LANDLORD F.A.Q.

Click on a frequently asked question below; 

What is expected from me?
What can I expect from my Property Manager? (What am I getting for my money?)
What should I not expect from my Property Manager?
What costs should I be prepared for?
Why does it seem to cost so much for a tenant placement fee?
Should I consider vacation rentals in the peak season?
Your company placed such great tenants in the past. Can you do it again?
The tenant used to be so good but recently turned a new leaf.
How do we prevent a grow-op or other illegal undertaking?
Can I include split utilities in the tenancy agreement?
How much rent can I get?
Can I raise the rent?
Can I inspect my property?
Why do we have to wait for notice to be received?
Do I have to return a security deposit?
Can I evict a tenant without cause?
Can I remove a service or facility?
What is expected from me?
What can I expect from my Property Manager? (What am I getting for my money?)
What should I not expect from my Property Manager?
What costs should I be prepared for?
Why does it seem to cost so much for a tenant placement fee?
Should I consider vacation rentals in the peak season?
Your company placed such great tenants in the past. Can you do it again?
The tenant used to be so good but recently turned a new leaf.
How do we prevent a grow-op or other illegal undertaking?
Can I include split utilities in the tenancy agreement?
How much rent can I get?
Can I raise the rent?
Can I inspect my property?
Why do we have to wait for notice to be received?
Do I have to return a security deposit?
Can I evict a tenant without cause?
Can I remove a service or facility?
Where do I find the Landlord and Tenancy Branch?

 

 


What is expected from me?

Concisely, the landlord is responsible for ensuring that the premises and the land meet health, safety and other standards established by local, provincial, and federal law. The property must be reasonably suitable for occupation subject nature and location. Inclusions in the tenancy, such as appliances, should be kept in working order. Rental rates should also be kept in equilibrium with the local market.

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What can I expect from my Property Manager? (What am I getting for my money?)

First of all, read and understand your contract because this is the description of the services to which you are entitled and depicts your rates. You may have as little as a tenant placement contract or a tenant eviction but you may also have a full-service management agreement. In a full-service package, your Property Manager is on call for emergencies 24-hours. Our office is open to the public from 8:30AM through 5:00PM weekdays during which time we perform a wide range of duties for our clients and tenants. In an average day we collect rent, maintain accounting records, make bank deposits, respond to maintenance requests, organize trades people, pay invoices, resolve disputes, inspect properties, attend arbitrations, tender projects, take phone calls, prepare reports, show properties, and accept drop-in appointments to list but a sampling of what we do. As a property owner you will also receive a personal itemized monthly statement of account. copies of invoices, professional advice, and tenant screening.

Keep in mind that your property manager can provide virtually any aspect of service within the realm of Property Management but it is your duty to negotiate a contract that meets your own specific needs. If you find that your needs have changed over time, advise your management professional who can likely revise your contract and rates to meet any new requirements.

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What should I not expect from my Property Manager?

Although your Property Manager works for YOU, he or she will not engage in any unethical activities or break the law. Our legal system can be frustrating at times but there is usually a way to obtain similar results the right way. Listen to that your Property Manager has to say.

Your Property Manager, while a wealth of knowledge and resources, is not the be-all-end-all. Repairs, account collection, legal representation, private investigation, and real estate sales are items that typically require the attention of another party who specializes in the respective field of work.

Your Property Manager is on the job 24 hour per day, 7 days a week, but, outside of office hours, it is appreciated when non-emergencies are deferred until the next business day.

A Property Manager cannot guarantee to rent your property by a specific date or at a specific rental rate. The market is controlled by external forces, which we have no control over. We will provide our pledge to ensure that your property receives appropriate exposure and that we work the market in your favor. We profit when you do and the incentive to prosper along with our clients is built in.

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What costs should I be prepared for?

The rental business does not come without certain costs. First and foremost, a property needs to be maintained. This can include but are certainly not limited to repainting, replacing appliances, pruning trees, spraying for pests, repairing a wide variety of components, rekeying locks, replacing smoke alarms, cleaning ducts, servicing furnaces to name just a few. There are tenant placement fees and arbitration costs from time to time as well.

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Why does it seem to cost so much for a tenant placement fee?

When a property becomes vacant, your Property Manager undertakes the replacement of the tenant(s) with another of equal or better quality. Many hours of time and significant expense are incurred. Advertising, long­ distance, travel, credit checks, photocopies, and optional signage are common hard costs that can exceed $200 per month. Time committed spans phone calls, showings, screening, and administrative considerations. A typical vacancy involves more than one person and often more than 10 man hours. A plumber's bill for a typical commitment of time and hard costs would be close to $1000.

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Should I consider vacation rentals in the peak season?

Do your homework first! Costs are considerably higher in maintaining a seasonal rental. There is more repair and maintenance due to heavier use.

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Your company placed such great tenants in the past. Can you do it again?

Probably. We go to great lengths to do so. Problem-free for you is also problem-free for us. Most owners also choose to be involved in the choice of tenant so that you are aware of the lengths we go to, to prepare for a quality experience.

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The tenant used to be so good but recently turned a new leaf.

No matter how much care and attention to detail is exercised, it is impossible to guarantee the actions of a tenant. Tenants are interviewed, references are checked, and credit reports are obtained. While most tenants come and go without incident, a tenant may try to sneak in a pet, smoke indoors, pay rent late, cause damage, or skip. We drive by properties in our day-to-day travels and offer property inspections in performance of our due diligence. Certain properties and certain neighborhoods are prone to more problems than others but the potential of the occasional problem of varying magnitude is a risk that comes with the territory.

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How do we prevent a grow-op or other illegal undertaking?

Actions speak loudly. Regular inspections of the premises are the single-most effective way to prevent illegal activity. The most widely known (and feared) activity is a marijuana grow-op. Grow ops may occur in as many as 1 in I 0 houses. A crop of marijuana can be produced and harvested in less than two months. If someone is expecting a regular inspection, they are much less likely to undertake a grow-op or other illegal activity, and may likely opt not to rent in the first place.

Your insurance company probably has a clause requiring you to have the premises inspected on a specific interval to keep your coverage valid. Some local governments are passing bylaws which penalize a landlord for not ensuring regular interaction with the property if a grow-op is discovered.

In addition to drive-bys, your Property Manager inspects the property at least once per year but can provide optional inspections on whatever frequency you require subject to tenancy laws. We recommend frequent inspections.

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Can I include split utilities in the tenancy agreement?

Yes, in most cases you can. The split is typically anywhere from 50:50 to 30:70 and should be negotiated during the creation of the tenancy agreement. It can be extremely difficult to renegotiate utility splits when one or more tenants are not agreeable. Landlords should be aware that if a tenant were required to place the utility account in his or her name when being split, if disputed, it would likely be found to be unreasonable.

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How much rent can I get?

For the most part, the market determines the rental rates obtainable. The condition of your property also affects the obtainable rent. In most scenarios, the Property Manager collects a percentage of the rent so we would like to maximize the price as much as our clients do. The market is also affected from time to time by waning demand, over-supply, seasonal fluctuations, and timing.

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Can I raise the rent?

Yes, you can raise the rent subject to the law which requires three months notice which must be properly served before the end of the month preceding the month in which notice begins. For example, if you wish to raise the rent for May 1, you would have to serve notice before the end of January. Rent can typically only be raised once per year subject to the maximum prescribed rate established by the RTO.

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Can I inspect my property?

Certainly. Your Property Manager must give a minimum of 24 hours notice to the tenant unless a recognized emergency is at hand.

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Why do we have to wait for notice to be received?

Notice, if verbal or by hand-delivery is deemed received immediately. If notice is posted at the property or mailed by regular mail, notices are deemed to be received after 3 days. If mailed by registered mail, notice is deemed to be received after 5 days.

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Do I have to return a security deposit?

Yes, unless there are valid deductions. Keep in mind that a landlord may not withhold a deposit for reasonable wear and tear. A landlord may also not withhold a pet deposit for anything other than damages related to pets. But if a tenant does not provide a forwarding address, the deposit may be held until such time as one is provided. Interest is paid on all returned funds subject to the rate prescribed by the RTO. On occasion, it may be necessary to file for arbitration to obtain a holdback on deposit funds.

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Can I evict a tenant without cause?

Yes, you may. But be aware that a landlord may be required to compensate a tenant as much as an amount equal to one month of rent in certain cases. Manufactured home tenancies are subject to similar but differing laws.

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Can I remove a service or facility?

On occasion it may be necessary to remove a service such as laundry or parking. Be prepared to compensate the tenant fairly in lieu of the exclusion.


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Where do I find the Landlord and Tenancy Branch?

If you have any questions regarding your rental, contract, property manager or anything related to your rental you can visit the Landlord and Tenancy Branch website:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=FE38AA18AC2B437A8C274E030254B3DD


Here you will find answers to your questions. If not, it will provide with the right number to call to obtain your answer.


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