Tag Archives: tenants

Renting underground

July 18, 2012

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I have a lot of clients who want to buy properties that have the possibility of renting out the basement for some extra income. There are several concerns that you should be aware of if you intend to do this.

1. Is the apartment legal? In Barrie, very few basement apartments are actually legal apartments. If it’s not a legal apartment, you could potentially run into trouble with the City down the road if they find out about the rental.

2. Will your lender allow you to have a tenant? Most banks offer you a certain rate because you will be living in the home. If you are going to have a tenant, you are supposed to tell them so that they can make adjustments on the interest rate. Often, the terms of your mortgage require you not to have tenants, so you should always check before you advertise the space for rent.

3. Are you prepared to be a landlord? There are very strict rules about renting to individuals in Ontario. If you are seriously thinking about it, be sure that you are very familiar with the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Becoming a landlord can be a great way to add income, but be sure it’s right for you.

Cesia

Cesia is a real estate lawyer at Wall-Armstrong and Green, a boutique law firm in Barrie focusing on real estate and estates. When she’s not online, she can usually be found in her garden.

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Student Housing in Barrie

January 17, 2012

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There is definitely a stigma attached to student housing. Some investors shy away from that market due to the high turnover rate and the idea that students will damage the property. There’s a new reality, and investors should take note.

In Barrie, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the rentals around Georgian College. One year ago in January, I attended the Ward 1 Town Hall meeting hosted by Mayor Jeff Lehman and Ward 1 Councillor Bonnie Ainsworth. One of the primary concerns was the student housing situation in our neighbourhood. Many people who own homes near the College reported that many of the student houses were basically slums with disenfranchised and often seemingly non-existent landlords. This image can be changed, but we need some local investors!

The need for good student housing in Barrie is great. According to a Barrie Examiner article on rental housing, Georgian supplies 525 on-campus beds for students – less than 10% of the full-time student population! If you ever drive down Duckworth St, you will have noticed that, last year, two new student apartment buildings were built which visibly helps the lack of student housing.

Remember that college and university students are generally good citizens. I remember when I started living in off-campus housing at university about 10 years ago. It’s an exciting time, and living on my own was a big step toward my independence. Although we didn’t own the house, us four girls felt like we owned a small part of it; we had pride of renter-ship!

So many students are like us. They’re growing up, and they want to prove to themselves, their friends, and their parents (when they visit!) that they can take care of themselves.

If you’re considering buying an investment property, consider this: most students rent by the room. If you’re renting a small 4-bedroom house in Barrie, you may pay around $1500 a month. According to an employee from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life, students generally pay about $450 per room on average. If you multiply that by four rooms, that’s $1800! Granted, it may cost you a bit more for upkeep than renting to a family, but that’s still a larger profit margin for you.

Here are some tips from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life Department if you’re considering ANY rental property as an investment:

  • Pick up a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and take some time to read it and understand the rights and responsibilities of both a landlord and a tenant
  • Join a landlord association and understand what being a landlord means. It is important to understand the pros and cons of being a landlord
  • Pick up a copy of the City of Barrie’s Rooming, Lodging and Boarding House By-Law.
  • If after doing all of the above, the potential investor is still interested in becoming a landlord, then s/he should speak with City staff to make sure the property s/he is interested in can be licensed under the City By-Law

Certainly there are varying points of view on this potential investment. As with anything, make sure you do your research. There are even some financial incentives for you to become a student landlord in Barrie! There is no denying that Barrie has a rental shortage in general, but you can make the conscious decision to rent to students. Good luck!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Leasing Residential Property

October 27, 2011

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I’ve realized that very few people know that real estate agents are also qualified to help individuals when they are looking for a home or apartment to rent -or- when they have a house or apartment that you would like to rent out to tenants

As you might know, there is even a section on REALTOR.ca for properties that are being offered for lease so that potential tenants can search by geographic region, budget, etc. This is a great location to publicly display a rental property with a national audience, especially seeing as a number of corporations, government agencies, etc only transfer staff to areas for short periods of time; and as a result, rental is the preferred method of housing.

Your real estate agent can be your eyes and ears in the local rental marketplace and assist you with things like negotiating rent, drafting leases, tenant screening, etc that will help you make informed decisions so before you hit Kijiji and start calling the  numbers in local newspaper ads, give a local real estate agent a call and see which properties are available for rent in the organized real estate community.

Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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Buying tenants

October 26, 2011

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If you are purchasing a home that is currently rented out (or has an apartment that is currently rented out), there are extra precautions that you should take to ensure that the closing will go smoothly, whether you want to buy the house empty or want to keep the tenants.

If you are buying a house that is rented and intend to live there yourself, you need to be certain that the vendor has given proper notice to the tenants to ensure that they will leave on closing. If you want to keep the tenants, you will need tenant acknowledgements of the change in ownership and will want to review the tenancy agreements to be sure that you are content with the way the agreement has been set up. If you intend to keep the tenants for a time but will want to move in yourself eventually, you will also want to review the timelines in the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act so that you give proper notice. You will also want to generally review the Act to make sure that you are keeping to the obligations of a residential landlord.

Having tenants can be cost-effective, particularly for first-time buyers, but you should always ensure that you are prepared to work within the rules and obligations of being a landlord.

Cesia

Cesia is a real estate lawyer at Wall-Armstrong and Green, a boutique law firm in Barrie focusing on real estate and estates. When she’s not online, she can usually be found in her garden.

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