Recent shifts in the Calgary real estate market have had a noticeable impact on condominium sales – particularly with respect to pricing on luxury, high-end units. Due largely to economic concerns stemming from the downturn in the oil and gas sectors, condos in Calgary just became a little more affordable. The drop in prices is very good news for investors looking to enter the market and for those sellers who can afford to rent out their unit for a period until the market swings back.
Whether you are a newbie investor or an owner/occupant of a condo unit who needs to move but does not wish to sell low, here are a few basic tips to guide you along the path to becoming a successful condo landlord. Understand from the beginning that not all real estate is created equal and the duties and responsibilities of a condo landlord are somewhat different from those associated with renting a single-family home.
Work with an experienced condo Realtor. – An experienced condo Realtor, knowledgeable in the intricacies of the local market, can help you list and market the unit for rent, and direct qualified tenants your way.
Familiarize yourself with the rules & regulations of the condo association. – In reviewing the by-laws of your condo association, the first order of address is to confirm that unit rentals are permitted. If there is a waiting list for rental units, get your unit on it ASAP. Once you have verified that rental of your unit is allowed, be prepared to share copies of all condo rules with prospective tenants. Bear in mind that any violations relating to your tenant’s use of the unit and common areas will be directed to you, as the owner of the unit. Your prospective tenants must understand this and be willing to comply with regulations relating to everything from window coverings to pets and parking spaces.
Establish a fair market rental for the unit. – This is another area where your Realtor can be a great help. You certainly do not want to establish a rent that is too low, but you also do not want to overprice it and lose the tenants to other landlords. Your Realtor can help you fix a rent in line with the market for your building and neighbourhood.
Obtain credit checks and landlord references for all prospective tenants. – The last thing any landlord needs is a deadbeat tenant who pays the rent late, fails to pay at all or trashes the unit. This is why background checks and prior landlord references are so important. Proper screening will help ensure that the tenant you sign a lease with can afford the rent, will pay each month in a timely manner and treat the unit with respect. One bad tenant cost you thousands of dollars in repair and eviction costs.
Consider creative options when competing for quality tenants. – If you find yourself in a tight market with a shortage of qualified tenants able to pay the rental price your condo unit demands, consider some creative marketing incentives to attract tenants and seal the deal. Savvy landords have been known to offer everything from a month’s free rent to a pre-loaded debit card to a free week’s stay at your vacation property. Think about what you have to offer to separate your unit from the pack and attract tenants looking for a sweet deal.
Whether you are looking to become a condo landlord by choice or by the force of circumstances, follow these tips to minimize risk and maximize your profit potential.
Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.allisonjames.com and let’s get on with your journey!
About Allison James
Allison James has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.