is a client’s credit score. You SHOULD ask tenants for their credit history which can help predict whether they will pay rent on time. A credit check can tell you revealing information about the tenant such as: Do they owe anyone else money? Are they or have they been in debt? Are they actually employed where they say they are? BUT, keep in mind that certain tenants will have no credit history, such as those who have newly immigrated to Canada and those who receive social assistance.

You CANNOT use information on credit history to discriminate against individuals or you could be at risk of dealing with a human rights compliant. If you decide to ask for a credit check, make sure to hold each applicant to the same standard. You should disqualify those who refuse a credit check as this often means that they have poor credit or that they have something to hide.

 

9. I Want My Tenant to Have a Co-signor or Guarantor

You CAN ask potential tenants to provide a co-signor or guarantor. This is especially useful when a potential tenant has poor references from landlords or unsatisfactory credit history.

You CANNOT request a co-signor or guarantor exclusively from individuals who are part of a particular group. For example, if a landlord only requires individuals who are on social assistance to get a co-signor, that amounts to discrimination.

 

10. Ask for References from Former Landlords and Employers

You should ask potential tenants for the contact information from previous landlords or employers. Unless an applicant has a good reason for not having references (such as those who have newly immigrated to Canada), be wary of tenants who fail to provide references.

You should ask an applicant’s reference things like: Was rent paid on time? Did they cause damage to the property and respect the neighbours? Why are they moving out?

Tip: Instead of asking a potential tenant’s current landlord (who may say anything to get rid of a bad tenant), ask their previous landlord who will likely answer your questions honestly.

 

Need Legal Help With Landlord Tenant Matters?

When leasing your property, whether it be commercial or residential, the chances of getting a problematic tenant can be reduced if the right screening questions are asked at the first point of contact. If you fail to take these precautions, it could mean dealing with a six month eviction nightmare. When issues come up, the amount of money involved and complexity of leasing agreements may require the attention of skilled and experienced litigators. The skilled real estate team at Kahane Law Office in Calgary is pleased to provide you with a range of services to meet your needs, including:

  • Completing standardized leasing agreement forms
  • Reviewing your situation to determine your legal options
  • Helping landlords with debt collection when a tenant defaults on their rental payment

You can reach us in Calgary at 403-225-8810 (toll-free at 1-877-225-8817), or email us here directly.

Best Neighbourhoods to Rent in Toronto

Best Neighbourhoods to Rent in Toronto

Toronto has and will continue to be a popular location for all stages of life – raising a family, studying at school, and retiring. This beautiful city has a wide variety of neighbourhoods that feature different aspects of community living. There are neighbourhoods close to the water, residential areas, and business hubs for entrepreneurs and students. Rentfaster.ca has recently become available to landlords in Toronto, and it is expected that there will be an increase in the number of rentals available. Currently in Toronto there are 190 home rentals available with an average price of $1,789. Here are the best neighbourhoods to rent in Toronto and why you would want to live in each!

 

Annex Neighbourhood

If you are looking for a home to rent in Toronto and are attending the University of Toronto, the Annex neighbourhood is just for you! This neighbourhood is in close proximity to the school, making the commute back and forth for classes easy. The neighbourhood is filled with a number of amenities, restaurants, and fitness options available to residents. As well, there are stunning cafes nearby – perfect for those long study sessions! The Annex Toronto Neighbourhood is a short 10-minute drive downtown (or a 15-minute bus ride). There are currently 8 listings available in this community with an average rental price of $1,744.

 

Liberty Village

As Toronto continues to grow, there is increased demand for residential areas – Liberty Village is one of these locations. Filled with condos and apartments, this community is popular for those looking to get away from the busy lifestyle of the downtown core. For those still needing to work downtown, it is only a short 10-minute drive away. If you are looking for things to do in the area, there are a number of cafes, restaurants, and shops to meet your needs without going into city central. This community is one of the more affordable areas with an average listing of $1,671. Currently there are only 4 rentals available in this area, but more are expected to appear.

 

Yorkville Neighbourhood

Near the Annex neighbourhood is the Yorkville community of Toronto. This area is known for is bohemian feel and high-end shops and restaurants. Due to the higher end services in this area and its closeness to the downtown hub, this neighbourhood is more expensive to live in. Mainly filled with luxury hotels and beautiful apartment buildings, the availability is limited in this area due to popularity. The Yorkville Toronto neighbourhood currently has 14 listings available on Rentfaster.ca with an average rental price of $2,919.

 

Bloor West Village Neighbourhood

Located in the west of Toronto is the neighbourhood of Bloor West Village. This area is mainly residential and is a popular place for families to settle down. Bloor West Village is within walking distance to one of Toronto’s most popular parks, High Park. High Park is a beautiful green space filled with picnic areas, dog parks, playgrounds, gardens, and even a zoo! The area has two schools (an elementary school and a secondary school) within the neighbourhood limits, and also has all the needed amenities for those living in the area. Currently there are no rental listings available on Rentfaster.ca, but listings are expected to increase. Know anyone renting in the area? Have them add their listing to Rentfaster.ca to… well… rent faster!

 

Yonge & Eglinton Neighbourhood

Ranked the #1 neighbourhood by TorontoLife.com, the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood is popular to rent in Toronto. This busy area located farther north of downtown is said to host a number of professional businesses and be the hub for entrepreneurs. The buildings in this area are mainly apartments and condos. The community is said to be one of the busiest in the city, as well as an important transit area. Due to the popularity and high demand of the area, there are currently only 11 rentals available with an average cost of $2,138. If you enjoy the energy of a downtown-like community, then Yonge & Eglinton is just for you!

 

Yonge & St. Clair (Deer Park) Neighbourhood

Described as a “midtown” area, this neighbourhood is home to many companies and amenities. The Yonge and St. Clair area was rated the #7 neighbourhood in Toronto by TorontoLife.com. Although not the number one most popular neighbourhood, it is an area that is well maintained and is a great option for those looking for more affordable residence than downtown. The area is also desirable for its beautiful green spaces surrounding the neighbourhood. There are currently 10 rentals available on Rentfaster.ca with an average price of around $2,055.

 

York Mills Neighbourhood

Known for its luxury homes and condo buildings, the York Mills area is highly sought after! The neighbourhood’s history is known for the number of mills that were located within the community that supported the area. The mills were present from 1804 until 1926, but the mills have since been removed. Now in their place is a gorgeous green space and walking paths, as well as over 10 different schools (elementary up to high school) – ideal for younger families. There are 4 available rentals in York Mills with an average rental price of $1,653.

 

Scarborough Village Neighbourhood

If you are looking to rent in Toronto and are seeking a quieter pace of life with affordable living, Scarborough Village is just for you! This neighbourhood, located east of Toronto, is a stunning area that overlooks Lake Ontario and features public waterfront parks. The entire Scarborough area is filled with a wide selection of amenities – from small cafes to international style foods, and shops of every kind. The neighbourhood is 50-minutes away from the downtown center, or a 75-minute bus ride. If you are looking to rent in Toronto, Scarborough Village, there are only 2 rental listings currently available. The average rental price is $1,270.

 

Henry Farm Neighbourhood

For those students attending the Lambton College, renting in the Henry Farm neighbourhood may be the best option! The community is located just northwest of the Scarborough area and is popular for families as well as students. The Henry Farm neighbourhood is known for their “community spirit” and close-knit neighbourhood layout. There are a number of amenities located just north of the neighbourhood, including the Cadillac Fairview Mall. Rentfaster.ca currently has 3 rental listing available with an average cost of $1,750.

 

Newtonbrook Neighbourhood

If you are looking to rent in Toronto, the neighbourhood of Newtonbrook is an excellent choice! With close access to the Centerpoint Mall (featuring over 80 different shops, and 22 different dining options), as well as plenty of recreational areas. Newtonbrook also has some schools (including Lester B. Pearson) as well as more shopping opportunities along Yonge Street. If you are looking to rent in a neighbourhood with lots to do, look no further than Newtonbrook! There are currently 8 available rentals in the area with an average price of $1,750.

 

Consider these beautiful and accommodating neighbourhoods with homes and apartments in Toronto for rent. Whatever you are looking for, you are bound to find it in one of these! Happy renting!

 

Sources:

http://www.blogto.com/neighbourhoods/

https://torontolife.com/neighbourhoods/

https://torontolife.com/neighbourhood-rankings/#

http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods/west-end/bloor-west-village

http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods/north-york/york-mills/history

https://movingincanada.com/Ontario/NorthYorkNeighbourhoods-YorkMills-Winfields.htm

http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods/north-york/henry-farm

http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods/north-york/newtonbrook/shopping

Feature Community: North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale

Feature Community: North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale

If you are in search of a thriving and beautiful community within driving (or sea bus) distance to the downtown core, North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale is just for you! This smaller community is found just East of the gorgeous Stanley Park. Lower Lonsdale is the ideal location for those commuting downtown (45-minute bus ride, 25-minute drive, or 15 minute sea bus ride) as well as for individuals interested in recreational activities. There are 11 rentals available in this community on Rentfaster.ca, consisting mainly of apartments. The average cost of rentals in the Lower Lonsdale community is $2,355. Homes in this area are right next to the energy of the community’s coastal hub and have a spectacular view of Vancouver city across the water!

 

In addition to the easy access to green spaces and the core, Lower Lonsdale has many attractive features itself. The Lower Lonsdale Quay Market is one of the main attractions of this Northern Vancouver neighbourhood. Looking out over the Vancouver Harbour, the market has a West Coast style featuring over 80 different shops, as well as a shipyard and pier. Come and peruse the shops, try the coastal foods at some amazing restaurants (including local seafood), and enjoy the beautiful view of the Vancouver skyline.

 

Local Lonsdale also has a number of amenities and services available to those in the area, reducing the need to drive too far from the community.

  • If the downtown core is too busy for you and your pet, Lower Lonsdale is a wonderful option! With close proximity to Stanley Park, there is always space for your dog to run! Heading to work during the day and don’t want to leave your dog at home? Located in Lower Lonsdale is Northwest Kennels and Daycare! They will watch your dog while you are away or at work and ensure that Fido or Felix are having fun! A great place for your dog to run around with friends until you are ready to pick them back up!
  • Want to get your kids involved in music lessons? No need to drive all the way to downtown Vancouver! In Lower Lonsdale, Canadian guitar artist Tony Chotem offers affordable and engaging music lessons. Tony Chotem offers lessons in a number of locations, either in a private studio or at other local Lower Lonsdale locations. Tony is passionate about music, and is excited to teach and share music knowledge with all!
  • Introduce some new style into your life with a fresh and clean haircut! The Lolo Salon is the perfect place in Lower Lonsdale to get your hair cut, colored, or put into an up-do for an event! The salon is named after the area “LoLo” and is excited to be a part of the community, giving a fresh look to everyone who comes by!
  • Are you looking for a better diet for your dog? Perhaps the raw food diet is the next option! In the Raw Pet Food is a local dog food company whose goal is to provide pet owners with awareness and education to best benefit your dog. The raw diet may be just the thing to help your dog live a healthier life!

 

If you are looking for a community that will allow you to be engaged, attend local events, and see the sights without driving too far away, Lower Lonsdale is just for you! The Lower Lonsdale community is a prime location for busy entrepreneurs, downtown workers, and those families looking to stay engaged in the local community! Check out Rentfaster.ca to view the listings of North Vancouver communities and find your rental today!

Looking for a rental nearby? Check out this beautiful and modern Northern Vancouver rental home!

Vancouver rental Home

OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES for the Lower Lonsdale Local Business Giveaway on Facebook (November 15, 2017)

No purchase is necessary and winner will be chosen in random draw. Each comment gives one entry; multiple entries per person allowed. Contest is open to any British Columbia resident over 18 years of age. Contest is open until November 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM. Prize includes a free 2-night stay & bath for your pet at North West Kennels and Daycare, Gift Certificate for music lessons with Tony Chote, $100 in hair products from LoLo Salon, a $50 gift certificate towards In the Raw Pet Food No substitutes or cash replacement allowed. Skill-testing question required.

Winner will be contacted via Facebook within one week after contest close and has one week to respond to claim prize or a new name will be selected. Odds of winning depend on entries. Gift basket will be delivered via mail to winner’s address within six weeks of accepting prize via Facebook or email.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

Lower Lonsdale Prize Pack

Northwest Dog Kennels and Daycare

Website: http://northwestkennels.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestkennelsanddaycare/
Inatagram: https://www.instagram.com/northwestkennelsanddaycare/

In The Raw Food For Dogs and Cats Inc.

Website: www.intherawpetfood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/In-The-Raw-Food-for-Dogs-and-Cats-Inc-1712960102285217/

LoLo Salon

Website: http://www.lolosalon.ca/home.html

Facebook: @lolosalonnv

Instagram: @lolo_hair_salon

Tony Chotem

Website: http://www.tonychotem.com/teaching.html

Website: https://www.sonicbids.com/band/doublehelix/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tony.chotem & @doublehelixjazz

 

Sources:

http://vancouversnorthshore.com/things-to-do/neighbourhoods/lower-lonsdale/

http://www.lowerlonsdale.ca/

http://northwestkennels.com

http://www.tonychotem.com

 

 

 

 

Who is in Charge of Shoveling Snow at a Rental? And Other Outdoor Maintenance Questions

Who is in Charge of Shoveling Snow at a Rental? And Other Outdoor Maintenance Questions

It’s here. The time for snow angels, hot chocolate, and snowmen has come! With the cold weather also comes a number of outdoor maintenance requirements. You need to ensure your rental is ready for the snow and is being maintained! The issue is that many tenants are often unsure who is responsible for which duties. It is necessary that both tenants and landlords are aware of who is liable to avoid potential problems (and even fines)!

In order to answer the following questions, you will need to consider two things.

  1. What type of property do you live in?
  2. What does your lease state?

Here is your answer to “Who is in charge of shoveling snow at a rental?” and other outdoor maintenance questions.

 

Who is in charge of shoveling snow at a rental?

Depending on what type of property the rental is (house, condo, apartment, etc.), this will determine whether or not the tenant or landlord is responsible for shoveling the walks.

In a house (whether it be stand alone or a duplex), it is commonly understood that the tenant is responsible for shoveling the snow. Of course, there may be exceptions that will be specified in the rental agreement and lease, in which case it is important to know if the tenant or landlord is responsible. It is a bylaw in most cities that sidewalks must be properly shoveled within 24 hours of a snowfall, so if the tenant is leaving for vacation, they must be in touch with the landlord to ensure the walks are shoveled throughout the duration of their absence.

On the other hand, if the property is a multi-complex or apartment building, it is likely that the condo fees will go towards outdoor maintenance. The condo board will usually have outdoor maintenance covered, hiring landscapers to care for the property and surrounding area. To be sure, tenants should always consult the lease and speak with the landlord!

 

Who is responsible for salting ice?

With winter also comes the hazards and problem of ice on sidewalks and pathways. Keeping up with the ice on sidewalks is very important as it could mean the safety of others. If ice is not properly dealt with and someone falls, seriously injuring themselves, either the tenant or the landlord would be held responsible if the person pressed charges.

The person responsible for salting the ice is the same as the individual responsible for shoveling the walks. Stand-alone homes or duplexes commonly fall to the tenant to care for the salting of sidewalks. For rental properties such as condos, condo fees will usually include this in the fees, and no action from the tenant is necessary. Always take the time to clearly read and understand the lease and rental agreement. If you are ever unsure of who is responsible for outdoor maintenance, speak with your landlord/tenant – this will prevent any miscommunications and possible fines or accidents.

 

Who is in charge of addressing weather-damaged property? 

During the winter months, a storm hits and brings down a tree onto the garage, or smashes a window. Who is responsible? In almost any situation where weather damage has been done to a rental home, the landlord is responsible. Because it is the landlord’s property, and the tenant is not at fault, they are required to fix the damage done. Keep in mind that fixes to a home may require tenants to leave the rental for the duration it takes to fix.

If, for instance, the tree fell onto the garage and also hit the tenant’s car, or destroyed the backyard BBQ, it is another story. The landlord will be responsible for the damage to the home, but the tenant is responsible for their own belongings and possessions. This is why having rental insurance (and of course, car insurance) is so important! Rental insurance is there to help cover the damages done to tenant belongings. The landlord has no responsibility to cover those losses. In most cases, when signing the lease, a landlord may ask tenants to get renter’s insurance. But, if it is not a requirement, it is up to the tenant to purchase the insurance and take precautions to protecting their belongings!

NOTE: Rental insurance with providers such as Nuera Insurance also can help tenants when they are required to leave during repairs!

 

 

Once you know your responsibilities, you can feel comfortable that outdoor maintenance for winter will be properly managed. If you ever have doubts about the responsibilities or maintenance tasks, always review your lease and rental agreement or speak to your landlord/tenant! Better to be safe than sorry this winter!

 

Rental Documents You Need When Renting Your Home

Rental Documents You Need When Renting Your Home

The process of renting a home is a busy one! You need to take photos of your home (or hire Rentfaster to for $35), list your rental, find the perfect tenant, and, most importantly, ensure that all rental documents are filled out and signed! Once you purchase a listing with Rentfaster.ca (for only $35 we might add), you have access to tons of useful information that will help rent your home faster! Not to mention, there is a screening process to protect you from experiencing a horror rental story. One of the features of Rentfaster.ca that not many are aware of are the FREE rental documents! With a free account on Rentfaster.ca, you have access to all the rental documents needed to properly and safely rent out your home!

 

NOTE: All forms are useable to create a Residential Tenancy Agreement for the province you live in. Some forms identified below are only available for certain provinces. Select the drop-down tab on the “Rental Forms” page to confirm you have the correct documents.

 

Fixed Term Tenancy Agreement

Once you and your new tenant have agreed upon the lease, it is necessary that you sign the tenancy agreement. This will acknowledge the timeline of the lease, have both parties signed agreement and approval, as well as the terms of the agreement. Both yourself (the landlord) and your new tenant should review the agreement in detail, ensuring that all features of the document are acceptable for each individual. The agreement also includes information such as:

  • Fixed Term Tenancy
  • Rent
  • Security Deposits
  • Late Fees and Dishonoured Cheques
  • Inspections
  • Tenant Obligations
  • Landlord Obligations
  • Tenant Alterations and Improvements
  • Utilities
  • Etc.

In addition to the Fixed Term Tenancy Agreement Document, Rentfaster.ca also has a tenancy agreement document with “an option to convert to periodic” or a “periodic tenancy agreement.” These forms will have slightly different information, including the option for month-to-month tenancy. Be sure you select the form that best matches what you have discussed with your new tenant!

 

Inspection Checklist and Inventory Report

Once your tenancy agreement forms have been signed and agreed upon, as the landlord, you will want to have a record of the state of the rental. The Inspection Checklist and Inventory Report is one of the most significant rental documents you can have. This table-formatted sheet will allow you to go through and inspect the condition of the rental at move-in, move-out, and list the repair charges (if any).

Because there are so many things to remember and inspect, this form makes your inspections simple. Each room and item is organized so that you can go room-by-room and not forget the little things. Once the inspection has been done, there is an area in the document to complete your statement on the condition of the rental, as well as your tenants. At the bottom of the form is a section for you to fill out if there are charges and deposit amounts required from the tenant.

 

 Statement of Account

Separate from the inspection checklist, there is a unique rental document that summarizes the account, security deposit, and deductions. This document includes the “final amount refunded,” so that both you and your tenant are aware of the final financial payments/refunds and have it for your records.

 

Additional Documents

In addition to the listed forms above (dependent upon province), you will also have access to other rental documents should you need to provide:

  • Notice to Vacate,
  • Notice to Terminate,
  • No Smoking Addendum
  • Increase the Rent.

It is beneficial to always have a physical copy as well as a digital copy to ensure that you have a paper trail of your rental account. This will prevent any misunderstandings or problems in the future.

 

To access any of these rental documents, simply create your free Rentfaster.ca account. Once you are logged in to your account, under the tab “My Account” you will find a section called “Rental Forms.” It is here that you will be able to access and print any of the above or mentioned rental documents.

 

Create your free account today and get look forward to being an organized landlord! Happy renting!

What You Need to Know About Security Deposits

What You Need to Know About Security Deposits

Landlords usually ask tenants for a security deposit, sometimes called a damage deposit. It can not be more than one month’s rent at the time the tenancy starts. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) limits the maximum amount a landlord may ask for in a security deposit.

If your rent increases the security deposit can not be increased as the rent is increased. When you give your security deposit, it is important that you ask for a receipt. It must show the amount you paid, the date and must state that you paid the security deposit and who you paid it to.

The landlord must deposit the security deposit into an interest bearing account.  The landlord must pay you, the tenant, the interest at the end of each tenancy year unless you both agree otherwise. If both you and the landlord agree in writing, interest may be compounded annually and paid to you at the end of your tenancy.

The minimum annual interest rate that landlords must pay on security deposits is determined by a formula set out in the Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation. You can access the Security Deposit Interest Calculator at Service Alberta’s website at www.servicealberta.ca>Landlords/Tenants>SecurtyDeposits .

Be safe out there and know your rights.

Christine Versnick
CIR Realty
403-863-1276
www.christineversnick.ca

 

7 Easy Home Improvements to Upgrade your Rental

7 Easy Home Improvements to Upgrade your Rental

Are you a landlord looking to get more value out of your rental? You can with easy home improvements! You have the ability to work with and enhance what already exists, and make it more appealing. Renovating your rental is the perfect way to increase the value and allows you to bump up the rent. Not to mention, your new and improved home will be more likely to rent out faster because of the appeal. Here are 7 easy home improvements to upgrade your rental.

 

1. Update Light Fixtures

Update Light Fixtures - Home Improvements

One of the easiest and most affordable home improvements you can do is to update light fixtures. Many homes will still have the same light fixtures from when the house was built. Everyone remembers the dreaded “boob light” fixtures, as well as the glass-decorated plates that covered dual light bulbs. Not only are these light fixtures out of date and out of style, they are inefficient! Replace and update your light fixtures so that they reflect the current style of your home (modern, rustic, traditional, etc.) and reduce the energy bill too!

 

2. Remove Old Carpet

There is nothing more undesirable than a rental home that has carpet from the 80s or 90s. Renters will often close listings because of unattractive home features! Rip up those green shag carpets and put in new, soft, neutral colored carpet instead. Your rental listing photos will draw in more prospective tenants and your home will rent out faster! Want to take your home improvements up a notch? Installing hardwood/laminate is an option that gives a home that brand-new feel. Everyone loves the look of wood!

 

3. Replace/Paint Cabinet Doors

Replace-Paint Cabinet Doors - Home Improvements

Does your rental property have plastic on each of the cabinet doors? Or perhaps they are an old oak colour making the home look dated. Give your rental home an upgrade by replacing or painting cabinet doors. If you have cabinet doors that are strange in size, shape, or design, it is best to replace them. On the other hand, if you have older oak finishes, painting these white (or other neutral colours) can remove that “old-fashioned” look from your home.

 

4. Knocking Down Walls

Many of the older model homes will have separate and closed off rooms. To upgrade your rental, you can make easy home improvements by knocking down walls (be sure they are not load-bearing!). People want a home where they can cook dinner and still mingle with people in the living room. Creating an open-concept home will increase the appeal and desire for the rental. Knocking down walls also gives your rental home more options for layout of furniture and space to move around. Perfect for those who are looking to host family and friends!

 

5. Replace Faucets and Shower Heads

Replace Faucets and Shower Heads - Home Improvements

When a home has new and shiny accessories, it increases the value in a rental property. Replace all of those leaking, rusted, or calcified faucets and shower heads in your home. It is amazing what a new and styled faucet can do for a bathroom to remove the feeling of “aged” and “lived-in.”

 

6. Drawer Cupboards

With all of the stuff people have, it is important to find a rental that has enough storage spaces. One of the many home improvements you can make to your rental is to add drawer cupboards. These are cupboards in your home (usually in the kitchen) that open up and have roll out drawers within them. These are space saving improvements compared to basic shelves, which limit the amount of space you can use. Not to mention, they are easy to access (no more crawling around in low and hard to reach cupboards!). Make this change and be sure to feature it in your rental images!

 

7. New Trim and Paint

New Trim and Paint - Home Improvements

If your rental is a condo, house, or townhouse, curb appeal is one of the driving forces that will ‘sell’ your home. People like to be proud of the home they are living in, and the exterior is the first thing anyone sees. Give the front of your home an upgrade and purchase new trim and apply a new coat of paint. Something as simple as freshening up the paint will drastically brighten the home from the outside, making it appear new once more.

 

Once you’ve completed these home improvements, Rentfaster will come to your rental and take new professional photos for your listing for only $30! Ensuring that potential tenants see the value right away!

 

Most Popular Calgary Neighbourhoods to Live In

Most Popular Calgary Neighbourhoods to Live In

The city of Calgary. Located in southern Alberta, Calgary is commonly known for the legendary Calgary Stampede and for being the home to many oil and gas companies. Lovingly referred to as “Cow Town” due to the vast grasslands that surround the city, Calgary is ever-growing and always expanding – creating more popular Calgary neighbourhoods each year. Being the home of a diverse number of people, it is said to host speakers in over 120 different languages. If you are looking for a place to rent in an area that has the buzz of city life or more of a quiet residential area, Calgary is diverse enough to accommodate. Calgary is filled with rental opportunities, with an overall average price of $1,389 and 6719 total rental listings. There is a lot to do in Calgary and each neighbourhood holds its own unique characteristics. Here are the most popular Calgary neighbourhoods to live in:

 

1. Varsity Neighbourhood, Calgary

Varsity - Calgary Neighbourhoods

Varsity is one of the Calgary neighbourhoods located in the Northwest of the city. Although it is further away from the downtown core (roughly 20 minutes by car and 45 minutes by bus), the area is highly sought after for its greenery. Varsity is close to the Silver Springs Golf course and is only a short drive from Nose Hill and Bowmont Park. The area is popular due to the close proximity to the green spaces as well as amenities. Northland Mall, Market Mall, and the Varsity strip mall (with stores, such as Planet Organic, and some restaurants and cafes) are amongst it. This Calgary neighbourhood has a total of 87 rentals available, with an average rental price of $1,142. Considering the price, the easy access, and the natural surrounding area, it is no wonder that Varsity is the most popular neighbourhood in Calgary!

 

2. Beltline Neighbourhood, Calgary

The Beltline neighbourhood in Calgary is located south of the downtown core. This neighbourhood is commonly known for the high number of diverse and delicious restaurants and entertainment options. Every evening is an opportunity to try new foods, or meet up with friends. Because of its close proximity to downtown, it is the ideal place to rent an apartment or condo, with its easy commute to offices downtown! There are currently 294 available rentals with an average price of $1,492. This neighbourhood is perfect for those wanting to be immersed in the energy of the Beltline (events, pubs, restaurants, etc.) and also for those working in the core.

 

3. Edgemont Neighbourhood, Calgary

Edgemont - Calgary Neighbourhoods

Close to Nose Hill (the beautiful park in the north of Calgary) is the Edgemont neighbourhood. This lovely neighbourhood has many walking paths and green spaces (Nose Hill and the Edgemont ravine) and is accessible by number of main roads, making commuting simple. The area is older – development of Edgemont began in the year 1978, and it is now one of Calgary’s largest communities. As well, a number of schools and shopping centers are close by, making it the ideal location for those looking to settle down. This is one of the most popular Calgary neighbourhoods due to its appeal for families. Edgemont currently has 52 available rentals on Rentfaster.ca, with an average price of $1,439.

 

4. Aspen Woods Neighbourhood, Calgary

Aspen Woods is a highly sought after Southwestern neighbourhood for its close proximity to nature as well as easy access to the mountains. The area is filled with green spaces, perfect for those looking to stay active – biking and walking trails surround the community. The area is primarily residential besides the green spaces, and it also has the Aspen Landing Shopping Centre. Aspen Landing is filled with trendy stores, restaurants, cafes and other necessary amenities. The Aspen Woods community is in a prime location to get around, as it is close to major roads, and also has primary bus routes and a nearby LRT station. There are currently 37 rental available with an average price of $2,359 – more expensive than others because of its beautiful surrounding area and gorgeous houses.

 

5. Brentwood Neighbourhood, Calgary

The Northwest community of Brentwood is one of the most popular Calgary neighbourhoods. Bordered by Shaganappi trail and Crowchild trail (two main Calgary roads), Brentwood is often a central meeting place in the northern quadrant. The Brentwood LRT station is across from the Brentwood Village Shopping Centre where a variety of stores, cafes, and restaurants are situated. If you are a student looking to live close to school, the University of Calgary is just across the road and SAIT is only a short ride away. On Rentfaster.ca there are 60 rentals available in Brentwood, with an average price of $1,137. Brentwood is the community that combines accessibility to residential living.

 

6. Signal Hill Neighbourhood, Calgary

Signal Hill - Calgary Neighbourhoods

The Southwest neighbourhood of Signal Hill is most commonly identified through the geoglyphs found on Battalion Park. These geoglyphs, made out of white stone, identify the battalion numbers that Alberta soldiers fought in. This neighbourhood park acts as a memorial for the First World War and is also a gorgeous green space to those residing nearby. Because the neighbourhood is located on the outermost part of the city, the area tends to be quieter. It is away from the buzz of downtown, but still accessible by car (a 20-minute drive or 45-minute bus ride). The area is mainly houses, but some condos and apartments are available. The average price of a rental in this neighbourhood is $1,768 (higher than most Calgary neighbourhoods), and only 21 rentals are currently listed.

 

7. Huntington Hills Neighbourhood, Calgary

If you are looking for a neighbourhood that is mainly residential homes, Huntington Hills may be just what you are looking for. The community was built in the mid 1970’s and contained many single-family homes. This neighbourhood is close to the Beddington community, another older community, with beautiful homes and large backyards as well as a number of townhouses. There are a few schools in the area, but the main feature in this neighbourhood is the close access to Nose Hill. This Northwest neighbourhood is not as close to downtown as others, but instead you get the benefit of quiet-living in a local residential area. Not to mention you will be extremely close to the Calgary Airport! Huntington Hills has 91 rentals available with an average price of $1,120.

 

8. Bridgeland Neighbourhood, Calgary

Bridgeland was originally known to be the heart of the Italian and Ukrainian communities, but slowly has expanded beyond. This beautiful neighbourhood overlooks the Bow River and is only a short drive away from downtown Calgary (7 minutes by car, 16 minutes by bus). Bridgeland is home to a number of restaurants and cafes (some of which are still Italian and Ukrainian). The types of homes most common in this area are apartments, condos, and lofts (all three make up 54 of the 86 available rentals). The Bridgeland neighbourhood currently has 86 total rentals available on Rentfaster.ca with an average price of $1,395.

 

9. Garrison Woods Neighbourhood, Calgary

Garrison Woods is a neighbourhood located in the Southwest of Calgary. The community used to be a base for the Canadian Forces, but afterwards was turned into an upscale residential area. Garrison Woods is located very close to the Marda Loop community which offers all the amenities needed. There are a number of bus routes that go downtown, ranging from 25 to 40 minutes, dependent on the route. The area is also a short drive away from the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University – wonderful for students. This area is in high demand as it only has 4 available rentals (lofts and townhouses) on Rentfaster.ca with an average price of $2,925.

 

10. Arbour Lake Neighbourhood, Calgary

Arbour Lake - Calgary Neighbourhoods

Known for being one of the only neighbourhood in Calgary located near a lake, the Arbour Lake community is one highly sought after. This community is mainly filled with residential homes, each surrounding Arbour Lake – lake front properties being the most desired. This Northwest neighbourhood is wonderful for those looking to stay active and participate in recreational activities. The lake provides opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeing, skating, and simple leisurely strolls. The area is close to the Crowfoot Shopping Centre, which has an LRT station, making downtown access simple. Of the 6719 total rental listings available in Calgary, only 26 are rentals available in Arbour Lake. The average price of a rental in this area is $1,655.

 

11. Downtown Core Neighbourhood, Calgary

The Downtown Core in Calgary is where energy thrives and business people alike fill the streets. This is the location where most corporate businesses and companies reside. In addition, there are endless amounts of food and entertainment in the Downtown area, an ideal option for entrepreneurs, business people, and downtown workers. Because of the high demand for living space in the downtown core, Rentfaster.ca currently has 255 rentals available for an average price of $1,803. It is one of the most expensive Calgary neighbourhoods to reside, but has the benefit of being in the city. There is little to no commute time, and you get the perks of being immersed in the heart of the city! If you are looking for a neighbourhood close to the activity of the city and near the business central, the Downtown Core neighbourhood in Calgary is just for you!

 

12. Crescent Heights Neighbourhood, Calgary

Crescent Heights - Calgary Neighbourhoods

One of the ‘old money’ neighbourhoods in Calgary is the Crescent Heights area. The community is a mixture of quaint small homes, houses that have been remodelled into large, single-family, modern dwellings, and huge cliff-top estates. The neighbourhood is far enough away from the downtown core that it is a quiet residential area (with an amazing view of downtown). Yet it is a quick 15-minute commute by bus to the downtown core. There is a total of 129 rental available in the Crescent Heights neighbourhood, with an average price of $1,390.

 

13. Mckenzie Lake Neighbourhood, Calgary

Mckenzie Lake is one of the southeastern Calgary neighbourhoods that has caught a lot of attention. The area is nearby Mckenzie Lake, filled with beautiful residential homes that surround the water (similar to that of Arbour Lake in the northwest). The community is mainly single-family dwellings, perfect for settling down or raising a family in. Living in this area, there is the opportunity to be a part of the Mckenzie Lake Residents Association which host a number of programs and have park hours for enjoying the facilities. Currently in the Mckenzie Lake neighbourhood there are only 12 rentals available, with an average rental price of $1,518.

 

Sources:

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/Best-Neighbourhoods/Calgarys-Best-Neighbourhoods-2017/Calgarys-Top-10-Neighbourhoods/

http://www.searchcalgaryhomes.ca/blog/2013/12/19/edgemont-calgarys-largest-community

http://www.uniglobekalamalkatravel.com/view-vacation.html?id=10-interesting-facts-about-calgary

http://www.visitcalgary.com/explore-calgary/neighbourhoods/bridgeland

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/Best-Neighbourhoods/Calgarys-Best-Neighbourhoods-2013/Varsity/

http://bestcalgaryhomes.com/varsity-best-areas-of-calgary-to-live-in

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/Best-Neighbourhoods/Calgarys-Best-Neighbourhoods-2015/index.php/name/Arbour-Lake/listing/29978/

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/Best-Neighbourhoods/Calgarys-Best-Neighbourhoods-2017/index.php/name/Signal-Hill/listing/30519/

http://nexthome.yp.ca/neighbourhoods/brentwood/31423/

https://calgary.foundlocally.com/Home/CalgaryNeighbourhoods-HuntingtonHillsBeddington.htm

http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/CNS/Documents/community_social_statistics/mckenzie_lake.pdf

http://mlra.ca/

http://www.great-news.ca/communities/calgary/sw/garrison-woods/

https://www.rentfaster.ca/ab/calgary/community/garrison-woods/