On the surface, it seems easy. Buy a property in a good area like Etobicoketo, let its value grow, and meanwhile, rake in that rental income. But nothing is as easy as it looks, and this idea, in particular, can bring more complications with it than you expected.

The easiest solution is to choose between rental property management companies in Etobicoke and let them do it all for you. It comes at a cost, but you’re likely to find it worthwhile. However, if you’re intent on going it alone, here’s what you need to know.

Tenant Screening is a Must, and Superficial Check isn’t Enough

Bad tenants are a nightmare! They can actually cost you more than you earn from them. Asking for rental references can be a help – but not everyone is honest, and it’s actually quite easy to fake a good background.

There’s plenty of other paperwork you can use to help you screen tenants, but you do need to know how to look out for discrepancies and red flags. Compare everything carefully. For example, if you’re examining bank statements and payslips, do they agree? Did you check credit ratings?

Are You Properly Insured?

Even with the best tenants, accidents can happen. Talk to your insurance broker about your plans for renting out your apartment and check that your insurance will protect you in a worst-case scenario. Make sure that every eventuality is covered. If it isn’t, you could stand to lose money instead of earning more.

Can You be a Good Landlord?

In typical rental agreements, you’re responsible for the maintenance of your property, even when you have tenants. A good landlord is available and has the necessary artisans at his or her disposal to ensure that any issues are dealt with speedily. And don’t expect your tenants to wait for normal business hours if they encounter a problem.

If it’s 2AM when they notice an issue, that’s when you’ll hear from them – and so you should! For example, if there’s a water leak, it can do untold damage if you don’t act fast – and you tenants can’t be held responsible for it unless they caused the problem in the first place.

Can You Handle Legal Agreements and Disputes?

The importance of the terms contained in your lease agreement can’t be emphasised enough. It sets out the rules under which you rent out the property, what you’ll do, and what you expect your tenants to do. If there’s any form of dispute, lawyers will look at the lease first. Will it hold up to scrutiny?

Of course, there are also tenants who breach agreements. Handling this kind of problem professionally can be very difficult, especially if it’s not something you’ve experienced before. Ask yourself how you’ll handle things like intentional damage, complaints from neighbours, or non-payment of rent. You certainly will need help from a lawyer.

Can You be Present to Inspect and Market Your Property?

Rental tenants come and go – and they might not leave your property in the condition they found it. Before refunding any deposits, you need to do a thorough inspection. Between tenants, your home will probably need a bit of freshening up too: a coat of paint, and repair of any minor wear and tear.

Once you’re ready for new tenants to move in, you need to attract the right kind of people and be present for viewings – and then, the whole cycle begins all over again.

If You Can’t be There, or You Don’t Have Time, You Need Help

Renting out a property can be lucrative – but there’s lots of hard work involved. If what you’ve read so far is making your head spin at the thought of all the things you’ll have to deal with, it’s because you’ve noticed that this isn’t going to be a source of “easy money.”

The solutions are out there, so if all you want is income without the hassle, it would be wisest to get professional help from experienced property managers.

Ellie Chen

Ellie Chen is a graduate of New York University with a Master’s in Real Estate who has been an expert in property market trends and real estate investment for over 12 years. Her previous roles include working in real estate brokerage and as a property analyst. She has provided insights into real estate marketing, property management, and investment strategies. Her background includes roles in real estate development firms and as an agent. Beyond work, she is a great hiker and a volunteer in housing affordability programs. She is also a passionate urban cyclist and enjoys participating in community development initiatives.

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