Ontario Rent Control Exemptions: Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in 2018

Ontario Rent Control Exemptions 2018 Residential Tenancies Act

Ontario Rent Control Exemptions: Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in 2018

In 2018, it was announced that all new residential units occupied for the first time as of November 15, 2018, are exempt from rent control.

Ontario Rent Control Exemptions 2018 Residential Tenancies Act

This means that if you move into an apartment, condo, or basement unit that was first tenanted as a residential space after the amendment of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA), the landlord does not have a limit on how much they can raise the rent to. Although landlords of these entities do not have to follow the rent increase guidelines, they still have to abide by the provincial rules for increasing rent.

This exemption applies to:

    • Apartment additions to existing buildings or homes
    • New basement apartments
    • Mobile home parks and land lease community

Rules For Increasing Rent

The landlord must give at least 90 days of proper written notice of the rent increase before it takes effect, and can only increase rent once in a 12-month period. In most cases, the rent for a residential unit can be increased 12 months after:

    • The last legal rent increase (including assignments)
    • The start date of tenancy

Landlord Tenant Board Rent Increase Forms

Use the forms available from the Landlord Tenant Board to give proper notice. Don’t forget, if you do not give proper notice, your tenant can dispute it within 12 months after the amount was first changed.

Learn more about Rent Increase Guidelines in Ontario

Resolving Issues About Rent Control

If there are any concerns regarding the eligibility of a residential unit’s exemption from rent control, landlords and tenants can contact the Landlord and Tenant Board. 

To prevent conflict about whether a residential space is exempt from the provincial rent increase guidelines, landlords may want to keep these documents handy:

    • Building permits, applications, and plans
    • Occupancy permits
    • New home warranty documents
    • Documents and invoices from the contractor
    • Before and after pictures of the property

Rent Increase Guidelines: 2023 Summary

Canada Rent Increase Summary 2022 by Province

Rent Increase Guidelines: 2023 Summary

Rent increases are inevitable. They’re necessary so landlords can offset their increased expenses from property maintenance and ensure that the tenants’ homes are in good living condition. Each province and territory has its own regulations on how often rent can be increased and how much it can be increased.

Canada Rent Increase Summary 2022 by Province

Each year, the standards landlords have to abide by in order to legally increase rent go through changes. Read on for a summary of the guidelines for increasing rent on residential units for 2023.

Rent Increase Guidelines 2023
(By Province)

Whether you’re a landlord looking to increase rent or a tenant who received a notice of rent increase, be sure that all the necessary forms are completed in order to prevent conflict with the other party.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: 2%

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 90 days of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • RTB-7 Notice of Rent Increase
    • RTB-52 Application for Additional Rent Increase
    • RTB- 45 Notice of Standard Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site • RTB-11a Notice of Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in British Columbia.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No rent increase limit

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 90 days of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Must Include: 

    • The date
    • The effective date of the increase • The new rent amount proposed
    • The landlord’s signature

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Alberta.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No rent increase limit

Written Notice for Members of SKLA and NPHPS: Landlords have to provide 6 months of proper written notice

Written Notice for Non-Members: Landlords have to provide 12 months of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • Form 5- Notice of Rent Increase
    • Form 5a- Notice of Rent Increase for Approved Landlord Association Members

Landlords who are members of SKLA and NPHPS can increase rent once every 12 months.

Landlords who are non-members can increase rent once every 18 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Saskatchewan.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: Rent Freeze

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 90 days of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • Form 1A- Notice of Rent Increase
    • Form 3- Notice of Rent Increase Above Amount Permitted by Regulation

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Manitoba.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: 2.5%

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 90 days of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • RTB-7 Notice of Rent Increase
    • RTB-52 Application for Additional Rent Increase
    • RTB- 45 Notice of Standard Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site
    • RTB-11a Notice of Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Ontario.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No increase limit, however, the recommended increase rates are published based on the type of dwelling

Written Notice:

    • For tenancies of one year or more: 3 months of proper written notice
    • For tenancies of less than one year: 1 month of proper written notice
    • For tenancies that do not have a set end date: 1 month of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • Notice of Rent Increase and Modification of Another Condition of the Lease
    • Lessee’s Response to a Notice of Rent Increase and Modification of Another

Condition of the Lease

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Quebec.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No increase limit

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 6 months of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Must Include:

    • The name and contact details of the landlord
    • The address of the rental unit
    • The current rent amount
    • The new rent amount proposed
    • The date when the increase will take effect
    • The date and signature of the landlord

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in New Brunswick.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: 2%

Written Notice:

    • For monthly tenancies: 4 months of proper written notice 
    • For weekly tenancies: 8 weeks of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Must Include:

    • The name and contact details of the landlord
    • The address of the rental unit
    • The current rent amount
    • The new rent amount proposed
    • The date when the increase will take effect
    • The date and signature of the landlord

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Nova Scotia.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: 1%

Written Notice:

    • For monthly tenancies: 3 months of proper written notice 
    • For weekly tenancies: 3 weeks of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • Form 10 Notice of Rent Increase
    • Form 12 Application by Lessor for Approval of Rent Increase Exceeding Percentage Allowed by Regulation
    • Form 15 Lessor’s Statement of Income and Expenses
    • Form 13 Application by Lessee for Review of Proposed Rent Increase

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Prince Edward Island.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No increase limit Written Notice:

    • For monthly tenancies: 6 months of proper written notice
    • For weekly tenancies: 8 weeks of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Forms:

    • RTB-7 Notice of Rent Increase
    • RTB-52 Application for Additional Rent Increase
    • RTB- 45 Notice of Standard Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site
    • RTB-11a Notice of Rent Increase- Manufactured Home Site

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Newfoundland and Labrador.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: 3.3%

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 3 months of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase must include:

    • The name and contact details of the landlord
    • The address of the rental unit
    • The current rent amount
    • The new rent amount proposed
    • The date when the increase will take effect
    • The date and signature of the landlord

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Yukon.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No increase limit

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 3 months of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Must Include: 

    • The name and contact details of the landlord
    • The address of the rental unit
    • The current rent amount
    • The new rent amount proposed
    • The date when the increase will take effect
    • The date and signature of the landlord

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Northwest Territories.

2023 Rent Increase Guideline: No increase limit

Written Notice: Landlords have to provide 3 months of proper written notice

Notice of Rent Increase Must Include:

    • The name and contact details of the landlord
    • The address of the rental unit
    • The current rent amount
    • The new rent amount proposed
    • The date when the increase will take effect
    • The date and signature of the landlord

Landlords can increase rent once every 12 months.

Click here for more information about rent increase guidelines in Nunavut.

Easy Rent Collection Is Here

Using SingleKey’s Rent Collection platform, landlords can effortlessly collect and manage their rental payments online, without the hassle of spreadsheets and cheques.

Invite your tenant to online rental collection today.

Renting To Pet-Owners: Provincial Laws You Need To Know

Provincial Laws On Renting To Pet-Owners

Renting To Pet-Owners: Provincial Laws You Need To Know

Each provincial Residential Tenancy Act sets out the rules and regulations governing residential renting for landlords and tenants. The rights of landlords regarding renting to pet owners differ across Canada.

Provincial Laws On Renting To Pet-Owners

Renting To Tenants With Pets: Regulations By Province

Landlords may include a “no pet” clause and refuse to rent to pet owners. British Columbia allows landlords to prohibit or restrict the size, kind, or number of pets they allow a tenant to have on the residential property.

Landlords may require an additional refundable pet deposit for tenants who own pets. The landlord can ask for a pet deposit, provided that the amount, including any other security deposits, does not exceed ½ of one month’s rent. Service animals cannot require a pet deposit.

Terms respecting pets and pet damage deposits

18   (1) A tenancy agreement may include terms or conditions doing either or both of the following:

  • prohibiting pets, or restricting the size, kind or number of pets a tenant may keep on the residential property;
  • governing a tenant’s obligations in respect of keeping a pet on the residential property.

(2) If, after January 1, 2004, a landlord permits a tenant to keep a pet on the residential property, the landlord may require the tenant to pay a pet damage deposit in accordance with sections 19 [limits on amount of deposits] and 20 [landlord prohibitions respecting deposits].

(3)This section is subject to the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.

In Alberta, landlords can enforce “no pet” clauses and refuse to rent to pet owners if included in the lease agreement. They also have the right to decide what kinds of pets, size, breeds and number of allowed pets.

Pet deposits and fees are allowed. Any pet fees should be a reasonable amount. Any refundable pet deposit amount plus the security deposit amount must not exceed one month’s rent.

No fees or deposits can be imposed on service animals in Alberta. Landlords who discriminate against an applicant with a service dog can be found guilty of an offence under the Service Dogs Act and the Blind Persons’ Act and can be fined up to $3,000.

If a tenant commits a substantial breach, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy or give the tenant at least 14-days’ notice to end the tenancy. A tenant must receive the notice at least 14 clear days before the tenancy ends.

Landlords in Saskatchewan can refuse rent to pet owners and include “no pet” clauses in their lease agreements. Pets are otherwise welcomed if not stated.

If the landlord allows pets, they can legally request additional charges to the tenants. Landlords can request a one-time pet fee or a monthly fee, or both, which are all non-refundable. A landlord can also require a refundable pet deposit, yet the amount must not exceed one month’s rent, including other security damage deposits. For service animals, these fees cannot be charged.

In Manitoba, landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets and enforce “no pet” provisions with eviction, provided they give written notice. Landlords can also set general guidelines on the kinds of pets allowed.

Landlords can request a pet deposit for tenants who own pets. A pet deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent in addition to other security deposits. Treated like a damage deposit, the landlord may claim the deposit for any damage or cleaning cost caused by the pet.

Pet damage deposit

29.1(1) A landlord who gives a tenant permission to have a pet in a rental unit on or after June 30, 2010, may require a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit.

Transitional — deposit not more than 1/2 of one month’s rent

29.1(2.1) If, during the period from June 30, 2010, to the day immediately before this subsection comes into force, a landlord required a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit, the deposit must not be more than the equivalent of 1/2 of one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement.

You can find pet deposit requirements for Manitoba here: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/r119e.php#29.1(4) 

No landlord can request a security pet deposit for a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code.

Exception — service animals

29.1(3) A landlord shall not require a tenant who relies on a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code to pay a pet damage deposit in respect of that animal.

Ontario landlords are legally allowed to refuse to rent to pet owners. Yet once the rental agreement is signed, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for owning a pet.

The Residential Tenancy Act includes a provision stating that all conditions in a tenancy agreement that prohibit the presence of animals in or about the residential complex are void (2006, c. 17 s. 14). This is provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants or is a breed that is deemed to be inherently dangerous.

“No pet” provisions void

14 A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.  2006, c. 17, s. 14.

It is illegal for a landlord to ask for a pet deposit in Ontario. However, the landlord can accept the deposit if a tenant offers and cannot exceed one month’s rent. Since service animals are not considered pets, any additional fees or requirements do not apply.

Landlords have options to issue eviction notices if the tenants’ pets are causing reasonable damages and nuisances. Suppose the tenant’s dog caused extensive damage to rugs by defecating and urinating. Landlords can serve an N5 based on damages if they provide details of the damages and at least two estimates for the repairs. The tenant will have seven days to rectify the damages by paying the amount required or fixing the damages themselves. If not resolved, the landlord can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Quebec landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets or implement restrictions on what pets are allowed. If there is any failure to respect provisions in the lease, landlords may apply to the Administrative Housing Tribunal for an order to cancel the lease.

Quebec has no official policy in place regarding pet deposits. No additional fees or pet deposits can be charged for service animals.

In New Brunswick, landlords may refuse tenants based on owning pets and enforce “no pet” restrictions, leading to eviction. Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with service animals or charge additional fees.

Landlords are not permitted an additional deposit for pets.

In Nova Scotia, landlords have the right to include pet restriction clauses in the leases. 

Under The Service Dog Act, discriminating against a person who requires a service dog can get a fine of up to $3,000.

It is illegal for a landlord to charge an additional pet deposit.

Landlords in P.E.I. may enforce a “no pet” clause or implement restrictions on the type or size of pet allowed. Landlords cannot refuse to rent to applicants who require a service animal.

Pet deposits are illegal for a landlord to request.

Landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets and include “no pet” clauses in the lease agreement.

Landlords cannot discriminate against applicants who require service animals or charge additional fees or deposits. 

It is illegal for landlords in Newfoundland and Labrador to charge a pet deposit.

The Landlord and Tenant Act for the Yukon does not cover this particular issue. Yukon landlords cannot discriminate against people with disabilities that require a service animal.

Landlords can enforce “no pet” policies. A landlord cannot refuse rent to applicants who have a service animal.

A pet deposit can be charged, and the amount cannot exceed 50% of one month’s rent.

Landlords may refuse to rent to pets and enforce “no pet” clauses for private rentals. Landlords cannot discriminate against those with disabilities requiring a service animal.

The Residential Tenancy Act does not cover pet deposits, but security damage deposits can not exceed one month’s rent.

Exceptions In Canada

Nationwide, condominiums have their own by-laws and policies in place. It may not be up to the landlord to make the decision regarding having pets on the property. Ensure you read all rules and regulations regarding pet ownership at your condominium.

Renting to tenants with dogs in British Columbia is vastly different from renting to pets in Ontario, and landlords should review the rules and regulations that apply to them. Balancing these rules with the benefits of renting to pets (LINK: to other pet article above) will enable landlords to make informed decisions on renting to pets across Canada.

Always Screen Tenants With Pets

Our tenant pre-screenings with credit and background checks allow tenants to provide landlords with descriptions and photos of their pets. Order your Tenant Report today to learn more about who is moving into your rental.

Why You Should Make Your Rental Pet-Friendly (and How)

Pet-Friendly Rental Renting With Pets Landlord Tips

Why You Should Make Your Rental Pet-Friendly (and How)

Despite the difficulties of finding pet-friendly rentals, almost one million Canadians have welcomed their first pet to their family during the pandemic. Unfortunately, landlords who refuse pets have become one of the most common reasons for Canadians to surrender their pets to shelters.

 

Pet-Friendly Rental Renting With Pets Landlord Tips

When done right, creating a pet-friendly rental does not have to come with damages and stress. Plus, fewer families will have to choose between their beloved pets and a place to live. There can be many benefits to renting to pet owners, and each provincial Residential Tenancy Act lays out the rights and restrictions available to landlords.

If you’re a landlord considering renting to pets in your rental properties, here are some benefits, tips and provincial regulations on renting with pet owners.

What Are The Benefits Of Renting To Pet Owners?

Create Higher Demand With  A Larger Pool of Tenants

Pet-friendly rentals aren’t widely available, and many landlords legally can and will refuse to rent to pet owners. Advertising your rental as pet-friendly can significantly increase potential tenant interest and shorter time on the market.

Attract Long-Term Tenants

Since it can be hard to move places with pets for several reasons, most tenants will be more likely to renew a lease.

Additional Rent and Deposits

While it is illegal for a landlord to charge a “pet rent” in Canada, having a pet-friendly rental can allow landlords to ask for a higher amount of rent.

Depending on the provincial regulations, landlords can impose additional pet fees, either a one-time payment or a monthly fee or both. If stated in the provincial Residential Tenancy Act, landlords can also request an additional refundable pet damage deposit.

Attract Responsible Tenants

Owning pets isn’t cheap. In Canada, pet owners can expect to pay $3,724 yearly for a dog and $2,500 for a cat. Responsible pet owners tend to be accountable tenants, and if they take care of their pets, it gives reason to believe they will also take care of the rental. Since pet-friendly rentals are not easy to find, it provides more incentive to respect the property.

Before Seeking Tenants​

Pet-Proof Your Rental

Ensuring your rental property is appropriate to host a pet might be the best bet to save yourself from more wear and tear damages in the future. Consider replacing the carpet in busy rooms with flooring like hardwood or tile, which are easier to clean and disinfect.

Tenants may also bring their own area rugs or mats to provide protection from wear and tear. When deciding on new paint colours for the walls, make sure to purchase easy-to-wash paints like high gloss finishes.

Comply With Your Provincial Residential Tenancy Act

Each province and territory in Canada has a Residential Tenancy Act, which lays out the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. While deciding whether or not to allow pets into your rental, it’s essential to understand what the law states in your province.

Most of the provincial Residential Tenancy Acts cover the landlord’s rights to refuse tenants based on having pets, enforce a no-pet policy within a lease agreement, and request pet deposits or pet fees.

Decide What Pets You’re Willing To Allow

If your province allows landlords to impose restrictions on the types of pets, consider what pets would be appropriate in your rental unit. It’s perfectly fine to be picky with the kind of animals you’re comfortable renting to.

Landlords should research pets and breeds best-suited to the type of unit they own. For example, some of the best dog breeds for small condos and apartments are Boston terriers, bulldogs, and pugs.

Some provinces don’t allow landlords to choose how many pets a tenant can have in a household. If it’s not stated in the Residential Tenancy Act, contact your city or municipality to check for local by-laws.

Include a Pet Policy In Your Lease

If you decide to rent to pet owners, it’s important to include a pet policy within your lease agreement. A pet policy should go over your expectations for pet care and obligations, liabilities, and enforcements for the tenants if they own pets. The policy should lay out all rules the landlord wishes to have regarding renting to tenants with pets.

Ensure the pet policy follows your province’s Residential Tenancy Act, or it may not be enforceable. Sample pet addendums for rental agreements can be found on the Humane Society’s website.

While Screening Tenants With Pets

Ask For Proper Identification, Licenses, and Vaccinations

Requiring valid identification, licenses, and vaccinations allows landlords to ensure everything is up to date and gives the notion of applicants being responsible pet owners and possible tenants. Pet licensing regulations can be found in your city municipal by-laws.

Require That All Dogs/Cats Be Neutered

Most responsible pet owners will have their pets neutered as it’s typically vet-recommended. Studies show having pets neutered helps cut down on potential messes and improves the general attitudes of pets.

Landlord References

It’s always recommended to seek previous landlord references when screening tenants. Especially when screening tenants with pets, speaking with their current landlords may be a great way to understand the pet itself better and any incidents that may have occurred.

Questions you may ask previous landlords include:

    • Does the previous landlord consider the tenant a responsible tenant and pet owner?
    • Were the pets well behaved and well cared for?
    • Did any other tenants or neighbours complain about the tenant’s pet?
    • Did the tenant’s pet cause damage to the property in any way?

Tenant Insurance

Some policies may cover damages caused by pets within their liability coverage. If the tenant’s dog bites and injures a person, the insurance company may cover that situation. If the tenant’s pet causes extensive property damage and the landlord sues for damages, the insurance may cover the cost.

Requiring tenants to have coverage over liability can help landlords recover damages caused by the pets.

Pet Damages Deposits

In some provinces, landlords have the right to request a refundable pet damage deposit used to cover any damages caused by the pet. If no damages occur other than normal wear and tear, the landlord must refund the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

It is legal for a landlord to request a non-refundable pet fee either upfront, monthly, or both in certain provinces. These fees are to cover either maintenance or other potential future costs.

Interview Pets With Tenants

Meeting the tenant’s pet before making a decision could give a landlord better insight into the general characteristics of the pet.

Consider some questions to ask the tenant regarding their pet:

    • How long have you had your pets?
    • How often will your pet be left alone, and for how long?
    • How often do you walk/exercise your dog? Will you have a dog sitter/walker?
    • Do you have someone to care for the pet while you’re away?
    • Are there any known behavioral or medical issues, and what’s the current treatment?
    • Are your pets housebroken?
    • How well does your pet get along with strangers?

While Renting And At The End Of The Tenancy

Perform Annual Property Review

It’s always best to check for yourself if any damage has been caused by pets. In cases of extensive damage, landlords can recover the costs or file an eviction order.

If you refuse to allow pets in your rentals, it can be a good idea to follow up that there are no breaches of the lease agreement. If so, in provinces that allow the enforcement of “no pet” provisions, the landlord may take action to request the pet be removed from the rental unit, or the tenant can face eviction.

Evicting A Tenant Due To Their Pet

If the provincial act allows “no pet” provisions, a landlord can take action upon tenants who have pets in the rental unit. Landlords must give proper written notice of eviction for a breach of the lease agreement and provide reasonable time for the tenants to remove the pet from the property. If the tenants do not remove their pets from the property, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.

In provinces such as Ontario, “no pet” provisions are void and not enforceable, even if included in the lease agreement, and the landlord cannot evict tenants for having pets. However, this is only provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants, or a breed inherently dangerous, which could all be a reason for a landlord to evict. If a tenant’s pet caused extensive damages to the rental unit, the landlord could serve an N5 based on damages.

Returning Or Claiming The Refundable Pet Deposit

If the provincial Residential Tenancy Act allows landlords to charge a refundable pet deposit, both the landlord and tenant should inspect the property for damages at the end of the tenancy. The pet deposit can only be used to cover the damages caused by the tenant’s pet.

If the damages exceed the deposit amount, the landlord may claim the rest against the security damage deposit or the tenant if damages exceed both amounts.

Once the tenancy ends, the landlord must refund any unclaimed amount from the pet deposit to the tenant. Deadlines for the landlord’s time to return the deposit can be found in your provincial Residential Tenancy Act.

Rent To Pet-Owners With Ease

Pet-friendly rentals don’t have to be a burden on the landlord. There are many benefits to renting to pet owners, from having more applications to receiving more rent.

Following our tips on renting to pet owners could help you manage your pet-friendly rental without the stress of excessive damages and liability. With over half of Canadian households owning a pet, it may be time for more landlords to consider welcoming their tenants’ furry friends.

Quickly Screen Tenants With Pets

Our tenant pre-screenings with credit and background checks allow tenants to provide landlords with descriptions and photos of their pets. Order your Tenant Report today and learn more about who’s moving into your rental.

Questions to Ask Tenants When Renting to Them

questions to ask rent applicants

Questions to Ask Tenants When Renting to Them

Screening new tenants can be daunting. It’s sometimes difficult to know what kind of person is applying to rent a property. At Singlekey, we help landlords deal with common anxieties every day. So if you don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of basic questions and information needed to get the ball rolling.

questions to ask rent applicants

The Top 7 Topics to Ask Rental Applicants When Interviewing Them

1. Can You Please Provide Some Personal Information?

Name, birthdate and current address are key. You’ll need these if you are doing a credit check. You may also want to ask for a social insurance number, however, the applicant is not legally required to provide this. The credit check can be completed without it, as long as you have the birthdate.

2. Can You List Your Previous Landlord Reference And Details?

It’s important to speak with prior landlords to find out how the applicant was as a tenant. Did they look after the property? Did they pay the rent on time? Why did they leave? Was there any noise or other problems? How was the cleanliness of the home? And for the final question: Would they rent to them again? 

Previous landlords sometimes are not very forthcoming, but if you ask them this last question it will tell you a lot. If the applicant has had multiple landlords over the past few years, it’s a good idea to look at a minimum of the previous five (5) years’ history.

3. What Are Your Employment Details And References?

Confirming employment is critical. How long the applicant has worked there, how much they earn and any personal details you can collect about the person will help in the decision-making process. 

Verifying an applicant’s ability to pay the rent is vital so ask for pay stubs, or a copy of the last income tax statement. If they are moving to the area to start a new job, ask for a copy of the employment letter or contract.

4. Can I See Some Identification?

While this is a small step in the process, it’s absolutely necessary. A landlord must confirm the person is who they claim to be. If a copy of their driver’s license is taken with the application, it must be destroyed once the application is processed as landlords are not permitted to keep it on file. 

The key is to avoid having someone with a fake identity on a Tenancy Agreement which leaves the landlord with no recourse if the tenant skips out on rent or causes a lot of damage.

5. Why Are You Moving?

Maybe they want to be closer to work or family, or they have outgrown their current home (or want to downsize). But watch for red flags such as having issues with other tenants or the landlord.

rental applicant questions

6. Mind Sharing Some Financial Information?

A lot of these details will come up on the credit report, but asking about things such as bankruptcies, earnings, debt load and other financial obligations gives the landlord an idea of how much money is going out each month above and beyond the rent.

Rent is often the first thing the tenant doesn’t pay if they are experiencing financial hardship.

7. I Just Need A Little More General Info, If That’s Okay?

As the application progresses, find out if they have a car or require parking and how many people will live in the home. 

If there will be more than one adult living in the home it’s a good idea to process an application on each adult and ensure they are all listed on the Tenancy Agreement. Do they smoke or have pets? If yes, then the tenant should be advised of the landlord’s smoking and pet policies for the property. Asking about any criminal history should be handled delicately and with professionalism.

Don’t Forget to Check Secondary Resources

Aside from all of the above questions and information a landlord may look for, there are also other resources to allow landlord’s to review the suitability of an applicant. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other public records all provide insight into the type of applicant being considered.  

Reviewing tenant applications is complex and can be time consuming. Decisions should be made based on the information obtained and from the landlord’s perception of who would be best suited to the home. 

That said, caution should be used to ensure each application receives fair consideration and the decision is not based on any discriminatory criteria under Human Rights legislation. These include race, color, sexual orientation, marital status, disability and many more. 

Make sure to check with the provincial authority governing the community where the home is located for full details.

Take the Stress Out of Renting, Try Singlekey

No matter how many questions you ask, there’s always the risk of missing important information that could sway your decision. To assist in the screening process, Singlekey offers services tailored to each landlord’s needs. 

Contact us for more information today.

Long Term vs. Short Term Rental: What’s Right for You?

short-term-vs-long-term-rental

Long Term vs. Short Term Rental: What’s Right for You?

Renting out a property you own is an excellent way to generate passive income. But before listing your rental property on the market, you’ll need to decide whether you want to offer short-term or long-term rentals. While both options are viable ways to operate a successful rental business, it’s vital to understand the differences between the two, including the benefits and drawbacks.

In this guide, we outline the fundamental differences between short-term and long-term rentals. And, we’ll cover some key aspects that you, as a landlord, should consider to ensure you choose the option best for you.

short-term-vs-long-term-rental

What’s The Difference Between Long-Term And Short-Term Rentals?

A short-term rental is a residence that provides accommodation for people looking to stay for a few days to one month, on average. This type of rental property is also referred to as a vacation rental since it primarily appeals to travellers.

The short-term rental niche has enjoyed impressive growth during the last decade, capturing market share from traditional hotel chains. A significant contributor to this surge is the rise of online vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, which connect property owners with travellers seeking accommodation on their getaways. 

Long-term rentals are properties that cater to those tenants looking to stay for an extended time, usually longer than six months

A variety of residences serve as long-term vacation rentals: apartments, condos, townhouses, and detached homes. Commercial and industrial also fall under the category of long-term rentals. 

In most cases, property owners require tenants to sign up for at least a fixed, one-year lease, though some allow periodic tenancy. In the latter case, tenants commit to a lease on a month-to-month basis.

Short-Term Rental Pros

1. You Can Earn More Money.

A short-term rental property can generate a very lucrative income, especially if people rent it for a week or two at a time.

You can command high rates easily if your property is also in a popular tourist spot. For example, if you own a condo that sits along a beach, you can increase your rates liberally during the summer months, when demand soars.

short-term-rental-pros

2. You Can Also Use The Property

Since your guests will only be staying for a brief period, you have the convenience and flexibility to set aside time to use the property for yourself. If you want to go on holiday or spend the long weekend with your friends or family, you simply reserve the block of time in your calendar for personal use.

3. You Can Limit Some Of The Renting Risks

Being a landlord of a long-term rental can be financially rewarding, but it also comes with risks that can hurt your bottom line and cause you stress.

Two issues frequently arise in long-term rentals: tenants who fail to pay their rent and tenants who cause severe damage to the unit. However, these unpleasant scenarios are more avoidable if you own a short-term rental property.

The risk of travellers reneging on payment is low, as they’ve likely already accounted for this expense in their vacation budget. Plus, their commitment isn’t ongoing. And since your guests will occupy your rental unit only for a brief period, there’s less chance of them damaging it significantly.

Short-Term Rental Cons

1. Your Rental Income Can Fluctuate.

Your rental income may vary widely with a short-term rental property. At times, you’ll be booked for months in advance, but there’s also the possibility that your unit will remain vacant for part of the year.

2. You’ll Spend More On Cleaning Costs

With a higher turnover rate, you can expect to dish out more money to keep your rental unit tidy and presentable. Every time a tenant moves out, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and thoroughly clean your rental. The resulting expenses can easily hurt your bottom line, even if you outsource the work to a cleaning company.

short-term-rental-cons

3. You May Need To Hire A Property Manager

Because you’ll be renting your property to new tenants frequently, you must repeatedly check your appliances, sinks, and toilets to ensure they function perfectly. No one will want to rent a home with a broker refrigerator or one rife with plumbing issues. So, you’ll have little choice but to conduct such inspections or risk garnering a slew of negative reviews.

You’ll also need to continuously market your rental, deal with questions and complaints from tenants, and adjust your rates to ensure you generate a profit at year-end. Not surprisingly, you can find yourself overwhelmed quickly.

The only solution may be to hire a property manager to attend to these day-to-day tasks. However, doing so can significantly inflate your expense budget. The higher turnover of guests ensures the property manager will be far busier, keeping your rental in top shape. Thus, you can expect a hefty bill from them each month.

Long-Term Rental Pros

1. You’ll Earn Steady Income

The primary benefit of a long-term rental is predictable and reliable income, usually for at least a year. As a result, you can better ensure your property’s financial security and further scale your rental operation by acquiring more units.

2. You Might See Fewer Maintenance Fees

With a low turnover rate, your rental will demand much less time, effort, and money when it comes to maintenance. You won’t need to pay a cleaning company to tidy up your property too often, as your tenants will likely remain living there for a while.

3. You’ll Have Fewer Responsibilities

There’s far less work involved in successfully managing a long-term rental property than one that caters to short-term guests. You won’t need to constantly market your property, monitor your listings on rental websites, perform tenant credit and background checks, draft lease agreements, perform inspections, etc.

At most, you may need to perform these tasks only once per year, should your tenant choose not to renew their lease.

Long-Term Rental Cons

1. You’ll Have Less Flexibility In Adjusting Your Rental Rates

When you rent out your property for the long term, the rent price you set must remain fixed for the period specified in the lease agreement.

While this ensures a consistent and reliable income, you forego the ability to increase your rate until the lease agreement expires. As a result, you won’t be able to adjust your monthly rent to cover a sudden spike in your operating costs. Nor can you increase it to capitalize on a surge in demand for rental spaces in your location.

2. Your Tenants Will Live In Your Rental For A Long Time

Depending on the types of tenants you have living at your property, they could spur endless headaches and sleepless nights for you. Problem tenants can:

  • cause severe damage to your property
  • neglect their cleaning responsibilities,
  • engage in petty quarrels with neighbours
  • routinely miss rent payment deadlines

To help you avoid troublesome tenants, SingleKey offers a thorough yet easy-to-read Credit and Background Check. Our screening report gives you the information you need to feel comfortable with who is living in your rental property.

As a landlord of a long-term rental, you’ll be able to exercise less control over your property. The tenant will have more rights when they occupy your property than if they lived in a vacation rental.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to treat your tenants as though they’re the rightful owners of the property. For example, you can’t simply show up unannounced to conduct an inspection – you must provide them with written notice.

Further issues can arise if you need to kick out a tenant. Each province has specific laws and procedures you must observe concerning eviction. The entire process can be cumbersome and drawn-out and cost you a considerable sum in legal fees, court fees, etc. Try our eviction calculator to see how much you can end up paying.

Key Takeaways

Short-Term Rental Pros

  • Potential for big financial gains
  • You can use the property as well
  • Limit some risks of renting

Short-Term Rental Cons

  • Income can fluctuate month to month
  • Higher cleaning costs
  • May need to higher property manager

Long-Term Rental Pros

  • Earn steady income
  • Fewer maintenance Fees

Long-Term Rental Cons

  • Rental rates are locked in
  • Harder to evict bad tenants

Short-Term vs Long-Term Rental: How To Decide Which Option Is Right For You

There’s no easy answer when choosing between a short-term and long-term rental. Both types offer their share of advantages and disadvantages. But, you may find that you naturally prefer one of the other once you evaluate each on various factors.

Before arriving at your decision, you should consider your budget, your profit targets, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to dedicate to maintenance, repairs, and tenant interactions (and arguments, too!).

Suppose you prefer a hands-on approach, enjoy the day-to-day tasks of managing a rental property, and don’t mind periodic fluctuations in your income. In that case, you should opt for a short-term rental. 

Let’s say your goal is to generate consistent income over many years. And, you wish to avoid the hassle of constantly searching for tenants, doing paperwork, and fixing clogged sinks. In this case, you’d be better off with a long-term rental.

Whether you rent out your property for three months or three years, one thing hinges on your success or failure more than anything else: the quality of your tenants. Choose the right one, and you’ll earn a steady income for years to come, trouble-free. Choose the wrong one, and you find yourself in court, desperately spending time and money in an attempt to evict them.

A thorough background check can help you find perfect tenants for your property. Book a call to learn more about SingleKey’s Tenant Credit report for landlords.

What Should Landlords Look for in A Tenant Credit Report?

how to read a credit report for landlords

What Should Landlords Look for in A Tenant Credit Report?

In today’s competitive rental market, being a landlord requires diligence, attentiveness, and savviness, especially when selecting who’ll be living on your property. 

how to read a credit report for landlords

After all, the last thing you want to experience is endless quarrels with your tenants about unpaid rent and having to serve and enforce a slew of eviction notices!

In your quest to separate the risky tenants from the safe ones, it’s always wise to perform a credit check on each applicant. It’s a foundational component of the tenant screening process. It’ll pay for itself over time by helping you identify quality candidates – one that’ll make rent payments like clockwork.

While these checks provide valuable insight into prospective tenants, even seasoned landlords can overlook crucial details. Thus, it’s always worth reminding yourself of the items to look for when evaluating credit reports. That way, you can quickly pinpoint the red flags, as well as easily identify a solid tenant.

SingleKey offers an excellent way for landlords to screen tenants via our Tenant Credit & Background Check. We’ve helped landlords across Canada screen and verify thousands of prospective tenants, providing valuable details that make renting a far less risky and hassle-free experience. To help you learn how to read the SingleKey tenant screening report, we’ll review the top 5 tenant credit check metrics.

Don’t forget to check out our sample tenant credit check report. We’ll be using it as a reference throughout this article.

How to Read a Credit Report for Landlords: 6 Key Tips

1. Know the Difference Between Poor, Good, and Great Credit Score

The first indicator you should review is the applicant’s credit score. This financial metric measures their creditworthiness or the riskiness of lending money to them. In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900, with the average hovering around 630.

Though primarily used by lenders, a credit score is also valuable data for landlords. It paints an accurate picture of a tenant’s history with credit and how responsible they are when it comes to payments.

In Canada, two private firms assign credit scores to individuals: Equifax and TransUnion. Both organizations collect and store borrowers’ credit data and incorporate it into complex scoring models to calculate their scores.

Here’s a breakdown of what components go into a credit score and the relative importance of each.

If an applicant possesses a high credit score, they handle debt responsibly and make timely payments. Naturally, this is a favourable attribute, as they’ll have little or no trouble paying their rent on time.

On the other hand, a low credit score indicates the applicant has a history of poor debt management and is more likely to default on the payment obligations. As a result, you should think twice about offering them tenancy, as they may fall behind on their rent easily.

Since the average Canadian has a credit score of 630, you should review rental applicants with scores below this number with greater scrutiny. A credit score below 500 likely stems from an excessive debt load, numerous missed payments, or a recent bankruptcy, suggesting a high-risk applicant.

SingleKey uses an Equifax ER 2.0 score to create an accurate profile of a tenant’s financial health. Here’s a snapshot that shows what you can expect from each report:

tenant credit report for landlords

While a low credit score doesn’t mean that a tenant will be delinquent on rent, we can safely assume that a tenant who fails to pay their bills on time is more likely not to pay their rent on time.

2. Assess the Tenant’s Payment Habits

As a landlord, you want tenants who’ll diligently keep up with their rent payments, so you want to take a peek into their payment history.

Lenders report consumer debt payments to Equifax and TransUnion whether they’re late, on time, or missed entirely. Thus, all will have an impact on an applicant’s credit report.

Specific sections of our report that relate to an applicant’s payment history include:

  • Past due amount – the amount they owe on a particular credit account(s).
  • Payments 30/60/90 – the number of times they made a payment late by 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
  • Payment status – shows whether they’re current or behind with their payments.
  • Last payment – shows the date of the last payment made.
landlord-tenant-credit-checks

3. Identify The Type of Debt Of Debt The Tenant Owes

Another critical detail on our credit report is the type of debt an applicant is responsible for servicing. While an immense debt load of any type can be troubling, it’s essential to understand that not all debt is equal. Some debt products are inherently riskier than others.

High-Interest Debt

High-interest debt comes with greater risk because the tenant can quickly become overwhelmed with interest charges and struggle to make timely payments. Lenders typically charge high interest rates on loans where the borrower has not pledged an asset as collateral.

Examples include credit cards, payday loans, and unsecured lines of credit.

Low-Interest Debt

Low-interest debt poses much less risk for the tenant. Since they accrue few interest charges, making debt payments is more manageable. In addition, an asset typically secures these loans, which provides an extra layer of security should the tenant default.

Examples of low-interest debt include mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and auto loans.

4. Tally Up the Tenant’s Monthly Debt Payments

Credit reports outline the number of regular payments a person has to pay towards an auto loan, credit card, cell phone, etc. It’s important to review these monthly payments because you can determine what percentage of the applicant’s income goes toward covering recurring expenses and bills.

For example, in SingleKey’s sample credit report, the “Payment Term Amount” shows how much the applicant must pay, and the “Narrative” explains the frequency of payments

Naturally, the higher their debt burden, the greater the chance they’ll encounter issues making prompt payments, which increases your risk as a landlord.

For example, suppose an applicant earns a pre-tax income of $3,000 per month but pays $1,000 in credit card and car loan payments every month. In that case, they’ll have little funds left over to cover rent and living expenses.

5. Calculate The Rent To Income Ratio

It’s important to know if an applicant can afford to rent your unit. Thus, you should examine their monthly income and determine what percentage would cover rent. 

Luckily, SingleKey’s tenant credit report calculates the rent-to-income ratio for each applicant, so you won’t have to worry about crunching the numbers yourself.

Evaluating tenants’ rent-to-income ratio allows you to gauge affordability. If an applicant earns $3,000 per month but is applying to rent a unit that costs $2,000 per month, that’s a red flag. 

Many landlords prefer to rent to tenants with a rent-to-income ratio no higher than 30%. This figure is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to consider a particular applicant.

However, studies show that the 30% threshold is not attainable for many individuals. As a result, it’s not uncommon for landlords to accept 50% or higher rent-to-income ratios

Still, our data shows affordability is one of the top predictors of tenant rent default. If tenants spend more than 50% of their income on rent, they risk having insufficient funds to dedicate to rent payments. In this scenario, unexpected expenses or job loss would cause the tenant to stop paying rent. Thus, it’s wise to be patient and seek out tenants with ratios closer to 30%.

We also suggest going one step further and using the (rent + debt payments) to income ratio. With this formula, you combine the tenant’s monthly debt obligations and rent to better grasp how much they can afford.

6. Focus on Derogatory Marks

A derogatory mark is a negative item on a credit report that has significant long-lasting financial repercussions for an individual’s credit standing. 

Here are some scenarios that can cause one to appear on an applicant’s credit report

  • Their credit card provider issued a charge-off on a past due balance
  • They filed for bankruptcy
  • A creditor has sent their account to a collection agency
  • A creditor has repossessed their home or car due to a default  

Derogatory marks can remain on individuals’ credit reports between three and seven years, depending on the nature of the item and the province in which they reside. 

While they happen, it’s important to put things in context and ask the right questions should you spot them on an applicant’s credit report.

1. What was the amount owing?
The amount owing is crucial in determining how detrimental the outstanding payment is to the applicant. A small write-off isn’t as big of a concern as a large one

2. How old is the default?
A bankruptcy that occurred five years ago is not as ruinous as one that happened recently. The more years that have passed since the bankruptcy, the less financial strain the applicant is likely under currently.

3. What type of debt was it?
If a collections item relates to a payday loan, that is much more worrisome than if it’s tied to an outstanding phone bill.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The 6 Things Landlords Should Look Out for On A Tenant Credit Check

  1. Credit Score
  2. Assess Tenant’s Payment Habits
  3. Identify the Type of Debt the Tenant Owes
  4. Monthly Debt Payments
  5. Rent-to-Income Ratio
  6. Collections and Bankruptcy

Find The Right Applicant With Single Key’s Tenant Credit Report

Being smart with your tenant screening process will drastically cut down on the risks that come with renting. A quality tenant won’t only have a stable income, but a reassuring financial history, so it’s vital to review these details.

Keeping in mind the 5 key risk indicators in this guide will help you get the most out of your tenant credit report and raise any red flags that you should be aware of. 

If you are looking for the best tool to screen your tenants, consider the SingleKey Tenant Credit and Background Check report. The five metrics we just reviewed are at the top of every report. 

Don’t forget that we also offer a free tenant review call to help walk you through the tenant report results, so book a call with us any time.

Best Rental Websites for Property Listings in Canada

best-rental-websites-canada

Best Rental Websites for Property Listings in Canada

Nowadays, most tenants are looking online for rental options. It’s a fast and convenient way to compare a wide range of available listings and choose the best one for their needs. As a result, listing your rental property online is a no-brainer if your goal is to find a tenant.

best-rental-websites-canada

However, you can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of online property rental websites at your disposal. Which one do you select to post your ad?

Ideally, you want a platform that allows you ample freedom in showcasing and promoting your rental property. It should also help you attract top-notch tenants as you want individuals who’ll treat your property with respect – and won’t skip out on rent payments! Plus, you don’t want to strain your wallet by overpaying for a listing service, so paying attention to listing fees is a crucial factor to consider.

Luckily, we’ve done the grunt work for you by evaluating the best rental websites in Canada and compiled all the essential details and the pros and cons of each. That way, you can better navigate your options and choose the one that’ll provide you with the best exposure for your property listings.

Let’s dig in!

1. Facebook Marketplace

With over 27 million Facebook users in Canada, Facebook Marketplace is another excellent place to list rentals. As long as you have a Facebook account, you can post as many free ads as you like, with up to 10 photos and no expiry date (be sure to renew them, though, so they appear at the top of the listings!).  

The interface is intuitive and convenient and offers a dynamic preview that changes as you fill out information for your ad. You can also leverage Facebook’s massive network by cross-posting your ad onto your Facebook Timeline, Newsfeed, and various Facebook groups.  

Prospective tenants can easily message you through Facebook’s platform, and all correspondence goes into a unique folder separate from your Messenger chats. Each message even links to its corresponding listing and sets reminders! 

Facebook also provides a nifty security feature that allows you to see each tenant’s profile as a real person. You can also change the status of your listing from Available to Pending or Sold. 

kijiji-best-rental-listing-websites-canada-bc

For tenants, there’s a handy map view that allows them to locate potential listings quickly; however, there are limited filtering options based on listing details. The feature also automatically provides nearby transportation and walking scores for each listing.  

Unfortunately, many realtors post fake listings onto Facebook Marketplace in a deceitful attempt to get more clients, which is its primary drawback.

Recommended For: Individual Landlords & Realtors

Pros

  • Dynamic preview that changes as you edit your ad
  • Ads do not expire
  •  The Messenger app organizes your message and allows you to view tenants’ profiles

Cons

  • High volume of fake listings by realtors
  • Limited filtering options for tenants

2. Craigslist

Craigslist receives tremendous web traffic, with 13.21 million Canadian visits alone in February 2022. 

Posting ads is straightforward, with no sign-up or fee required, and you’re allowed up to 24 images. Prospective tenants can contact you through email and other contact information you add to the listing. Each ad expires within 45 days, or seven if the listing is in a larger city.  

However, the website’s dated appearance may dissuade tenants and landlords alike from using it to search for rental properties and listing them, respectively. The website, populated with mostly legacy users, resembles those from the early 2000s, and it doesn’t provide the most user-friendly experience. 

From a tenant perspective, the search and filter functions are awkward, making it difficult and frustrating to sort through available listings. Also, the ad layouts are very disorganized, and listing details are tough to read.

craiglist-best-rental-websites-canada-toronto

There’s little vetting done on Craigslist to ensure each listing is legitimate – you can post an ad without needing to create an account. While convenient, the result is that many fake rental property ads end up cluttering the website. 

Many landlords also find that the website attracts a considerable number of lower-quality tenants, and many inquiries they receive aren’t from serious prospects.

Recommended For: DIY Small Landlords

Pros

  • No sign-up required.
  • No fees to pay to post basic listings

Cons

  • Traffic is split between rental ads and other categories
  • Since it is easy to post ads, occasional scams can occur
  •  Tenant inquiries aren’t always serious

3. Kijiji

Whether you’re a budding Canadian landlord or a seasoned pro, you’re likely familiar with Kijiji, a classified advertising website with massive traffic garnering 46.9 million visitors in February 2020. In fact, it’s the 26th most visited website in Canada! 

Kijiji offers three different tiers when it comes to posting a property listing:

  1. Free: You can post a basic ad with ten pictures. You can only have two ads running simultaneously, and you’ll have to keep reposting them to ensure they appear on top of search results or pay additional money to boost them.
  2. $130.95/month: You can post an ad with 20 pictures and an urgent flag. The website automatically bumps them up every seven days.
  3. $392.95/month: In addition to the previous perks, your ad receives priority in search results, appearing as a top ad, and you can add a link to your listing.

The website offers several features to maximize your ad’s exposure to ensure it reaches as many users as possible. These include posting a second copy of your ad in Kijiji’s homepage gallery, or highlighting it, which displays it against a blue background, so it stands out. Ads generally expire after 60 days.

kijiji-best-rental-listing-websites-canada-bc

Kijiji has a simple layout, making it easy to list properties. You can even set up virtual viewing features, such as virtual tours or video chats, and check how many people have viewed your listing.  

However, the website offers limited search and filter options, so renters may struggle to find their desired listing. Communication between yourself and prospective tenants is done through Kijiji’s inbox, which can get messy if you have multiple ads running. 

Like Craigslist, Kijiji’s lax vetting can result in fake listings appearing on the website and inquiries about properties that aren’t always serious. As a result, it’s wise to be aware of scams and follow best practices when screening tenants.

Recommended For: DIY Small Landlords

Pros

  • Multiple tiers and upgrades are available to customize your ad
  • High website traffic means that your ad is visible to many people

Cons

  • Communication between yourself and inquiring renters is done through Kijiji’s inbox, which is difficult to manage and organize
  • The free tier restricts you to two active ads at a time

4. Padmapper

Unlike the previous websites, Padmapper is focused only on housing. By signing up for Padmapper, you can showcase your ad to over 464.4K monthly viewers for free. Each ad allows you to post over 20 images, and ads don’t appear to expire.

Unfortunately, the platform is not very user-friendly for tenants and landlords alike. As a landlord, you can post a listing only if you download the mobile app – there’s no way to do so on a desktop. Communication with tenants is done through the site’s messaging system.

Tenants can freely use a desktop to view listings and filter rentals by price, location, and utilities. A helpful map feature also allows them to explore listings by proximity.

However, numerous bugs seem to affect Padmapper’s mobile app, such as the need to log in multiple times before it functions properly.

Recommended: Landlords, Realtors, Property Managers

Pros

  • Simple to use with no complicated add-on features
  • Tenants can easily search and filter for listings on a desktop

Cons

  • Cannot post a listing through a desktop
  • Mobile app is often difficult to use because of glitches

5. Realtor.ca

Another option besides posting your listing online is to hire a professional. 

Realtor.ca helps connect you with realtors in your area who have the knowledge and expertise to market your property effectively and find a suitable tenant. Though the cost varies from agent to agent, most realtors charge a commission equal to one 1-month’s rent if they can close a deal for you.

There are numerous benefits associated with using a realtor. As industry professionals, they’ll:

  • Take photos and list your property on Multiple Listing Services (MLS)
  • Hold property viewings on your behalf
  • Screen the applicants and ensure you get a quality tenant
  • Set up your lease agreement with the new tenant
realtor-best-rental-websites-canada-list-property-ad-tenants

Tenants can freely use a desktop to view listings and filter rentals by price, location, and utilities. A helpful map feature also allows them to explore listings by proximity.

However, numerous bugs seem to affect Padmapper’s mobile app, such as the need to log in multiple times before it functions properly.

Recommended: Landlords, Realtors, Property Managers

Pros

  • Simple to use with no complicated add-on features
  • Tenants can easily search and filter for listings on a desktop

Cons

  • Cannot post a listing through a desktop
  • Mobile app is often difficult to use because of glitches

6. Viewit.ca

For $54.95/month, Viewit allows you to post property rental listings to their 378.6K monthly viewers. No account is necessary to post an ad, which expires after one month and enables you to post up to 10 photos.

Viewit reviews ads before they go live on the site to ensure each is legitimate. Thus, you can rest easy knowing no one will be reusing your listing information as part of a scam.

viewit-best-websites-to-list-your-property-for-rent-canada

On the flip side, any edits, changes, or cancellations you would like to make to your listing require contacting their team. Their turnaround time is within a business day, but some landlords may prefer a platform that provides them with more control in modifying their ads.

Viewit offers additional paid upgrades to enhance your ad and can even send professional photographers to take photos of your property. 

Tenants can utilize their map view to view nearby listings or the search and filter functions to narrow it down based on their utility preferences. They can message landlords through Viewit directly.

Recommended for: Property Managers

Pros

  • Vetted postings ensure that the listing information you provide won’t be used to scam others

Cons

  • Any changes you wish to make to your listings require contacting their staff, which takes editing and posting out of your hands

7. Rentals.ca

A relatively new rental platform, Rentals.ca averages around 1.5 million monthly views and is still growing. It also boasts a mobile app.

Posting requires signing up for an account, and you can select if you want your ad to expire in 15 or 30 days.

There are three different ad tiers to choose from:

  • Free: no special perks for listings.
  • Promoted: for $24/15 days or $49/30 days, your listing receives added exposure on the map/list and syncs with Facebook Marketplace and mobile app notifications.
  • Featured: for $124/15 days or $249/30 days, you get top listings and priority, a “Featured” tag, and your ad appears highlighted on the map. This is in addition to all the perks in the previous tier.
rentals-best-sites-for-rental-property-ads-listings-canada

You need to provide a floor plan and at least two images for each ad. The website allows you to keep track of your listings and their status and even save drafts. Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you provide directly on the listing.

Rentals.ca reviews and approves each listing, so the website contains very few. Most listings on the website are for apartments/condos.

The website provides good search and filter options for tenants, including a map view that displays nearby listings. Each listing also comes generated with a neighbourhood and transportation information.

Recommended for: Property Managers and Individual Landlords

Pros

  • The website is easy to use and navigate
  • Postings are vetted, which means very few scam listings appear

Cons

  • The company is relatively new, so there’s not as many reviews on it and users have little experience with the website
  • The target market is mostly larger cities and apartment or condos

The Final Verdict: The Best Rental Sites in Canada

Craiglist Kijiji Facebook Marketplace Padmapper Realtor Viewit Rentals.Ca
Monthly Traffic (February 2022)
27M
13.2M
49.9M
464K
22.5M
378K
1.5M
Account Required
Listing User Experience
- Very dated website
- Used mostly by legacy users
- Simple interface: easy to list a property
- You have to keep reposting the listing so it shows up at the top or pay to boost it
- Listing status helpful
- No need to boost listings
-Communications with renters is easy, and it's nice to see their profile, to make sure you were speaking with a real person
- Very confusing and complicated interface
- Only allows posting on mobile app, no desktop access for listing
- Good experience for tenants
- Agents will post listing for you
- Limited control control since all edits, deletions, etc has to be approved by their team
- Allows you to keep track of your listing status and save drafts
Renter User Experience
No real search or filter functionality
Renters have a hard time to filter and limited search capability
Easy for both tenants and landlords
Many glitches when searching for listings and makes you log in multiple times.
Polished and professional look and feel. Lots of listings to choose from.
Tenants can use map view to see nearby listings or filter to narrow down the listings based on utilities.
- Provides good search and filter options
- Including a map view of nearby listings.
Communication
Tenants can only message landlord. Very limited.
Just message landlord. All messages are in an inbox, which is not very organized.
The marketplace app separates messages from your personal ones. Ties it to the listing and sets reminders.
Very basic.
Realtor's contact info is included in each listing. Easy to get in touch.
Send email through Viewit directly or call on provided number.
Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you add.
Fees
No
- Basic : free
-More visibility: $130.95/month
- Most visibility: $392.95/month
No
No
- Fees vary for posting unit
- Most realtors charge 1 month's rent
- $54.95
- Additional costs optional
No
# of Pictures
24
10 ( Free)
50
3 (Recommended)
N/A
10
2 (Minimum)
Ad Expiry
45 or 7 days
60 days (Fees may apply to extend)
No
No
N/A
1 Month
N/A
Fake Listing
Many fake listings
Many fake listings
Many realtors with fake listings to get business
Many fake listings
None. Listings vetted by realtor.
None. Listings vetted.
Very few fake listings.
Pros
Can list virutal tour options
- Interactive ad maker.
- Cross-post ad to Newsfeed, Timeline and Groups
Shows a mapview of rentals
A turn-key solution for the full rental process.
- No fake listings
- Offers professional photographer
- Popular with large property manager
- Shows a mapview of rentals.
- Provides neighbourhood and transportation information
Cons
- Low vetting.
- traffic is shared with other categories.
- Low vetting
- 2 ad limit for free account.
- Low vetting
- Mobile only
- Most expensive option, costing 1 month's rent.
Must contact their team for changes.
New website so not enough reviews on it.
Best For
Small Landlords
Small Landlords
Individual Landlords + Realtors
Large landlords, realtors, property managers
Realtors
Property Managers
Property managers, Individual landlords

Best Rental Websites in Canada by Province

Besides the top Canada-wide rental sites we featured above, each province has specific rental websites popular in the region. We highlight some of the best ones below.

British Columbia

RentBoard

415K visitors per month

RentBoard has an ad credit system where you buy a certain number of credits to post your listing. For example, you can purchase 30 days’ worth of credits and use them to list one ad for 30 days, two ads for 15 days, or even 30 different ads for one day each. If you take an ad down early, RentBoard saves them for the next time you decide to post.

Point2Homes

5.7 million visitors per month 

Signing up for an account on Point2Homes requires approval from their team, and prices vary by region. Real estate agents, property managers, and brokerages primarily use the site.

Alberta

Rentfaster

1.28 million visitors per month

Rentfaster lets you post an ad for 60 days at $45. Some limitations apply as outlined on their website. Once you’ve found a tenant, you can deactivate the ad and reactivate it for $40 at a later date.

RENTcafe

474K visitors per month

RENTcafe is very popular with tenants. However, signing up to post your listing requires multiple steps, including registering with its affiliate company, Yardi, to use their property management software. The website is well-suited for property managers.

Immediate Rent

2K visitors per month

Immediate Rent is one of the newest entrants in the online property rental space. What sets them apart from the competition is they allow payments in crypto-currencies (over 200 in total) – the first rental portal to do so. As a landlord, you can advertise your property for free – there are no listing, monthly, or platform fees to pay.

Ontario

Torontorentals.com

153K visitors per month

TorontoRentals is now part of Rentals.ca, so listings on TorontoRentals will also appear on Rentals.ca and vice versa.

Condos.ca

1.9 million visitors per month

Condos.ca boasts a vast database of users looking to rent or buy condos. The site will put you in contact with a realtor/condo professional to help you list your property.

Quebec

Louer.com

83K visitors per month

Louer specializes in rental units in Quebec and has a French version of their website. It allows you to post listings for free, but your account must be approved before you can use it.

Duproprio.ca

5.3M visitors per month

Duproprio is the largest real estate website in Quebec for buying and selling homes and renting out property. They offer three tiers for ads: free, $49.95/3 months, and $199.95/3 months. Each tier differs in the number of weeks you can display your ad on the site and the number of photos of your property you can include.

Finding great tenants for your rental property in Canada is one of the hardest things about being a landlord. It’s a lot easier when you know where to list your ads, so finding a reliable and trustworthy website is always a good first step.  

If you’re looking to rent out your apartment or home to a quality tenant, SingleKey can help make the process easier, faster, and safer. With our Tenant Credit Check in Canada, you can screen your potential applicants in less than 5 minutes to find the perfect renters for your property.

Finding great tenants for your rental property in Canada is one of the hardest things about being a landlord. It’s a lot easier when you know where to list your ads, so finding a reliable and trustworthy website is always a good first step.  

If you’re looking to rent out your apartment or home to a quality tenant, SingleKey can help make the process easier, faster, and safer. With our Tenant Credit Check in Canada, you can screen your potential applicants in less than 5 minutes to find the perfect renters for your property.

SingleKey collaborates with Queens MBAs to Launch in the US

consulting with singlekey

SingleKey collaborates with Queens MBAs to Launch in the US

As students of the Smith School of Business Accelerated MBA program at Queens University, we were tasked with finding an interesting growing organization that we could engage with on a consulting project to help us apply what we were learning in our program. 

consulting with singlekey

Aptly named Toronto A, our consulting team of 8 motivated professionals were eager to bring our A-game, academic tools, management skills and prior work experience to help an organization solve challenging and equally intriguing strategic issues.  The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that being prepared for the unexpected is critical, which is why deciding to work with our new client SingleKey was easy. They are an organization that helps residential landlords secure that much needed peace of mind.

Queens University & Singlekey Help Canadian Landlords

In the Spring we quickly realized that our consulting engagement will have to be virtual, but luckily with the aid of technology and the effortless diplomacy of SingleKey staff, led by Viler Lika, we quickly pivoted to videoconferencing. 

What struck us immediately when working with the SingleKey team is the deep commitment and passion they have for helping landlords feel secure when making tenant decisions.  After gaining an in-depth understanding of the organization, its people, and their strategic plans of moving across the border, we defined our new client’s requirements and scope of our consultancy.

Together we navigated the compliance hurdles that exist when operating in the US and leveraged our MBA education to navigate this powerful learning experience. We all brought unique talents and perspectives to market research and strategy and were given hands-on opportunities to practice our teamwork and leadership skills. 

Some of our work included industry and competitive analysis for the US expansion, search engine optimization, employee sales training and user experience management for their website to make sure it is secure and simple. SingleKey gave us a lot of feedback on our recommendations and incorporated them into their tactics for enhancing the experience that landlords have with processing credit and background checks.  

The next part of our project involved assessing referral program partners. SingleKey gave us a list of providers they were considering for a referral program as well as a set of criteria that was important to them in selecting a provider. The Toronto A team was to conduct more research on each one, complete demos for each company and present a top three to the SingleKey team.

Obtaining the key criteria was helpful in researching potential partners as it allowed us to have a better understanding of what SingleKey was looking for and allow a better assessment of providers through the lens of the SingleKey team. After narrowing down the list to a top three, we presented our findings and collectively decided that the best course of action would be for SingleKey to complete a demo with each of the providers to determine the best fit.

This part of the project made us feel like we were really making an impact by assessing referral partners and determining referral strategies that will help SingleKey reach more landlords across Canada and the US! From the start of our engagement (in May 2020) to the end (in October 2020), SingleKey sales grew over 300%, in part due to the successful US launch. 

Singlekey Helps Landlords Find the Best Tenants in Canada and the USA

As for Toronto A, we couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience consulting SingleKey as we gained firsthand insight into entrepreneurship and a growing business.

Viler let us drive ideas and make decisions while empowering us to steer direction when appropriate.  Each and every one of us are inspired to take on the challenges of more senior management positions in our own careers.  While some of us already have experience selecting tenants, and others are still working towards becoming landlords ourselves, all 8 of us now know where to go for support and advice to make sure we make the best decision.

We are confident that we will hear great things about SingleKey for years to come and are happy to have provided value to such an exciting company.

How Bill 184 Affects Landlords in Ontario

Bill 184 – How it affects landlords in Ontario?

How Bill 184 Affects Landlords in Ontario

Over the past few weeks, hundreds have taken to the streets of Toronto to protest against a new piece of provincial legislation, called the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act or Bill 184, that many experts fear will allow landlords to evict tenants with ease and cause “increased homelessness” across Ontario. Also known as the “Mass Eviction Bill” by its opponents, the new amendment to the 2006 Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) has become a hot topic of discussion between tenants and landlords as the real effect of this bill remain in dispute over its lack of clarity.

Bill 184 – How it affects landlords in Ontario?

Here Is A Summary Of The Key Points That You Need To Know As A Landlord For Bill 184:

  1. Bill 184 now allows landlords to retrospectively seek compensation from tenants who have remained in a unit longer than agreed, even after they have left. 
  2. Tenants who have been paying an improperly increased rent amount are not permitted to make a claim if they have already paid the raised rent price for 12 months. 
  3. Landlords will now receive hefty punishments where they are found to have acted in bad faith with a tenant. 
  4. Landlords will be required to include a sworn affidavit as part of their application to the LTB to terminate a tenancy. 
  5. Landlords can now negotiate repayment plans with the tenant as opposed to using the LTB to do so and can more easily evict a tenant who does not uphold this agreement.

The main opposition to the passing of Bill 184 is the tenant community. Many tenant rights activist groups are of the belief that this bill takes aim at individuals who have suffered heavily from the pandemic, the working class. This new piece of legislation has been perceived as giving landlords the power to pressure tenants to move out of a unit without any oversight by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). Further, tenants are even more concerned that the bill fails to include a way for tenants to legally oppose the eviction. Ultimately, those who oppose the bill, see it as a collection of landlord favouring amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act that look to displace tenants.

One of the main focus of this bill is to deal with the backlog at the LTB by forcing tenants and landlords to cooperate. Bill 184 does provide some benefit to landlords; however, this is only because residential landlords are among the most vulnerable people affected by the pandemic and many are in need of immediate relief. 

Many landlords have tenants who can no longer make rental payments. In such cases, landlords are forced to carry the expense, resulting in thousands of dollars lost every month.   Ultimately, as a result of the unaffordable expense of affording multiple homes, these landlords are forced to offload real estate they can no longer afford to pay off outstanding mortgage payments. Bill 184 does a decent job of providing minimal liberation by allowing landlords to act more hastily and less bureaucratically. 

Below we have outlined in more detail the changes that can be expected from Bill 184 that most affect landlords: 

More Power Against Over-Holding Tenants

Under the current compensation scheme for landlords in the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords have the power to apply to the LTB to seek compensation for rental arrears from are tenants who overhold a unit. Overholding means tenants who have occupied a unit for longer than agreed upon. Landlords can also claim for damage caused to a rental unit where a tenant remains in possession of the rental unit beyond the expiry of the lease. 

Bill 184 expands this same power to allow landlords to make a claim to the LTB even after the tenant has vacated the unit. Provided that the claim is made within 12 months of the date the tenant vacates the unit, landlords can receive full compensation. Bill 184 further proposes that landlords are permitted to apply to the LTB to claim compensation (up to 12 months after the tenant has vacated the unit) from a tenant where the tenant interferes with another tenant’s ability to enjoy their rental unit and from a tenant who has not paid utilities. 

In such cases, what was once intended to be a profitable investment for a landlord, would then have become a financial nightmare. This amendment allows landlords to retrospectively claim for lost rent or unpaid utilities suffered by a landlord including compensation for not being able to have new renters occupy the unit. 

Conclusively, landlords who have lost rental income, utilities payments, or damages from overstaying tenants can now seek compensation even after the tenant has left the unit.  

New Rules for Rent Increase

According to the Residential Tenancy Act, a tenant (past or present) can file an order with the Landlord Tenant Board requiring that a landlord repay a tenant any money the landlord may have collected as a result of an improper rent increase. This means where a landlord increases the rent without serving the appropriate notice of a rent increase or increasing the rent above the appropriate amount set out by the Ontario Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs in the respective guidelines. This order must be filed within 12 months of the date of the illegal rent payment. 

Bill 184 adds to the current laws by stating that, where a tenant has already paid the improperly increased rent amount for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, then a tenant cannot seek reimbursement for such an improper rent increase. This new change applies so long as the tenant did not make an application to the LTB challenging the validity of that rental increase within one year from the first charge was made. 

Ultimately, landlords and prospective lenders and purchasers are given peace of mind. Rent payment amounts are no longer subject to challenge by any tenant where they have consistently been paid for a minimum of one year. 

Increased Punishment for Landlords and Corporations 

Under the current state of the law, the Landlord and Tenant Board can conclude that a landlord has acted in “bad faith” when terminating a tenancy. This includes cases where a tenancy is unfairly terminated for a landlord’s personal use, purchaser’s personal use, or for demolition, conversion or substantial renovations to the unit. Under these circumstances, a landlord can be ordered to make payment to the tenant. Pre-Bill 184, landlords could be ordered to compensate a tenant for any portion of increased rent that the former tenant has incurred or will incur from moving into a new unit for a one-year period after vacating the previous rental unit. Landlords could also be forced to pay for reasonable expenses incurred by the tenant including moving and storage. Finally, a landlord can receive an additional administrative fine of up to $35,000.

Bill 184 increases the maximum potential penalty that a landlord can suffer when acts are carried out in bad faith. This is because the bill looks to allow landlords more power to deal with removing a tenant. However, the LTB will now have the discretion to force the landlord to compensate the wronged tenant for a maximum of 12 months’ worth of missed rent where they are found to have acted in “bad faith”. 

In relation to corporations, Bill 184 looks to increase the maximum penalty that can be imposed on corporations that are found liable for breaches under the Residential Tenancies Act. These fines will be increased from a maximum of $100,000 to $250,000. 

Therefore, this increase in punishment that a landlord may suffer serves the needs of tenants as it acts as a deterrent for landlords acting unfairly. Landlords should be cautious as the new regulations subject landlords to paying a much heftier sum than what was previously imposed on landlords. This is in addition to the administrative fine that landlords may be subject to paying. 

Ending A Tenancy Better Come With A Good Reason

When landlords apply to terminate a tenancy agreement, Bill 184 will require a landlord to attach a sworn affidavit outlining and explaining the reasons in detail for the termination to the LTB. This means declaring reasons for termination including, a landlord wanting to use the unit for personal use, or planned demolition, conversion or renovations to the rental unit. Additionally, the landlord is required to indicate in the affidavit whether he or she has served any notice of termination in respect of the same or another rental unit, within 2 years prior to filing the present application. 

With the new addition to the Residential Tenancies Act 2006, the LTB will be encouraged to take a landlord’s history of serving termination into account when concluding whether or not the landlord has acted in good faith. The amount of previous termination requests filed by a landlord will act as an important indicator as to whether landlords truly have sufficient and substantial reason to end a tenancy. 

The effect of deterring landlords from ending lease agreements and terminating tenancies for disingenuous reasons is to the benefit of tenants. The LTB will now have access to additional evidence to use in favour of tenants. 

This new amendment coupled with the increased fines means landlords are to be more cautious when ending tenancies. Where ending the tenancy does not align with the affidavit or is found to serve another purpose, landlords will be subject to hefty fines for acting in “bad faith”  

Bypassing the LTB

One of the biggest points of contention between the landlord and tenant communities is the proposed changes to the way landlords can address the issue of tenants not paying rent.  

Currently, disputes between landlords and tenants over rent arrears can only be addressed by the LTB. This has contributed to the extreme backlog of cases in the LTB. Pre- pandemic, eviction hearings and cases in the LTB could take an average of 3 months to be heard. 

Bill 184 aims to provide some relief, or at the very least not make the situation at the LTB worse. It allows disputes over rent between tenants and landlords to be negotiated without LTB intervention. Landlords can bypass the LTB and are encouraged to offer a repayment plan directly to tenants, something that was originally the responsibility of the LTB. For this repayment plan to be in good faith, it should be formulated following some form of discussion and negotiation with the tenant as, in theory, the plan is to the benefit of both parties. Additionally, this new change will allow landlords to claim for lost rent and remove tenants who have been withholding payment retroactively. Where the tenant refuses the repayment plan, or accepts and fails to uphold it, this constitutes sufficient grounds for the landlord to evict the tenant. 

Landlords and tenants are forced to work together to reach a solution where the landlord can expect some percentage of rent to be paid regularly, while also taking into account the difficulties that a tenant may be having to repay the rent. 

The introduction of increased compensation for tenants for evictions done in “bad faith” as discussed above, restrict landlords from imposing unfair repayment plans on tenants. Having to compensate a tenant for up to 12 months’ worth of missed rent in Ontario will cost the average residential landlord substantial financial hardship. Tenants are also given the right to appeal to the LTB where they believe their repayment plan or eviction was handled unfairly. The alternative to Bill 184, which is the current state of affairs, is for landlords to have to continue to shoulder the burden of tenants who continue to not pay rent.  

Conclusively, Bill 184 allows landlords to act with more urgency than being forced to wait in a three-month long line at the LTB. However, this solution does not protect landlords from having to shoulder thousands of dollars’ worth of lost rent as the repayment plan must be given a fair chance to work before steps can be taken to remove the tenant.  

The Current State Of Bill 184

What this bill means for tenants and landlords is that, there is to be expected a drastic change to the Residential Tenancies Act that aims to force landlords and tenants to communicate, compromise and work together. 

While this new amendment to the RTA looks to provide relief for the LTB, the truth of the state of affairs at the LTB is that they face backlog and a lack of organisation that this bill fails to address. There are still many steps in between tenants not paying rent and a tenant being evicted including negotiating a payment plan and providing the tenants a chance to pay out on their repayment plan. These new amendments do not protect the average landlord from suffering thousands of dollars, and several months’ worth of missed rent. Additionally, claims for damage (on top of lost rent), brough against a tenant can still be expected to eat up landlord time and money because of the ongoing pandemic. 

As a result of the increased risk that comes with being a renter, many landlords are turning to insurance options such as SingleKey to guarantee rental income and protect landlords from delinquent tenants. The SingleKey Rent Guarantee provides landlords peace of mind knowing that they will are protected against tenants who do not pay the rent and who may damage their property.

Is It Worth It To Offer A Discount On Rent In Order To Secure The Ideal Tenant?

tenant background check and verification services in Canada

Is It Worth It To Offer A Discount On Rent In Order To Secure The Ideal Tenant?

As a landlord, you have positioned yourself in a vocation that has enabled you to secure a pretty stable income. Being a property owner certainly has its perks. In order to get the most out of your investment, it should be a top priority for you to find a tenant who is willing to pay top dollar. That’s what makes being a landlord worth your while. Or does it? 

tenant background check and verification services in Canada

The concept of “worth” needs to be examined a little bit closer here. Is it really worth it to rent your property to an individual simply because he/she is willing to pay higher rent than anyone else? Not necessarily.

Of Course, Renting Your Property Is A Business

But there are other things to consider when deciding upon who will live in your apartment, condo or house. Believe it or not, there are some aspects of your job that are more important than money. Before you snicker at that sentence, consider the headaches you may endure at the hands of a tenant who has little to no respect for your property. If a person is willing to outbid other potential renters but isn’t willing to maintain his/her living quarters, you may end up on the losing end of a bad deal.

“Your property may be great, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to bouts of bad luck with tenants, increased competition, and environmental nuisances like neighbourhood construction projects,” informs Holly Welles on Landlordology.com, “When the cards are stacked against you, a discount can help speed up the tenant search and reduce the negative financial effects of vacancies.”

Trade Dollars For Convenience

A good tenant doesn’t lodge numerous complaints, come up with excuses about why his/her rent is always late or mistreat your property. Should such an individual deserve a bit of a discount on his/her rent? Absolutely! Consider the fact that, in the long run, this tenant will likely be saving you money on repairs and maintenance. Not to mention, he/she will spare you from the litany of hardships that could ensue in situations where you consistently have to address issues.

Welles also reminds us of other reasons to consider lowering your rent for certain individuals. “You could also offer discounts in return for more convenience,” she writes, “If a tenant can pay rent each month through automatic electronic payments rather than physical checks, for example, you can offer a rent reduction for making your financial life a little easier.”

Discounted Rents Are Great Ways To Keep Good Tenants

Remember that since a big part of your job is securing good tenants to live in your property, part of your responsibility is to hang on to the good ones you already have. Naturally, people consider moving all the time. If you’ve had tenants living in your property for some time and they are thinking of relocating, a discount may do the trick in having them stay put. 

Your gesture will offer a twofold benefit. 

1) It will ensure your property is inhabited by people you like and trust.

2) It will prevent you from having to go on the hunt for new tenants

Studies Have Confirmed That Discounted Rents Make For Great Incentives For Renters

On SoftwareAdvice.com, Taylor Short reveals the findings of one such study. Software Advice Inc. surveyed nearly 200 renters to find out which incentives would most likely convince them to stay.

“80 percent of renters would prefer a discount on rent, an easy-to-understand and direct incentive,” Short reports, stressing that “while you want to avoid dropping rents for all tenants, if you feel a good tenant is worth keeping, a discount could be the ticket. Base this incentive on the needs of the particular renter.”

Are you considering offering a discount on your rent in order to attract or keep the ideal tenant? For help with how to go about it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with SingleKey. Give us a call at 1-877-978-1404 or email us at info@singlekey.com. You may also fill out the form on our Contact Us page!

5 Tips For First-Time Landlords

Tips and advice for first time landlords

5 Tips For First-Time Landlords

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to rent that property of yours. As you’re most likely already aware, you’ve made a wise investment – one that is bound to bolster your income for years to come. But, before you pop the champagne, it’s vitally important to recognize that becoming a landlord for the first time is no easy feat. It’s certainly not as simple as collecting a fat cheque once a month.

Tips and advice for first time landlords

Without being prepared for potential hardships, being a landlord can be quite difficult. To avoid headaches and make your new venture as a landlord a successful one, it’s wise to take a few very important steps.

Here are five tips for first-time landlords:

1. Get Familiar With Ontario’s Housing Regulations

As an Ontario home owner who plans on renting his/her property, your first step should be to learn as much as you can about the province’s housing regulations, namely the Residential Tenancies Act. You should also become familiar with the Landlord and Tenant Board, which is one of the governing bodies that uphold the regulations.

By becoming knowledgeable about Ontario’s housing regulations, you will fashion yourself a fair and capable landlord. Not to mention, you’ll avoid the legal ramifications of trying to impose rules on your tenants that are unlawful. For example, were you aware that unless your property is a condo (where rules are set by the condominium corporation), you cannot prohibit a tenant from keeping a pet on your property?

2. Carefully Screen Your Potential Tenants

Employers perform background checks on their candidates, right? As a landlord, you have every right to put your potential renters through a thorough screening process. Naturally, you should meet and interview the people who wish to rent your property. Just as employers do, you should perform credit and reference checks. This will ensure you’re renting your property to someone who will be reliable with their monthly rent payments.

In many cases, you’ll also have to trust your gut instincts. Be sure to have friendly conversations with your would-be tenants to get a feel for their personalities. Are they people you’d feel comfortable living in your property? Are you confident they’ll maintain the home and avoid causing any damage? Do you feel they can be trusted to pay your rent on time? Positive answers to these questions are a must.

3. Be Diligent About Collecting Your Rent On Time

If you’ve successfully completely step number two, it’s likely you’ve rented your property to someone you could possibly consider a friend. Naturally, it’s wise to welcome a tenant who you can get along with. However, the start of a new and friendly relationship doesn’t negate the fact you have a job to do. As a landlord, it’s imperative you collect your rent on time.

Make clear to your tenants when the rent is due by stipulating the day of the month when a payment is expected. Many first-time landlords find it difficult to ask for their rent when it is missed. However, allowing a tenant to get comfortable with the bad habit of either paying late or not at all isn’t something you should accept. Be sure to contact the Landlord and Tenant Board for information about the hopefully-avoidable task of filing eviction paperwork.

4. Learn All About Landlord Taxes And Your Eligible Deductions

Your new job as a landlord is just that – a job. Clearly, you’ll have new revenue to report come tax time each year. It’s important to remember that, as far as the Canada Revenue Agency is considered, it doesn’t matter what type of property you own – as a landlord, you’re making rental income. You must declare all of it.

That also means you can list some expenses that are eligible for deduction on your tax return. You are eligible to list such short-term expenses for your rental property as repairs, maintenance and painting. You’re also entitled to declare such long-term expenses as driveway paving, installing new windows and HVAC replacement. Remember that when your property expenses exceed your rental income, it’s considered a loss.

5. Keep All Of Your Documentation In Order

To be a successful landlord, you also need to be a master bookkeeper. At the very least, you need to make sure your documentation is organized. There are particular forms you’ll need to keep handy at all times. They include rental applications, condition reports and locally required disclosures (such as the presence of radon, lead or mould in the property). Be sure to keep several copies of your documents. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have them saved to a hard drive or in an online database. And, under no circumstances should you give away your only copy of any document. If you need to have your tenant sign something, be sure to have the form returned to you right away.

SingleKey is your go-to platform for everything rental. If you’re a first-time landlord, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-978-1404 or email us at info@singlekey.com . You may also fill out the form on our Contact Us page!

4 Simple Tips For Finding Yourself The Perfect Place To Rent

SingleKey Blog How To Find a place to rent

4 Simple Tips For Finding Yourself The Perfect Place To Rent

For one reason or the other, not all of us can start off our independent living situations as home owners. In fact, the majority of young Canadians become renters long before they buy their first houses or condos. Rooming with friends, family members and/or love interests are all part of the plan for most people leaving the nest. But the majority of first-time renters often get hit with a hard reality: finding a place to live isn’t as easy as it may seem!

Here are four simple tips for finding yourself the perfect place to rent:

SingleKey Blog How To Find a place to rent

1. Be On The Lookout For “For Rent” Signs In Your Favourite Areas

There’s nothing like a little (and literal) legwork to get the ball rolling on the whole “finding a place to live” thing. If you’re interested in a particular area of your city – perhaps, because it’s close to where you work – take a walk through the neighbourhood. Be on the lookout for properties that are up for rent and be sure to inquire within. There’s nothing like seeing a place for yourself to determine if it’s the right spot for you.

This do-it-yourself practice is encouraged by Stacey Sleightholm of BlogTO.com. Among her tips for finding an apartment in Toronto, she suggests that you walk around neighbourhoods of your liking. “If you know the general area you’re interested in, take a stroll around the neighbourhood and keep an eye out for ‘for rent’ signs,” she advises, “Not only will you get the jump on any great units in the area, but you’ll also learn where local amenities exist.”

2. Try An Age-Old Tradition: Contact A Real Estate Agent

Sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the experts. If you’re one of those individuals who would rather let a professional find a rental space for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to one. After all, there should be no cost to you for using a real estate agent. They generally receive commissions from the owners of the properties they find tenants for. Lauren Pelley of CBC News recommends real estate agents and cites Toronto-based renter, Ben Singer as an advocate for them.

“Singer…swears by the real estate agent who did all the legwork,” she reports, “And he didn’t have to pay a penny for the service — the fees are actually paid by whoever is trying to rent out their unit.” Singer adds that real estate agents “have the capacity to filter out a lot of stuff and save you a lot of time.”

3. Seek Out Referrals

Today’s consumer is very savvy. He/she will often look for word-of-mouth recommendations before making buying decisions. As well, most people will take to the internet to read online reviews about businesses before giving them their support. When looking for a place to live, this is a great strategy. Ask around. Try to attain information about living spaces from a variety of sources you trust, both online and offline.

4. Find A Landlord Who Is A SingleKey Customer!

At Single-Key, we make it so that once you’ve found the perfect place to rent, the rest is easy. That is, of course, if your landlord is a Single-Key customer. If so, we offer you payment flexibility like no other rental agreement can. At no cost to you (the monthly fee is paid by your landlord), you will be able to postpone your rent for a month and also be able to choose between cheque and Interac as your payment method!