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    Default First time renting a property, Rental agencies?

    Ok so i am brand new to running a rental, moving in the next couple weeks and renting out my current place, gonna do some work and shoot for April 1st,

    I've heard tons of nightmares about tenants, so i want to use a company to help me find non-trash... hoefully weed people out by having an application, maybe reference/credit checks, whatever they do to vet the tenants. Plus formal contracts etc...

    Who does everybody use and what do they do for you?
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    From my experience rental agencies are trash and its a luck of the draw what kind of tenants you get. They are the equivalent of realtors in that their interests are not aligned with yours at all. Yes they do vetting by way of reference/credit checks but there's easy ways to get around it i.e. having someone else co-sign the lease.

    The best way of vetting people is to meet them and judge for yourself. The agents at rental agencies are typically struggling or wanna-be realtors (its a terrible job and people don't do it out of choice lol). Trust me they DNGAF about anything else other than having someone signing a lease and getting their commission. Only reason to use them is if you're not physically in town. If that doesn't sound appealing then keeping a rental property isn't for you. Just my 2 cents

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    Check out the condo threads and others, I think you will quickly find that rental companies are just as bad as the tenants. We went through 5 or 6 of them and they were all abysmal. I know you may not want to, but the only way to do a decent job in the rental world is to do it yourself, and even that isn't a guarantee because tenants lie and tenants don't use references that won't give them positive reviews.

    My parents, brother, and virtually everyone I know who has rental properties have all been such nightmares I have no desire to ever have one. Some people get lucky and get a great tenant but I think that is the exception rather than the norm. My brother went through a 6 month long battle with an unemployed ex-lawyer who went crazy, and my parents now have over $20K in unpaid rent judgements in their favor that they will never see a penny of. My coworker's renter changed all the locks on him and started a grow-op in the shed, and despite all that the police won't help him and he is still battling to get his house back. All the laws massively favor the tenants. All of these people were personally vetted as well - there is only so much due diligence you can do on someone. I may be biased as I don't know a single person who has had a good experience with a rental property, but that's all I have to go on.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 02-17-2021 at 04:13 PM.

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    I rented a townhouse that was owned by the owner and they hired a property manager to look after it. It was a single person that managed 10-20 properties, not a big professional company. From what I can tell the manager listed it, arranged showings, picked a tenant, and did the lease. Beyond that they never stepped foot in the property in two years, they never checked up on things, the two issues the place had they basically just kept saying hang on let me talk to the owners, and they forgot to extend a lease and only contacted me 2 months after it expired (I was fine with month to month but they always insisted 6 months fixed each time but she literally just forgot one time).

    So TL;DR: Why pay someone 10% a month just to make a rent faster ad and pick a tenant when they won't do much else for the rest. Just find a tenant yourself, actually call their references and do a credit / background check on your tenant. Set reminders on your phone to follow up, ask how its going, drop off furnance filters to make sure it gets changed, etc.

    You'll do a way better job yourself and ask yourself if that tiny bit of effort each quarter is worth the ~200$ a month you'll pay someone else. The tenants can trash the place and a property manager will be 0 help, its still you that foots the bill to fix it.

    ONLY time I'd use one is if I'm out of town or moving away and want to rent a place. Otherwise just do it yourself and learn from any mistakes you make.
    Nolan

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    Mitsu and his whole circle has the shittiest luck with everything so its always bad from him but i gotta agree lol Unless you're super busy, out of town or just not handy then a management company can help but you're gonna be paying for it with their monthly fees and repairs to your place. Anything comes up that needs repairs they will no doubt get it fixed but dont expect them to get multiple quotes or even verifying if the work needs to be done.

    I'm handy and cheap so ive been managing my own rentals for about 15 years now and thankfully its been good for the most part, i did get burned by a serial dead beat way back but it taught me a nice life lesson and that was to not believe any of the sob stories lol
    There is also no real recipe for a good tentant, my best tenant(10.5 years) was a single mom with shitty credit which she told me right away. Ive had to do repairs here and there with leaking toilets, faucets, etc and for me they were easy but im sure they wouldve been a couple hundred at least if a property manager was taking care of it.

    And keep in mind that Alberta sides heavily on the tenants side, Me and my bro have both been to RTDS with non paying tenants and both times we got the shaft.
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    and I did not have the only say in the matter (most people just want it done ASAP and don't care about quality).
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    If anything we made a better decision because we had a consensus and were all on the same page.

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    OK thanks for the comments, this was kind of what i expected, i just wasn't sure how to do it all myself, are there templates or maybe legal forms available for the contracts? are there companies you can suggest that will do credit checks and is that something i can do myself?


    The real reason we need to rent this place is that we'd get soaked if we sold it now, we bought in the height of the market in 07, so even after our regular payments for 13 years, we'd break even on the place and get soaked in realtor fees, so i figured this would be a better option until things either pick up, or we can break even on it.
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    the three C's - credit check, check references, credit score (above a certain threshold).

    I've rented my condo for 10 years and the above has always served me well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaco View Post
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    The real reason we need to rent this place is that we'd get soaked if we sold it now, we bought in the height of the market in 07, so even after our regular payments for 13 years, we'd break even on the place and get soaked in realtor fees, so i figured this would be a better option until things either pick up, or we can break even on it.
    It's a toss up whether prices keep falling or rising from here. If (and when) inflation/interest rates pick up it will be a rude awakening for home prices. IMHO it doesn't get much better for home prices when the cost of borrowing is virtually free. The way to look at realtor fees is to amortize it over the length of time you lived there.

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    Yikes, that's the worst reasoning for getting into the business of being a landlord.

    Would you buy this place as a rental right now? If not probably should sell it.
    Silly people focus on the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Yikes, that's the worst reasoning for getting into the business of being a landlord.

    Would you buy this place as a rental right now? If not probably should sell it.
    I didn't want to be one either, i bought a new place and had my buddy try to sell it for me and he failed so i rented it. Best mistake of my life because this was months before the boom, i still remember seeing the front page of the Sun saying house prices rising $500 day
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    and I did not have the only say in the matter (most people just want it done ASAP and don't care about quality).
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    If anything we made a better decision because we had a consensus and were all on the same page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaco View Post
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    OK thanks for the comments, this was kind of what i expected, i just wasn't sure how to do it all myself, are there templates or maybe legal forms available for the contracts? are there companies you can suggest that will do credit checks and is that something i can do myself?


    The real reason we need to rent this place is that we'd get soaked if we sold it now, we bought in the height of the market in 07, so even after our regular payments for 13 years, we'd break even on the place and get soaked in realtor fees, so i figured this would be a better option until things either pick up, or we can break even on it.
    Exactly the reason I’m a landlord too. Don’t want to be, but buying at a high price + decreased value means I’m stuck

    To answer your question, RentFaster.ca has all the forms and tools you need including lease agreements and a way to do a credit check. I think it’s like $35 to list and maybe $20 per credit check but you can write these off as expenses when you do your taxes.

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    I used Mountain Park Real Estate when I moved to Edmonton in 2015 as they were recommended to me here, one friend was using them while in the UK without issue, and another recommendation by a friend who knew the owner. The owner was very nice, professional and I felt good meeting him when he came over to discuss the budget and expectations. The good more or less stopped there, I think because I stopped dealing directly with him.

    The person assigned to my listing was frankly a moron and she couldn't do her job to save her life. Her only suggestion each time I asked how things were going was that I need to continually lower the price. In the end what happened is that I chatted with someone in my building who was also renting their unit, got me in contact with some good applicants and I essentially told this girl to vet them, show the place and get it sorted out. She forgot the keys on the showing, I had my Mom in Calgary run over to let these guys in and my Mom essentially showed the place instead. These guys had good jobs and my Mom got a good impression so I just decided to just sign the lease. And since I put up money upfront with Mountain Park, and would pay a hefty penalty for cancelling the contract, I stayed with them.

    In the end, the tenants didn't trust this girl and neither did I. If things were wrong, we would email each other and leave Mountain Park out of it because they couldn't be trusted by either side. They collected ~$150/month for doing exactly fuck all. However, I took my own pictures for the listing and they needed a photographer in Edmonton for odd-jobs so in the end I probably broke even or slightly ahead in the overall deal. What I found pretty common is that I would meet-up with someone new quite often as a rep from Mountain Park to let me into properties -- the turnover rate at these places must be insanely high. It was also a struggle getting paid on time as well, I was constantly on them about sending me cheques. It was such a shit show constantly with accounting that the owner gave me his credit card number and I would run it automatically and send a paid invoice after each job LOL.

    I see Mountain Park has dissolved and the owner had his license suspended by RECA about a year ago.
    Last edited by msommers; 02-17-2021 at 09:15 PM.
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    We used Emerald Management for a few years, on the surface they seemed great, but once we had tenants change over and they did more than just collect the rent and take their cut, I saw how terrible they were; would not recommend.

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    alright, so it seems the theme is as i suspected, same as everything else in life, if you want it done right, do it yourself....

    Thanks all, and especially @sabad66 for the info about rentfaster, seems like a good resource for everything i'll need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaco View Post
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    alright, so it seems the theme is as i suspected, same as everything else in life, if you want it done right, do it yourself....

    Thanks all, and especially @sabad66 for the info about rentfaster, seems like a good resource for everything i'll need.
    Ill second rentfaster, its a pretty slick system. Then for wider audience you can copy and paste the ad to other places.

    When looking for renters, trust your gut. How they dress and how the interior of their car looks will give you an idea of how they will keep a house.

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    Your place is new enough you should just manage it yourself.

    As for vetting tenants, personally, a LOT of people you could rent to will be scared off by credit checks. If they had good credit, and can afford to rent your property, they'd just buy a place.

    Now this is premised on not knowing the value of your place and the tenants you are looking for (maybe its worth $500k, so you'd be targeting a different demo). I have a new-ish condo that I rent out. Besides the hassle of once every two years having to find new tenants, everything else has been smooth sailing. I tried the "credit check" required, everyone, even decent seeming tenants, turned tail and ran.

    Just saying, that requirement could severely limit your pool of potential tenants. I don't know if it tells you anything an in person interview wouldn't.

    If you are a bad judge of character, you shouldn't be in the rental business.

    I rented for over 8 years before buying. Never once did someone do a credit check on me, rented some nice places.
    Last edited by zechs; 02-18-2021 at 08:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spike98 View Post
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    Ill second rentfaster, its a pretty slick system. Then for wider audience you can copy and paste the ad to other places.

    When looking for renters, trust your gut. How they dress and how the interior of their car looks will give you an idea of how they will keep a house.
    +1 for rentfaster. Fast, cheap, easy to use and has all the forms you need. We've used it a few times and really only did reference checks and have been lucky to get good ones and we were always able to get new tenants in 1-2 weeks. If this is just 1 property and you are fairly close and a decently handy guy don't bother wasting 10% on a management company cause they are just middle men and you still need to deal with and pay for any problems that arise and there is zero guarantee you will get any better tenants.

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