Becoming a Landlord

Renting out space can help you pay your mortgage but exercise caution and follow these 8 tips


  1. Investigate thouroughly, knowing if, when and where your tenant(s) are employed and for how long 
  1. Check references 
  1. A credit check is critical – a history of late payments signals future problems with collecting rent. Reluctance to agree to a credit check is another red flag
  1. If a potential tenant doesn’t come along who fits the bill, your lifestyle and temperament, go without a month rent rather than pick an unsuitable person 
  1. If the rent isn’t paid on the 1st of the month, give some leeway but if it happens a second time, start the eviction process. You can always change your mind later but it is important not to delay or months of rent could be lost 
  1. If you live in the same house as your tenant, maintain a businesslike attitude about things such as rent, shared chores, cleanliness and noise
  1. Set money aside for repairs. Take 10% of the rent each month to build up a repair / maintenance pot 
  1. Do not spend the damage deposit or the last months rent. Put it in a separate account so you don’t get caught short when a tenant moves out and you have to return it

Alison Griffiths – Toronto Star

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