Home ownership continues to be the North American dream. That said, it doesn’t always make economic sense. I recently attended a political debate where one of the candidates said that people have a choice of “paying rent” or “paying interest”. Is it always better to pay interest?
The following two tweets reference interesting articles on this topic.
This is a question that we get again and again.
What happens if:
1. You are the landlord of a property which is occupied by a tenant with a lease? and
2. You wish to sell the property.
The answer is that that the landlord is free to sell the property, but that the property will be sold subject to the existing lease. It is obviously easier to sell a vacant property. That’s the bottom line. Landlords who own investment properties need to know and understand this.
For a detailed analysis see an earlier post on this issue.
The article referenced in the above tweet discusses a number of reforms to the Alberta court/justice system. The focus is is on:
1. Moving Landlord and tenant disputes out of the courts and under the jurisdiction of a specialized tribunal; which
2. Should reduce overall costs to both landlords and tenants because there will be less need for lawyers (which cost lots of money).
3. The diminished involvement of lawyers in landlord and tenant disputes should facilitate more flexible solutions to the inevitable problems in the landlord and tenant relationship.
Although the article places the reform of “landlord tenant disputes” in the broader context of the reform of the Alberta legal system, it includes:
It is believed that at least one million Canadian citizens may be considered under U.S. law to also be U.S. citizens. The Obama administration has passed a new U.S. law, that the Government of Canada (AKA Harper Government) has agreed to implement on Canadian soil. The law called “FATCA” (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) basically requires the Canadian banks to:
1. Identify Canadians who may be considered by the U.S. to be U.S. citizens; and
2. Turn them over to Canada’s CRA, which will then turn them over to the IRS.
Toronto real estate agents take note! This new law will affect your clients and impose a new duty of care when advising these clients!
Renting residential properties to students can be a good way to invest in real estate. It is a different kind of market which needs to be understood. There are two broad categories of issues (both of which I have written about):
1. Zoning and other municipal by-laws which may apply to student rentals;
2. Understanding students, the student rental market and how to be a landlord to students.
The above tweet references a blog post that provides interesting commentary about community politics and student rentals.
The post includes:
A little over 20 years ago, we moved away from an area near the university. The area had become mostly a student ghetto, but the students were far less of a problem than the snotty local homeowners up the street who were doing all they could to fight the transition of the homes from single-family residences to student housing. Here is an editorial I wrote then.
You can read the complete post here.
The message is simple but forgotten.
If you are investing in real estate for the purpose of renting to students ask yourself:
How will house rented to students “fit into the community”?
As you know, the selection of good tenants, is vital to your success as a landlord and real estate investor. Tenant turnover is the largest cost of being a landlord. Ontario’s rental market is highly regulated and Ontario tenant’s have many rights. If you select your tenants carefully you will avoid having to take steps to evict a tenant. But before actually commencing the eviction process, we strongly suggest this recipe for how to deal with a difficult tenant.
Since tenant selection is the key, we recommend our: “10 Principles: How to find and then select a tenant for your residential property“.
I recently received an email from somebody that included the following question:
Hi. I am wondering if you may have some insight regarding a condo situation we have in London. We have purchased a two bedroom condo and the condos in the building are called “single family dwelling”.
I have heard from some people that this means the people in the condo must be related to each other however, I am aware of lots of people in the building who are good friends and are not related to each other living together.
We were planning to find a paying roommate for my 20 year old son but we are concerned about what the definition of “single family dwelling” is.
To me, outside of living with your spouse or common-law partner, many people live with friends in our society. Do you know if such a rule is enforceable? Do you have any suggestions as to where I should go to figure this out? I would hate to have to move out of the building due to this rule.
I predict that this is going to become a more common question.
As goes the real estate investment market, so goes the need for property managers.
Becoming an Ontario Landlord – The Course.
If you either:
1. Want to consider managing your own properties; or
2. Want to learn more about what a residential property manager in Toronto can do for you
then you would this course to be of interest.
An interesting article by Mark Weisleder in the Toronto Star concludes with: