Home ‘suite’ home

by 29 May 2015

It's important to qualify all of the prospective tenants who apply to live in the unit. Start by asking them to fill out an application form detailing their personal identifying information, employment status and previous rental history.

It's also a good idea to have the tenant supply a few references that the homeowner can call to verify the information the prospective tenant has provided. Lastly, they will want their permission to perform credit history and criminal record check.

Once the perfect tenant has been selected, sign a lease – standard form leases are available at the municipal bylaw office – detailing every aspect of the arrangement from the rental amount, to property rules and the procedure for ending the tenancy.

On move-in day, the homeowner should perform a pre-inspection walk-thru with the tenant then fill out a rental unit condition report. This report will be compared to the unit condition report that is filled out when the tenancy is over.

The homeowner should also keep detailed records of how and when the rent is paid, any repairs or maintenance performed on the unit, document any disputes or problems with the tenant and, finally, ensure the tenant receives a copy of all of the paperwork for their records.

Adding a rental unit to a home can come with a unique set of challenges and not everybody is cut out to be a landlord. But for those of your clients who tackle this type of property investment, having an income suite can be a ‘sweet’ way to further expand their real estate empire.

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