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

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? 

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
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.

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
Tips for finding the perfect place for 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:

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 Single-Key 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!