The reasons that may have led one such as yourself to be a long-distance landlord are varied. For example, you could be investing because:
- Of a work relocation.
- You’ve retired and moved to a sunnier locale.
- You found a great investment in another state that was too good to pass up.
In this blog, we at Real Canadian Property Management Solutions will share with you 6 tips on how to become a successful remote landlord.
Rent to Great Tenants
Finding great tenants and keeping them happy should be the primary goal of every landlord. Great tenants are great for any landlord’s bottom line. They pay rent on time, care for their rented premises, and renew their lease multiple times.
But if you manage the property remotely, you may not have the same chances as a local landlord. Unlike a landlord who is always available, you won’t be able to stop by for a quick drive-by inspection. But without great tenants, things could go wrong.
To defend against any potential risks, having a solid screening process is important. Among other things, your screening process should be able to qualify a tenant based on things like their:
- Credit rating
- Income level
- Rental history
- Employment background
- Criminal background
Encourage Open Communication
As you may not be around as often, ensure that you establish clear and consistent communication.
You’ll want your tenant to notify you of any issues you find as soon as possible for a swift resolution. Doing so will benefit you in multiple ways. For one, you’ll be able to prevent small maintenance issues from becoming big. Secondly, taking corrective action quickly will prevent potential issues like rent withholding hassles.
Ensure your lease agreement has updated contact info, which should include your phone number. In addition, you may also want to call the tenant every now and then to check in.
Visit the Property When You Can
Did you know that travel expenses can be fully tax-deductible? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows landlords to deduct all expenses related to their rental properties.
Basically, this means that you can deduct the costs of hotel stays, mileage, plane tickets, and even meals when you inspect the property.
So, you should make a point of visiting your rental property at least once every year. These visits should help you ensure your property is in great shape and that your tenant is happy and satisfied.
Stay Up to Date With The Community
If you live far from your property, it can be easy to get disconnected from the community there and that can be risky for your business. It isn’t uncommon for the business environment, government policy, and demographic to change every once in a while. Causing your property’s bottom line to change.
As a remote landlord, it’ll be in your best interest to keep up with local news and keep tabs on the rental market industry. This way, you’ll keep up to date with any changes that may impact your investment.
Build Relationships with Local Vendors
As you won’t be around when you’re needed, finding available local resources will be key. These are the people that you’ll want to have quickly available whenever you require their skills.
When a repair request pops up, for instance, these will be the people you’ll turn to for prompt action.
Understand the Local Rental Laws
This cannot be overemphasized!
As a landlord, you have a responsibility of abiding by all local laws that affect your tenant. Some of the laws are as follows.
In Alberta, your security deposit charge must not exceed the rent for one month.
Alberta Warranty of Habitability
As a landlord, you have a responsibility of keeping your rental property reasonably safe and in good repair at all times.
You can only evict a tenant only in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). You cannot do things like lock the tenant out, remove their belongings, or shut down their amenities.
As a landlord, you have a right to enter your tenant’s rented premises. But you must only do so after serving your tenant advance notice of 24 hours. The only exceptions allowed are during emergency situations or in case of property abandonment by the tenant.
Fair Housing Rules
The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against their tenants on the basis of certain protected classes. The classes include race, color, ancestry, religion, nationality, disability, marital status, familial status, gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
If you fail to understand such laws before renting out your property, you may constantly find yourself in legal tussles with your tenant.
As you can see, being a long-distance landlord is possible. But at the same time, it does come with its fair share of challenges. That’s why savvy rental property owners choose professional help.
Real Canadian Property Management Solutions can help manage your Grande Prairie rental property reliably and professionally. We can handle any property management issue on your behalf, from property showings to property marketing to rent collection. Get in touch with us today.