Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia landlords’

BC Landlords Speak Out: “There Are Lots of Good Renters Out There, But You Need To Screen Carefully These Days!”

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

BC landlords tenant screening british columbia landlords

BC Landlords Speak Out: “There Are Lots of Good Renters Out There, But You Need To Screen Carefully These Days!”

As part of our “Let’s Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the BC Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the BC rental industry. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com

BC Landlords Need To Make Tenant Screening a Priority To Find Good Tenants and Avoid the “Pros” Out There

I keep hearing about how bad things are for renters these days.  Sure, it’s never been easy as a renter.  I rented for years and know this from first hand experience.  During my student days in the early 90’s rent was already high considering what students could save during summer jobs. Unlike many people at the time I couldn’t get a loan at the Bank of Mom and Dad because said after age 18 people should be self-dependent.

Some Of The Current Tenant Issues I Keep Reading About And My Take As A Former Renter and New Landlord

Here’s what I think of the current issues that are all over the news and the radio talk shows. Hey, I rented for years and don’t belittle anyone having problems with their landlord or their rental. The thing is we need more “balance” in the discussion .

1. Pets

This has been a big issue over the past few weeks with talks we will copy the Ontario rental model where landlords can’t legally refuse tenants just because they have a pet. Sounds good but as a landlord I have to be very careful of my costs and pets can lead to extra costs. They can also lead to headaches if they bark or whatever early in the morning or crap in the area.  It’s just something to consider.

2. Fixed Term Lease “Loophole”

We need to get some balance on this. I’m sure some rich overseas landlords were raising the rent by $1000’s of dollars at the end of a lease but not all of us are rich overseas landlords! Most of us are like me and want to keep good tenants renting from us so we don’t even raise the rent.  There is some interesting information how this BC landlord and tenant loophole came to be but for most of us it just doesn’t apply

3. Rents Are Too High

Again not all of us are rich overseas investors with luxury Vancouver rentals in prime time areas. Many of us have saved to buy a rental and we only charge rents what people can afford and what we need to charge just to cover our mortgages, fees, taxes and the rest. Many of us small landlords are struggling and you need to keep us separate from the rich fat cats.

Help For BC Landlords – Screen Your Tenants Carefully!

The good news for people wanting to become small landlords is there are a lot of good renters around. I think this is because we have people coming from Alberta where the economy is in a downturn and Alberta landlords are suffering. And prices are really high in British Columbia so a lot of people are renting and saving up for a deposit. 

Be Careful Who You Rent To And Run A Credit Check

I have some good renters now who I just signed a lease with in September after the last couple moved out. When I was advertising there were a lot of very aggressive people applying who seemed to be winners. But many didn’t have references and when I ran a credit check I saw they had screwed over a lot of people and owed a lot of money.

Be careful because one bad tenant can really be a nightmare and cost you a ton of money.

What Does a Credit  Check Show You That Is Helpful For A Small Landlord Who Wants To Rent To Excellent Tenants?

First of all it shows you a ‘credit score’ from Equifax Canada.

This is very helpful because it’s a good way to see if people are financially responsible. A low score shows they don’t pay their bills on time, or at all! They might have ripped off Rogers or Bell but they also might have ripped of lots of small landlords too.

BC Landlords Be Careful and Run A Credit Check

I joined the BCLA and am running checks for ten bucks and one-time fee, no annual fee!

It’s a great deal and with good tenant screening you can make sure you find the real good tenants and avoid the professional scammers out there who will bleed you dry.

BC Landlords Pet-Friendly Rental Housing Campaign

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

British Columbia Landlords pet campaign

BC Landlords Pet Campaign – Let’s Get Good Landlords and Good Tenants Working Together To Create Safe and Successful Pet Friendly Rental Properties in British Columbia!

We receive a lot of forum messages and emails from BC Landlords and Tenants. One of the most common topics is about pets.

On the one hand tenants says they are having hard times finding rental properties because they have a pet. They find many landlords get wary when they find out they will have their pet living with them. Some landlords will even refuse the tenant applicant outright.

On the other hand we also get tonnes of messages from BC landlords and their side of the issue. Many landlords say they are animal lovers and understand the importance of having pets. After all, many landlords have dogs, cats, fish, birds, etc. themselves.

The problem they face is they are small, residential landlords and not corporate landlords. This means they have limited budgets and worry about the costs involved in cleaning up after tenants who were irresponsible owners move out.

What’s the Solution for BC Landlords and Tenants with Pets?

The key is for all parties to work together with the shared goal of creating a great situation for everyone involved. In order to help do this it’s important to take a fact based approach that serves all members of the community.

In order to get these facts we contacted the BC SPCA. Their very helpful and informative Outreach Team provided some very useful information:

Question 1: Are companion animals often surrendered to the BC SPCA for housing related reason?

Unfortunately yes, we see a high number of animals surrendered every year because people cannot find a place to live with their companion animals.

Question 2: What type of numbers are we talking about?

The numbers fluctuate year to year, but on average 20% of our surrenders province wide cite problems relating to housing as the reason for surrendering. In 2015 we adopted out 15,811 animals, meaning approximately 3,100 of those animals were surrendered by their original guardians because they could not find a place to live that would take animals.

These situations are always heart breaking- no one should have to give up a family member because they cannot find pet-friendly living space.

Question 3: Can you share some general tips on what types of fair questions might be helpful for small landlords to ask when a potential pet owning tenant wants to rent from them?

Aside from general questions about the type of animal, age, and spay/ neuter status it is often good to ask about what kind of care plan they have in place for their animal.

-Does their dog go to daycare or do they have a dog walker that takes them out while the guardian is at work?

-What kind of exercise plan do they have for their animal?

-How regularly do they visit a veterinarian?

-Does their dog go to daycare or do they have a dog walker that takes them out while the guardian is at work?

-What kind of exercise plan do they have for their animal?

-What kind of enrichment items or activities do you have at home to keep their animal occupied while they are out?

Getting answers to these kinds of questions can give the landlord a better idea of how responsible the guardian is, and what type of behaviour they can expect from the animal.

A well socialized, entertained, exercised animal will usually express less troublesome behaviour than one who is not.

Question 4: Landlords are often worried about responsible grooming habits for pets.  What are some fair and helpful questions a landlord might ask that could help them feel more comfortable with this worry?

Questions about nail trimming for cats & dogs is a good to ask as there is sometimes a concern about scratching floors or furniture.

Having regular nail trimmings, and scratching toys can reduce the risk of that kind of damage- however it is fair to note that scratched floors can happen by pushing a chair back from a table, or wearing shoes indoors just as easily.

A FIREPAW study found that “there is no statistically significant damage between tenants with pets and tenants without pets”.

On average FIREPAW found that “tenants with pets in pet-friendly housing stay an average for 46 months compared to 18 months for tenants residing in rentals prohibiting pets”.

For a landlord this means less lost income looking for tenants, and less hassle arranging for move outs/ins, cleaning, advertising, and interviewing new tenants.

Question 5: We read about the idea of pet resume.  Could you tell us how that works and how it can be helpful for both small landlords and tenants?

The BC SPCA has a sample pet resume available online that we encourage potential tenants to use when looking for housing.

We find that many landlords are hesitant renting to tenants with animals simply because they do not know what the animal will be like; a pet resume that clearly outlines the personality of the animal, any training and experience the animal has had, and what kind of health and grooming considerations he/she may have can alleviate the fear of the unknown.

It gives a great snapshot of what to expect from the animal- just like an interview assists a landlord in knowing what to expect of the tenant.

Question 6: Do you have any general tips to help pet loving landlords encourage other landlords to be open about renting to tenants with pets?

Focus on the benefits of having pet friendly rentals: longer tenancy, alleviating the problem of homeless animals and potential for higher rental income (pet guardians tend to be willing to pay more for a pet-friendly space).

The greatest impact for changing someone’s mind is to focus on the positive results of a choice, instead of just trying to dispel myths.

Question 7: Does the BC SPCA have any workshops or events to help landlords learn to be good ‘pet friendly’ landlords?

We do not have anything at the moment, however please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions and we will be happy to accommodate.

BC Landlords and Pets

We again want to thank the very helpful BC SPCA Outreach team for their advice and information.

The reality is there are a lot of tenants out there who have pets and it’s a terrific market for small residential landlords.

Tenants should know the financial concerns that small, residential landlords face.

By understanding each other, both landlords and tenants (and their pets) can find nice, safe homes.

B.C. Landlord Rent Increase Guideline for 2016 is 2.9%

Friday, January 8th, 2016

bc landlords rent increase for 2016British Columbia Landlords – The 2016 Rent Increase Guideline is 2.9%

Are you going to raise the rent in 2016? As costs rise many BC landlords are going to raise the rent and want to know how much they can raise rents in 2016.

British Columbia landlords can raise the rent only one annually. Furthermore the rents can only be raised by amount allowed by provincial law. Landlords also must provide their tenants with at least three months notice and use the property forms. The rent increase is a percentage equal to the rate of inflation plus 2%. For more information see the province website here: Rent Increases

British Columbia Landlords: Rent Increase Guideline 2014

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

January 1st, 2014

BC landlords British Columbia landlords Rent 2014

BC Landlords Are Asking “How Much Can I Raise the Rent In 2014?”

It’s news from the Residential Tenancies Branch that landlords all over the province are interested in.

Each year the government announces how much BC landlords can raise the rent for their tenants.

British Columbia Has Rent Control

Lots of new people who invest in residential rental properties in British Columbia are unaware we have what is called ‘Rent Control’ in this province.

This means the provincial government interferes with the rental market and controls how landlords run their rental businesses.

It doesn’t matter if you are a Vancouver landlord or if your properties are in Surrey or elsewhere, you have to obey whatever the government thinks is right when it comes to rent increases for the new year.

We are in a similar situation to what Ontario landlords face each year.

And those landlords aren’t happy with it.

Go check out the Ottawa Landlords blog to see what they face and they feel about their tiny 0.8% allowable rent increase.

How Much Can British Columbia Landlords Raise the Rent in 2014?

BC landlords can raise the rent 2.2% in 2014.

The Rent Increase for 2014 at 2.2%… It Just Feels Far Too Low!

We’ve received lots of emails already from landlords who feel the same way.

After all, the Rent Increase Guideline for BC landlords was 3.8%.

And many landlords don’t think their increased costs are lower than what we faced in 2013.

A Kelowna landlord emailed us the following message:

Property taxes go up. Hydro costs go up. Heck, even water bills are going through the roof!

Does the government really want people to invest in rental properties? Because it sure doesn’t seem like it.

I thought we decided against the NDP!

Why can’t we have the same rules as what Alberta landlords get?  My cousin is a landlord in Calgary and she is going to raise the rent over $100 for her $900 rental apartment.

That’s where the government keeps their Big Brother/Big Sister ideas away from good landlords who just want to make a profit of some sort by providing great properties to good tenants??

BC Landlords and Getting Good Results in 2014

As we have read, BC landlords faced a lot of challenges in 2013.

With a low rent increase for the new year landlords must be extra careful who they rent to.

Make sure you do proper tenant screening and don’t rent to someone who will not only give you a headache, they can stay in your property and enjoy very small rent increases for years on end.

To discuss this and other landlord matters go to the BC landlords forum.

B.C. Landlords Ask: How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2014?

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

October 13, 2013

How much can i raise the rent in 2014

B.C. Landlords Can Raise the Rent 2.2% in 2014

More and more B.C. homeowners are creating secondary suites in their homes and becoming landlords.

There are lots of things new landlords need to learn to become successful. One of these is making sure you keep your rental property maintained. 

Maintaining Your Rental Property Is Important

Keep your property up can be costly. Some repairs are urgent and obvious. A water pipe might break. A toilet might need to be replaced.

Others might be upgrades to keep your current tenants happy or to make the property attractive to new prospective renters.

How Much Can I Raise The Rent In 2014?

Rent increases are an important part of being a landlord. In 2013 B.C. landlords are allowed to raise the rent 3.8 percent.

In 2014 B.C. landlords can raise the rent by only 2.2 percent.

Why only 2.2%?

In British Columbia the allowable rent increase is based on inflation plus 2 percent.

According to the BC Residential Tenancy Act website:

Annual rent increase

22 (1)  In this section, “inflation rate” means the 12 month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in the July that is most recently available for the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect.

(2)  For the purposes of section 43 (1) (a) of the Act [amount of rent increase], a landlord may impose a rent increase that is no greater than the percentage amount calculated as follows:

percentage amount = inflation rate + 2%

How Does The B.C. Rent Increase Compare to Other Provinces?

While the rate is low compared to past Rent Increase Guidelines, we are actually getting a pretty good deal in B.C. compared to some other provinces.

Many B.C. landlords aren’t aware that while our Rent Increase Guideline is inflation plus 2 percent most other provinces are only based on the inflation rate.

For example in Ontario landlords can only raise the rent 0.8% in 2014.

In Manitoba landlords can only raise the rent by 2.0% in 2014.

For Landlords From Vancouver to Surrey, To Discuss the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline and Other Landlord Issues Take a Look at the B.C. Landlords Forum

Report: Almost 25% of BC home owners rent out some part of their home

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

June 6th, 2012

 

 

A Recent Report States Nearly 25% of British Columbia House Owners Rent Out a Part of their Home

Wow, that’s a very large percentage!

So What Does a Part or Portion Mean?

The report states it could include a basement unit, or even the house owner turning their garage into a coach house that can house tenants.

Why is This Happening?

According to the report this remarkably high percentage is due to the current economy and the high price of real estate in British Columbia.

In fact, the number could be considerably higher due to economic conditions and the fact that many home owners are note inclined to reveal they are, in fact, landlords.

 Why Is That?

Home owners who are also landlords may not want to reveal their business dealings if they don’t have the proper permissions from their insurance providers and/or they don’t have proper government registration.

So Why Are So Many Home Owners Becoming Landlords?  I mean, being a landlord can have lots of risks like the Ontario Landlords Association (www.ontariolandlords.ca)  make clear with “Tenant from Hell” Nina Willis!

Well, the rent income landlords get from tenants can be a terrific help in paying off the mortgage.  And that money is, for some landlords, worth all the risk.

What are the Risks?

They are serious.  And they will be written about here soon.