Steps to Finding The Right Tenants

Protect Your Assets, Find The Right Tenants

Did you know that there is an under 1% vacancy rate for Rental Properties in Vancouver? Do you know what that means? Essentially, that means that at any given moment, under 1% of Rental Properties are available to prospective tenants, so there is a massive demand for rental units. Putting any current or new Landlord in the driver’s seat when it comes to picking the right tenant for their property.

Okay, so you have a Rental Property that is vacant, and you need place a tenant, the question becomes, what kind of renter do you want and what sort of things should expect. Ideally, you want someone who is going to stay for a minimum of two years and is going to care for your investment as if it is their own. Usually, this individual is of middle age and is familiar with renting properties and understand that the Landlord has the option of who becomes the tenant of their asset. Thus, the ideal individual comes prepared with the application form, rental references, and cheques to the appointment ready to take the apartment if they believe it is suitable for them.

How do you attract the right Tenant to your property?

How do you attract the right Tenant to your property? Firstly, it starts with the advertisement. It should include all the pertinent information (Rent, Inclusions, Exclusions, Rules, By-Laws, and Availability), a link to the application form or an email where it can be obtained, and professional photography. All three elements of the advertisement are equally important; it is imperative that your ad is comprised of this information to obtain serious applicants only.

This ad should appear on Craigslist, Social Media, and Kijiji; do not worry about PadMapper as it aggregates data from the other websites and posts it as their own. No matter where the unit’s advertisements appear, it will receive the significant exposure. Refresh the ad every three days to ensure that the listing appears in the recent results. For one week, collect as many applications and interested parties as possible and continue open and free communication with your prospective tenants. Once you feel like you have enough applicants, invite them to an Open House or a private showing. At this time, you will meet the candidates and be able to decide who is the best fit for your property and management style. Alternatively, you can host an Open House in the unit and post that on the original advertisement. WARNING: Doing this will bring you many candidates, and some of them may not be there for renting the unit and rather there for selfish reasons (i.e. steal the current occupant’s property while you are not looking).

What Next?

After the Open House or the first round of private showings, you have likely chosen three preferred candidates, and it is time to pick one. Re-read their applications and see if there are dates that do not line up or information that seems incorrect. If you see multiple instances of this, you can either ask the applicant to explain the discrepancies or move on to the next one. Time is of the essence so unless you have a particular tie to this tenant it is important you do not waste too much time on this application. If the tenant looks good on paper, it is time for the next step: to call their references and ask the following questions:

Things You Will Need To Know

Previous landlords:

1. How long was the applicant a tenant of yours?
2. How did they treat your property?
3. How often did they call you to fix things?
4. Did they pay on time?
5. Did you receive any complaints?
6. Would you rent to them again?

For employment references:
1. Do they show up on time?
2. Are they reliable?
3. Would you trust them if they borrowed any of your things?
4. Do you know anything about their personal lives that I should be aware of?

For Personal References:
1. Could you tell me how they live?
2. What do you guys do together for fun?
3. How often do you see this person?
4. If you were me, would you rent your property to them?

These questions do sound intrusive, and this is for a good reason. It is the human condition to take advantage of loopholes and other’s good nature. Before you trust this person with one of your largest investments, it is important that you have a good understanding of the individual. Asking round about and open-ended questions of their references will give you a good inclination of the tenant as well as the relationship between the person who is providing the reference and the tenant. In many instances, applicants will have friends act as former landlords or employers to get a rental property. By doing deep diligence on your prospective tenants, you ensure you get a good tenant that will look after your property while paying their rent on time.

Get Your Paper Work In Order

Lastly, signing the Lease. Use the lease from the provincial government and do not waste time employing a lawyer to write a residential lease. Do attach an addendum to the contract of what the expectations of the tenant and what comes with the property. Each Landlord will have their expectations of how the property should be taken care of and it important to have those in writing in the form of an addendum. As well, make sure that you provide your Strata (when applicable) with a Form K, make this part of the Lease signing as it is where the Tenant accepts responsibility for following the Strata By-Laws and any fines that come with breaking any of those By-Laws. This document also informs the Strata of who is living in the unit and the number of occupants for safety reasons (i.e. headcount after there is a fire). If you do not, you are liable for those infractions and their related fines.

Once the paperwork is signed and you have cheques or banking details in hand then ensure that all paperwork copied and that both parties have their copy for future reference. Hopefully, you have found yourself a fantastic tenant who looks after the property and loves living there. By following this process, you should have yourself a great tenant and an excellent working relationship that sees both parties happy until the termination of the agreement.

You are Finally Ready For The Perfect Tenant

Now, if this sounds like a painful process for you and something that you have no interest in going through I can help you with this. I will manage your residential or commercial investment property using processes like this one to ensure that your property rented out for maximum value and well looked after. Contact me today to discuss my Property Management services and the costs associated so that you can get my management team working for you!

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