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BC Landlords – Fixed Term Leases Are Out

January 2nd, 2018 · BC Landlord rights, BC Landlords, British Columbia Landlords, British Columbia landlords association, Landlords BC, lease loophole

british columbia landlords fixed term lease loophole change

BC Tenants Voices Are Being Heard? Fixed Term Tenancies Viewed as a “Loophole” And Soon To End and a “Must See” Post at the BC Landlords Website!

Big Changes are happening in these days and there is a “must see” post at the BC landlords website from a tenant who is angry and demands changes. It’s a real eye-opener for landlords and shows how fierce some tenant activists are when demanding changes that might not really need to be changed.

Many British Columbia landlords know how important it is that we have the option to work with our BC tenants and both agree to a fixed term lease. On the official lease form landlords and tenants have the option for tenants to have a fixed term lease and move out when the lease term ends.  The other option is for tenants to continue on month by month when the lease officially “ends” like what Ontario landlords face.

Why Is Having The Option to Have a Fixed Term Lease Important for Landlords?

It’s very important! It provides landlords with some certainty when running a rental business. Both landlords and tenants would need to agree, up front, on this option. The tenants would move out at the end of the lease and if they wanted to stay they would negotiate with the landlord for a new lease.

This is how most US states operate. It’s a normal and fair way for landlords to make sure they can keep up with any increasing costs due to market changes. It also works for tenants because if the market drops they can negotiate a lower rent.

How Does A Fixed Term Lease Help Tenants?

It helps BC tenants because with the vacate clause they do not have to give the landlord notice to move because the lease will expire. They will then have the option to either negotiate a new lease or they can simply move out.

Why Are So Many BC Tenants Demanding This Be Changed?

There has been some cases where tenants on a one year fixed term lease wanted to stay and faced some large increases by landlords who want to make sure their tenants are paying current market rent.

There are also some tenants out there who feel it’s an injustice for BC landlords to charge market rent for tenants and want small private landlords to subsidize their living conditions.

You can see this type of attitude at the BC Landlords site where a tenant speaks their mind and seem almost radical in their views that landlords should not be able to have fixed term leases and be able to raise rents at the end of a lease term:

“The system allows unscrupulous landlords to gouge hard working BC Tenants by allowing them to bypass the annual rent increase guideline.

After doing some research it looks like a landlord group called ROMS BC lobbied to get this “little box” added to leases.

I don’t know if it’s true, but if this is so it makes the situation even worse because if landlords specifically made this happen it’s not fair because tenants didn’t have a say in the process.. It’s really shocking and every BC landlord and BC tenant should read it, if that’s how things really happened. The weird thing they say the fixed term lease box actually helps tenants.

Maybe the “box” makers had good intentions, but at least in my honest opinion and experience it’s being abused.

You can read the full article at: BC landlords tenants speak out.

Why Is This Important Option Being Changed? How Is It Justified?

It’s being called a “major loophole” that is affecting many BC renters. With tight rental markets in Vancouver many renters are afraid of being priced out. Some are saying it’s a way for landlords to get around the annual rent increase guideline.

Is It Really A Loophole?

It’s actually not, it’s a rule that has been in place for a while.  All it means is if a landlord and renters agree to a termination date in the lease, it means the contract has an end date. It what other industry do you sign a contract and one side can continue the contract terms…forever.

Are Fixed Term Leases Common in Other Places?

Yes.  For example most US states have fixed term leases. In Canada Alberta Landlords have fixed term leases where the tenants have to agree to what they signed on for.

What About The Accusations of Landlords Raising Rents High On Existing Tenants?

This isn’t correct. If tenants move out the landlords would advertise and find new tenants at the latest market rent. Landlords have to keep up with their costs and raise or lower rents according to the market. We are running a business and have a lot of expenses to be paid. If tenants want these changes the government should focus on building more low cost social housing and not put new burdens on hard working small landlords.

A Vancouver landlord wrote in to us about this issue:

I’m expected to rent out safe and well maintained properties. To do this I need to be able to keep the rent updated every year to cover my costs.

BC Landlords Are Facing Big Changes In 2018

It’s more important than ever for BC landlords to be careful and aware of the changes that are coming to our regulatory environment.

It’s also important for small British Columbia landlords to make our voices heard, loud and clear. It far to easy for some tenant activists to bash landlords in the media with no reply back. Landlords need to speak out and you can do so by joining the BC landlords group.

BC Landlords Need to Speak Out!

The reality is British Columbia landlords are facing a lot of big challenges and even more to come. We need rules that encourage investment and to persuade more people to invest in BC rentals.

We need more BC landlords to share their voices to make positive change in BC!

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Landlords in BC – Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

June 18th, 2017 · BC Landlords, Empty Homes Tax, Latest News, Rental Property, Vancouver landlords

Vancouver landlords empty homes tax find good tenantsVancouver Landlords Asks – How Are Other Vancouver Landlords Dealing with the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax?

There was an interesting post on the BC Landlords Forum that is important reading for Vancouver rental property investors. It was from a landlord who had a question about how she can run her rental property in  Vancouver.

Vancouver landlords are facing some big changes in how they run their rental businesses this year.  One of these changes is the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax. 

While there are some groups out there who seem more interested in defending tenants, we know this rule is causing hardship and confusion for many British Columbia landlords. In fact, there are people who believe this is a poor policy and needs to be changed.

However, whether it’s fair or not, the Empty Homes Tax is a reality now and landlords have to be prepared. 

The question from the Vancouver landlord:

Hello fellow BC Landlords!

I own a second property in Vancouver that is not my principle residence.

I rented it out for a year and things were okay. By okay I mean the tenants did pay the rent on time. But there was a lot of wear and tear beyond what I would consider normal and it cost me a lot to clean it up, repair it, and get it ready to even start advertising it to re-rent.

The costs to get it ready costs more than one quarter of the rent that was brought in.

The next tenants I rented to seemed like a nice couple before I handed over the keys. Once they moved in they were filthy and treated the property very poorly. It was constant arguments back and forth as I tried to be reasonable but they only wanted to argue with me.

They always had the idea I was a “rich landlord” who was “taking their money”. They eventually did a midnight run and left the place in really bad shape! My once beautiful property was now looking almost inhabitable.

This “nice couple” left me with..

Scratched floors

I think they must have had pets that weren’t declawed or something.

Disgusting appliances

The oven was filled with grease and their was all this leftover fast food in the fridge. Sinks very clogged with hair or something.

Cat urine smell

They said they didn’t have pets but they must have had a cat because the place reaked of cat urine. 

Left over furniture and trash

They left an old futon, tables and lots of stuff that probably was too much trouble for them to move themselves so they left it all for me to move. Also lots of garbage.

The still owed rent

I’m still owed rent from them which is more than the damage deposit itself.

It was my first experience with “professional tenants” who knew how to play the game and tell really effective lies to me.

Since they left and I cleaned up the property I’ve been wary to rent it out again. I was thinking of just leaving the property empty to avoid repeating this horrible experience.

With properties appreciating I thought I would leave it empty for a year or two and then sell it now that it’s finally in good conditions after again spending thousands of dollars.

So I want to leave the property vacant after dealing with (1) bad tenants and (2) really bad tenants.

Now with this new law coming what can I do?

What is the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax?

It is a new tax on properties that are either not your principal residence or not rented out on a longer term basis.

The purpose of the Empty Homes Tax is, according to the City of Vancouver, to:

Return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental home for people who live and work in Vancouver

Help relieve pressure on Vancouver’s rental housing market, as our city has one of the lowest vacancy rates and the highest rental costs in Canada

How Does the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax Impact Small Landlords?

According to the City of Vancouver website there are clear rules for residential landlords to follow.

A. Every owner of residential rental property will have to make a property status declaration for the 2017 calendar year and this will determine whether or not the property will be subject to the new Empty Homes Tax. 

B. If you fall under the tax you will pay a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value.

What Can Vancouver Landlords Do To Succeed in This Empty Home Tax Environment?

Many Vancouver landlords are asking this question.

While Ontario landlords are used to regulations they often feel are unfair and hinder their ability to run profitable rental businesses, BC landlords have had a generally fairer and more business-oriented system.

Here are some keys to success:

1. Rent Out Your Property Long Term

If the property is not your principal residence you will have to rent it out long term. Many small landlords prefer to rent out short term but that is not going to help you in this situation.

2. Choose your Tenants Carefully

Long tenants can create challenges that short-term tenants don’t. 

It’s very important to screen carefully! 

Make sure you run credit checks for BC landlords.

3. Prepare Evidence Is Needed To Prove You Are Renting Out Your Investment Property

Make sure you are ready to prove you are a landlord with long term tenants.  To do this you will need to provide evidence to the City.  This evidence can be submitted in support of a declaration. 

Examples of proof include having a residential tenancy agreement, having income tax returns or notices of assessment stating rental income, bank statements showing recurring rental property income, insurance certificates for tenants insurance, and information from you long-term tenant proving occupancy.

4. Become a Knowledgeable and Professional Landlord

Make sure you become an expert on the regulations government the rental industry in British Columbia.

Vancouver Landlords How Are you Dealing with the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax?

As this is the first example of this type of tax landlords across Canada are watching closely.  It’s more important than ever that landlords prepare for these types of changes in order to succeed as landlords.

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How Can BC Landlords Handle Tenants With Pets?

May 8th, 2017 · BC Landlords, BC Landlords Association, landlord rights, Latest News, Pets

How can BC landlords handle tenants with pets

BC Landlords – Tenants / Renters With Pets 2017

There is an excellent article at the BC Landlords site about landlords, tenants and pets. It’s important for new and experienced landlords alike to take a look at it because pets are a hot issue.

One of the biggest problem is there are some ‘groups’ out there who like to tell people they represent landlords when many “real” British Columbia landlords don’t think they do at all!

After all, landlords don’t get a salary each month and do “media events”. We are too busy running our rental businesses and dealing with real life tenant challenges.

Experienced and successful BC landlords know the importance of being professional landlords who run clean, safe and affordable rental properties. By being an ‘expert’ landlord and having a terrific rental property, you are on the path to success.

Successful BC landlords also know that the the key to success is to find good tenants. We also know that while the majority of BC tenants are good people who pay their rent on time and respect the landlord and the rental property, bad tenants are also around.

A Huge Source Of Good Tenants: Pet Owners

According to a recent report in CBC News tenants looking for rental property accommodation that is “pet friendly” isn’t easy. This is particularly true when we have low vacancy rates across most of British Columbia…

Why Don’t BC Landlords Rent To Landlords With Pets?

According to a post at the BC Landlords site landlords have valid concerns about renting to tenants with pets.

1. Damages

Many landlords tell us that the renters they have had with pets inevitably left the property with ‘pet’ damages of some sort.  While most landlords can handle small issues (such as scratches in the floors or a bit of wear and tear in the yard) we have been told many stories of serious pet created damages.

2. Irresponsible tenants/pet owners

Sure there are many great pet owners out there. There are are also people who don’t take care of their pets as they should. For example, many landlords have told us they have had pet owners who allow their dogs to “poo” all over the lawn without cleaning it up.

3. Tenant Vs. Tenant Problems

This is another huge issue the media and some “landlords groups” don’t talk about (or are unaware of). For example, we have landlords telling us that some tenants allow their pets to be noisy and disturb other tenants in the building. Then these tenants complain to the landlord to “do something!”

This can lead to even more problems if the complaining tenants are in a duplex and complain to the bylaw office. (Always make sure your rental is legal).

Small residential landlords are big corporations with unlimited funds. This means one tenant who is irresponsible with their pet(s) can cause huge financial problems for a small landlord. It can even lead a small landlord to be forced to sell their rental property!…..

BC Landlords Pet-Friendly Rental Housing Campaign

The great news for landlords and tenants is the BC landlords association has started their B.C. Landlords Pet-Friendly Rental Housing Campaign this past summer. It is REAL HELP for landlords in British Columbia.

BC Landlords Ask How To Handle Tenants With Pets

Let’s face it, real landlords know pets can be a real problem. Unfortunately the media and some so-called “landlord groups” are unaware of this because they aren’t small landlords themselves (they only act like one on TV).

For help we recommend all BC landlords go to the BC Landlords site and read their campaign to help landlords and tenants with pets. And always make sure you run a BC landlord credit check on all tenants before handing over the keys.

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How Much Can BC Landlords Legally Raise The Rent in 2016?

July 10th, 2016 · BC Landlord Rent Increase 2016, Landlords BC, Latest News

BC Landlords Association Rent Increase Guideline 2016

BC Landlords – The 2016 Rent Increase Guideline is 2.9%

Experienced and successful BC landlords know the importance of maintaining high quality rental properties. Good, safe, well-maintained and attractive rental properties catch the attention of good, paying tenants. And you need to rent to good paying tenants to be a successful landlord.

With proper tenant screening landlords in British Columbia know you can find good tenants, but you must have nice properties to attract them to even apply to rent from you. You need to get potentially good tenants to have an interest in your property.

Experienced and successful BC landlords also know that maintaining safe and well maintained properties is also expensive, especially with landlord costs increasing fast.

How Are Costs Increasing?

First of all you can see property taxes increasing. And then you can add in the fact the prices of professional contractors, electricians, plumbers and others are rising.This means if you want to replace that older roof with a new one, it will cost more in 2016. If you want to replace an older toilet with a more efficient one, it will cost more. If you want to repair a deck, or add more security features, or put in new windows that will save energy…you name it, and it’s likely to empty your wallet more than in 2015.

Increased Housing Prices

The entire province has also seen a lot of appreciation in housing market. This means if you bought over the past few years your rents are going to need to be high in order to help cover your mortgage. Old time landlords with long term tenants want to make sure their rents are in the same ball park as all the new landlords.

BC Landlords Can Raise the Rent By 2.9% in 2016

According to the BC Residential Tenancy branch BC landlords can raise the rent by 2.9% in 2016. In BC their is rent control and you have to follow the guideline for existing tenants.

Is 2.9% Fair?

Is this enough of an allowable rent increase for your rental property? Canadian landlords often look at other provinces to compare how much other landlords can raise the rent.

How Much Can Other Canadian Landlords Raise the Rent in 2016?

While 2.9% looks small compared to what Alberta landlords can charge (they don’t have a rent increase guideline for residential landlords who want to raise the rent), in Ontario landlords can only raise the rent by a 2% in 2016 (and they have fast rising costs just as we do.)

Are You Going To Raise the Rent in 2016?

If you are make sure you follow the rules. BC landlords can raise the rent by 2.9% in 2016 and it’s a good idea to do so and use your increase to have safe, well-maintained and attractive properties.

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BC Landlord Question: How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2015?

July 29th, 2015 · BC landlord rent increase 2015, BC Landlords Association, Latest News

BC landlords rent increase 2015

BC landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants.

And we know the important of collecting rent on time. There was a question on the BC Landlords forum about raising the rent. The landlord said she wanted to raise the rent on her tenants because her cost of doing business had increased this year. Everything from plumbers, to electricians to taxes keep going up.

We also know our business costs are rising every year and we need to keep the rent up to at least try to cover these increasing costs.

This is why we are interested in what the government rent guideline is because the province of British Columbia has what is called ‘rent control’.

What is Rent Control?

This means the government has their hands in our industry and can tell us what we can and cannot do, including how much we can raise rents for current tenants in our properties. Alberta landlords do not have rent control. This means they can raise the rent as much as the markets say they can. It’s a very fair system that is based on simple “supply and demand.” With a new NDP government, there is talk that Alberta landlords could be subjected to rent control.

How Much Can BC Landlords Raise the Rent in 2015?

According to the BC Landlords Association, British Columbia landlords can raise the rent only 2.5% in 2015.

How Do They Come Up With the Rent Increase Amount?

The percentage is based on inflation plus two per cent.  While the yearly rental increase cap is meant to be the maximum amount rents can go up,  most landlords usually opt to raise rents by the full rate.

A 2.5 per cent increase means rent on a $1,000-per month one bedroom apartment will go up by 25 dollars a month, or $300 a year.

How Much Was the 2014 BC Rent Increase?

In 2014 BC landlords could raise the rent by only 2.4%

How Much Can Landlords in Other Provinces Raise the Rent in 2015?

Ontario landlords can only raise the rent 1.6% in 2015. As we wrote earlier Alberta landlords are lucky enough to not have any guideline as long as they provide their renters with proper notice of the new rent.

My Costs As A Landlord Are Higher Than 2.5%!

This sentiment is shared by many landlords, especially small landlords who are on tight budgets, have mortgages to pay, and spend money to maintain their properties.

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on high taxes, gas and electricity costs, rates for contractors, plumbers and electricians, it’s easy for the government to blame landlords for rising costs.

What If My Tenants Disagree With the Rent Increase?

We recommend you talk to your tenants and explain the real situation small landlords face.

Explain your increasing costs and that you are running a business. Most good tenants will understand and appreciate your explanation. This is why it’s so important to rent to good reasonable tenants and why tenant screening, including running a BC landlord credit check on your tenants is essential!

BC Landlords Can Raise the Rent 2.5% in 2015

Make Sure You Rent To Good Tenants Who Will Understand Why You Need To Raise The Rent For Your Rental Business!

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Landlords in BC – Top 5 Tenant Screening Mistakes

September 1st, 2014 · BC Landlords, BC Landlords Membership Review, Latest News

Landlord BC - Top 5Tenant Screening Mistakes

Landlords in BC – Avoid These Top 5 Tenant Screening Mistakes And Rent To Great Tenants

BC Landlords know the importance of tenant screening.  It’s been a terrific summer for BC Landlords who have seen our vacancy rate lower and house prices appreciate.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMCH) forecasts the Vancouver vacancy rate for rental properties to drop be 1.9% this year and drop to 1.8% in 2015.

Only Alberta landlords in Calgary and Edmonton are enjoying lower vacancy rates.

High Prices, Low Vacancies, So What’s The Problem For BC Landlords?

The problem is that while there are lots of great tenants out there who want to rent well managed properties from responsible landlords there is also another group.

This group is small yet still large enough to be take extremely seriously.

Bad Tenants in British Columbia

There are tenants who want to rip off landlords. Especially small landlords. And they know how to manipulate the system to accomplish their goal.

We’ve written before about these tenants who lie to landlords and then exploit the system to avoid paying rent.

For example take a look at a couple of serial bad tenants who had to pay up to one small residential landlord they cheated to avoid jail time!

These are tenants who are very charismatic and can tell a great story to get small landlords to rent from them without doing proper tenant screening including tenant credit checks.

How Can BC Landlords Avoid Bad Tenants?

It’s all about avoiding tenant screening mistakes.

Under the system British Columbia landlords face, renting to one bad tenant can lead to months of stress and even a loss of thousands of dollars.

Top 5 BC Landlord Tenant Screening Mistakes

Here is our list of the top 5 biggest mistakes BC landlords make in renting to tenants.

1. Believe the tenant’s story

Small BC landlords are good people and have worked hard to get where they are. We want to help people who are struggling to succeed.

You need to verify everything the tenants say and write down on the application you can download as part of the BC landlord Rental Kit.

2. Go with your gut instinct

When you meet people who tell you a good story you tend to believe them. For example, the serial bad tenants said they were moving because their current landlords was a ‘bad landlord’ and they wanted to protect their family and rent from a ‘good landlord.’

Eight BC landlords believed this type of story in a two year span and all the landlords got cheated as the tenant cheques bounced and they refused to pay rent!

3. No Tenant Credit Check

Lots of landlords have never run a credit check before. It’s new and it looks to be complicated and expensive.

They don’t run tenant credit checks and disaster happens as the tenant they trusted turns out to be a liar.

4. Poorly Done Employment Check

Small landlords know the important of an employment check. However, they don’t run tenant credit checks to see who the tenants current and former employers really are.

It’s easy for sneaky tenants to get a friend to say they were their former employer and give a fake recommendation.

5. Real Current and Former Landlords Check

This is similar to the fake employment check bad tenants use to trick good landlords.

Bad tenants have a friend ready to answer the phone and have a script ready to recommend their “employee” who really is only a buddy or pal.

Join the British Columbia Landlords Association to Find Great Tenants!

This is a terrific landlord community and the best deal for BC Landlords.

There is only a one-time registration fee.

That’s right. Only a one-time registration fee, no annual fee.

And unlike some other groups which aren’t clear about their membership fees and what they offer, the BC Landlords membership fee is up-front and clear. 

One time registration fee only!

Small landlords know the importance of saving money and the BC Landlords Association is run by landlords to help landlords…and that means only a one-time fee to registry for terrific services.

You can network with thousands of experienced landlords and property managers in the Private Members forum, download premium leases and other documents in the BC Landlord Kit, and get huge discounts on the best, most comprehensive tenant credit checks available with Equifax and GARDA.

Recognized by the BC Government

The BC Landlords Association is recognized by the British Columbia provincial government as an important resource for residential landlords.

Do You Rent Your Basement?

You can use Equifax and GARDA to run credit checks on your basement tenants, or even if you own a rooming house!

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BC Landlord Tenant Problems – No Rent, Grow-Op, Won’t Move Out

August 15th, 2014 · Bad Tenants BC, BC Landlords, Residential Tenancy Branch

Go ahead and evict me...if you can!

Go ahead and evict me…if you can!

The BC Landlords Association has worked hard to educate landlords on the importance of tenant screening and to provide the tools landlords need at an affordable price. 

A recent story in the Province is important for other landlords in BC. It’s about a landlord facing a tenant who refuses to pay rent, won’t move out and even built a grow-op.

The story shows why this is so important for small residential landlords to learn the rules, use property documents the right way, and to screen tenants carefully.

A new landlord with tenant problems says the B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch isn’t fair. And her thinking makes perfect sense when she read what is happening to her and her rental property!

First Time Landlord Find the Perfect Tenant (Or So She Thought!)

A BC landlord with a rental property in Prince George is becoming increasingly frustrated dealing with her tenant.

According to the story landlord Angela Cunningham thought she had found the a great tenant for her rental property.

Why Did She Think He Was a Great Tenant?

There were a number of reasons including:

1. Appearance

The person wanting to rent her property was clean-cut and friendly.

2. Employment

He was employed and could afford to pay the rent.

3. “Gut Feeling”

The landlord and her husband got a good “gut feeling” about him. He seemed nice and honest and the type of person who would be a perfect tenant.

This hit is off so well they rented to him and even invited him for their family Thanksgiving dinner.

Things Start To Go Downhill

Soon after the holiday dinner things went downhill. Cunningham says rent payments were missed and she eventually served an eviction notice. Shaw also says she discovered an marijuana grow-op in the property.

Months later the tenant is still living there after she lost at her emergency Residential Tenancy Branch.

The first-time landlords now find themselves with a tenant who refuses to budge and an unfavourable ruling from the Residential Tenancy Branch that’s left them questioning whether B.C.’s tenancy legislation is balanced, or biased toward the renter.

I did exactly what I was told to do and he is still there,” said Angela Cunningham. “I’m horrified that I am asking for help and have to keep jumping through hoops. I am shocked, shocked that this is allowed to continue.”

Become a Professional British Columbia Landlord (and use credit checks!)

You can read the rest of the story and the details at The Province. It’s a startling wake-up for new landlords on what can happen if you aren’t careful.

1. Make sure you read the RTA carefully and know proper procedures.

2. Network with other landlords and learn as much as you can by reading news stories about what has happened to other landlords.

3. Make sure you screen your tenants carefully including running credit checks on your prospective tenants.

BC Landlords Association Membership – For a low one time registration fee new landlords can protect yourselves and your rental business.

Start networking, get the BC Landlord Rental Kit and get premium background screening with tenant credit checks all for a one-time registration fee of $99! (No annual membership fee!)

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BC Landlords – Should You Hire a Property Manager?

August 1st, 2014 · BC Landlords, Landlord BC, Property management, Uncategorized

  Landlord BC Should You Hire a Property Manager

BC Landlords – Should you hire a property manager or should you manage your property yourself?

There are many new BC landlords who have invested a lot of money into their new rental property and want to make sure they find good tenants.

Good tenants pay the rent on time and will take care of your rental property like it’s their own home.

The problem is lots of new landlords know they lack experience and this leads them to consider hiring a property manager from a property management company take over.

After all, there are lots of stories about serial bad tenants cheating landlords out of thousands of dollars and even reports of tenants becoming violent against their landlord.

Should You Hire A Property Manager Or Manage Yourself?

There are lots of good property management companies out there.

However, many experienced BC landlords with only one or two or three rentals tell us they like to manage their properties themselves.

As one Vancouver landlord who owns a condo wrote in:

When you own an income property it’s important to realize no one will care about your success as much as you do. This means you screen the tenants, you do the credit checks, you hand over the keys. “

Property Management Company Ordered to Pay Landlord $25,000 in Damages

A recent report in The Province was about a Maple Ridge landlord who hired a property management company to manage his house while he and his family went on vacation.

In return for paying a monthly fee (which was a percentage of the rent paid) the property management company would:

1. Find Tenants

2. Collect Rent

3. Oversee the Tenants and the Rental Property

4. Take Care of Any Tenant Problems

5. Keep the Landlord Updated on the Property

The landlord felt safe and secure his rental would be managed and took his holiday.

Landlord Nightmare

When the landlord returned to Maple Ridge a year later he found his rental had been trashed.

The property management company didn’t properly screen the tenant, didn’t inspect the property and was grossly negligent of their responsibilities.

The landlord eventually sued and won $25,000 from the property management company. However, the stress and financially loses were far greater.

Should You Become Your Own Property Manager?

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a landlord being mistreated.

An Alberta landlord who moved to Arizona and rented out their Edmonton rental property emailed us. She also came back to find their property trashed (and rent unpaid) and the property management company said “there’s nothing we can do.”

Why not manager your property yourself?

You can join the BC Landlords Association and get access to a rental kit full documents such as leases, applications and notices.

There are manuals and guidebooks.

One of the manuals is all about “tenant screening” and teaches you how to choose good tenants (and avoid bad tenants).

You can start running premium tenant credit checks.

And most of all you are in control of what happens to your rental property!

Should You Hire A Property Manager Or Manage Your Own Rental Property?

More and more landlords are managing their own rental properties.

Join the BC Landlords Association and get the tools and services you need to succeed as a residential landlord!

And remember, you can join the BC Landlords Association for only a low one-time set up fee!

No annual fees!

It’s a deal that can’t be beat for British Columbia landlords!

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BC Landlords – Challenges And Opportunities

July 1st, 2014 · BC Landlords, Tenant Credit Check

Choose Good Tenants and Avoid the Pros

Choose Good Tenants and Avoid the Pros

BC Landlords – A Couple Of Recent News Stories Illustrate the Challenges and Opportunities For Landlords And Why Tenant Screening Is So Important

A couple of recent stories in the news really spells out the different paths your rental business can take.

Successful BC landlords know the importance of good tenant screening including running credit checks on tenants.

When you choose the right tenants to move into your rental property you are on the path for success.

There’s nothing better for your landlord business than renting to people who pay their rent on time, follow the law, and treat you and your property with respect.

Lots Of Good Tenants Out There

The good news is there are lots of these types of good tenants out there and they are looking for good landlords who own nice rental properties. These are people who you want to find, and they want to find you too!

Let’s take a look at the Kelowna rental market.

According to a news story from Global News there are now renters desperate to find vacancies in Kelowna. Why?Renters are getting frustrated because there are few good rentals available and Kelowna has one of the tightest rental markets in Canada.

The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corp. says Kelowna has the third lowest vacancy rate in Canada at only 1.5%

(Alberta landlords are in the best situation, with Calgary and Edmonton being the top two cities).

Last year the Kelowna vacancy rate was almost 5%.

Brian Pedersen is the manager of a property management firm called Premier Canadian Properties in Kelowna. Pederson says he has no vacancies and if he did he could have it advertised and rented out in hours.

There Are Also Dangers For Landlords

With the good news about the vacancy rates in the province there is also recent news that should act as a warning for landlords to remain vigilant in choosing tenants.

CTV news reported on a tenant who became violent and ended up in a shoot-out with police.

It began with a dispute between the tenant and his landlord that escalated until the police were called.

The tenant was evicted not long ago and shot his landlord for revenge.

The tenant then started a shoot-out with police as the landlord was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery and is in critical yet stable condition from the gun shot wound. While this is an extreme situation, it’s just another wake up for small landlords to be careful and screen your tenants carefully.

BC Landlords – Challenges And Opportunities

What path do you want to go down?

It’s important to remember that a landlord has the most power before handing over the keys. This makes it vitally important for you to know you are renting to.

Make sure you screen carefully. This should always include a tenant credit check to make sure you can verify everything your potential tenant tells you.

You can start running premium credit checks for an affordable price and no complicated paperwork by joining the BC Landlords Association.

You can join for only a low one-time registration fee (no annual fee) and start running tenant credit checks and also get access to a Rental Kit with leases, applications, and everything you need to get started.

That’s right, for only a one-time registration fee to join.

BC Landlords – Make sure you choose the right path to find good tenants. Screening your tenants carefully will show you the way!

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Landlords BC: How Can I Run A Tenant Credit Check in British Columbia?

June 12th, 2014 · BC Landlords, British Columbia Landlords, Tenant Credit Check

 Landlords BC Tenant Credit Checks British Columbia

Landlords across BC are learning how bad tenants target small landlords and can abuse the system. Make sure you run a tenant credit check to protect your rental property investment!

We don’t mean to sound alarmist but we wrote about a couple of serial bad tenants who would target small landlords, move in, and then stop paying rent a few weeks ago.

Now the story continues with more facts from CBC news. It appears these serial bad tenants ‘might’ face jail time, although we doubt it.

Why Run A Tenant Credit Check?

If any of these seven landlords had done a credit check on these tenants they would not have been cheated and end up losing thousands of dollars in lost rent.

Why Don’t Small Landlords Do Tenant Credit Checks?

There are many reasons.

Small landlords are good people who trust others.

Even Alberta landlords are facing problems after trusting tenants.

And of course Ontario landlords know trusting tenants is a recipe for disaster.

Let’s look at why small landlords trust tenants and don’t screen carefully and don’t run tenant credit checks.

These include:

1. Landlords are Financially Responsible People

Small landlords are financially responsible. After all, it’s not easy to save enough money to own an income property.

Many BC landlords believe tenants will be the same. It’s hard for them to imagine some bad tenants will not pay the rent they legally agreed to pay.

2. Small Landlords are Trusting and Want To Help People

Many landlords want to believe the best in people and if they hear a sad story they want to help them.

For example, these serial bad tenants said their current landlord had taken their rent money and they had nowhere to go.

Unfortunately, while some tenants are telling the truth there are many out there who will act as ‘tenant victims’ in order to trick you into renting to them.

3. With Mortgages to Pay Small Landlords Are Can’t Afford Vacancies

With property prices (and mortgages) so high many landlords need tenants to pay rent to help cover their mortgages.

For many landlords, having a vacant unit for a few months means they might have to sell their rental property.

4. Running Tenants Credit Checks Can Be Confusing

How can landlords run credit checks on tenants? It can be confusing and many of the companies out there aren’t helpful at all.

5. A Tenant Credit Check Can Be Expensive

Many small landlords are operating on a few tight budget.

How Can I Run A Tenant Credit Check in BC?

A Vancouver landlord emailed us a few days ago with the following:

“Hi, I have been reading your site and it is a wonderful resource for landlords.

I want to protect myself and rent to only good tenants. I’m a bit scared after reading about those tenants who just keep moving from one rental to the next without paying.

And they are so arrogant and happy they are getting away with it! It’s crazy!

What is the best way for me to run a credit check on my tenants? I own a couple of condos and as you are aware there is no cash-flow so I want the most affordable option available.

Thank you! Signed… Andy Mak”

Easy To Do, Affordable BC Landlord Credit Checks

Small landlords now have a terrific option.

You can sign up with a low one-time registration fee at the BC Landlords Association and start doing credit checks today.

For only a low one time registration fee (no yearly fee) you get great savings on a “full check” on your potential tenants.  

Once you join you can start doing tenant credit check immediately!

BC Landlords Asking How You Can Do Tenant Credit Checks? We Have the Answer! Protect Your Property and Make Sure You Only Rent To Good Tenants!

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