Owner Frequently Asked Questions
Getting our homes rented fast is key to our success and happy clients. We need to generate as many qualified leads for the home as possible. We do that by:
- Using syndication to list on the top rental websites. We design the ads in a way to make it easy for prospects to understand the key terms and our rental criteria.
- We take high quality photos and do a full video tour that goes on our ads.
- When prospects call, we have a live person answer the phone 10am-6 pm Monday - Friday. This is crucial to getting homes rented fast. If someone is not available to talk to prospects, they go elsewhere. We keep a list of everyone that called, what was said, and if they are a hot lead or a shopper.
- We make the property available to be seen 7 days a week. We do this by utilizing the latest technology and offer agent showings as well.
- All of our clients are provided a weekly report which tracks calls, emails, showings, and showing feedback, in real time. This gives us the most accurate data about how the market is responding to our offer.
- Some areas we will use the MLS if we feel it is in the client’s best interest. This provides additional exposure to agents in the area who may be working with tenants.
For tenant occupied homes, tenants submit a maintenance request via their online tenant portal. Our portal allows tenants to submit a work order request by providing a description of the issue as well as upload photos of the issue, when appropriate. Tenants can also track the status of their request online.
When a request comes in, we assess it and see if it needs immediate dispatch or if we can possibly trouble shoot the issue with the tenant. There are many common repair requests our team are trained how to troubleshoot. If the issue needs to be fixed, we send a work order to one of our vendors. We use all 3rd party vendors and do not do maintenance in house.
The vendor will contact the tenant to set up a time to make the repair. Our vendors will complete the repair if under $500, take photos before and after work, and submit an invoice to our company for approval. We make sure the cost of the repair is fair and that the work was completed satisfactorily.
The management agreement allows us to approve any repair under $500, without having to bother our clients. Larger repairs over $500 require owner approval, so we will contact the client in those cases. Exceptions to the $500 approval rule include emergency maintenance and habitability issues. If we have to act quickly to protect persons or property we will do so, to protect our owners best interest.
Once a repair is completed and invoiced, we email the tenant a survey asking them to confirm the repair was completed satisfactorily, was the vendor was professional, and to rate their overall experience with the vendor and our team.
In consultation with the owners we select the tenant together. We go over the applications with the owner and outline the pros and cons of the application. From there, based on our experience we make a recommendation to the owner to either accept, or reject the tenant. From there, the owner makes the final decision.
Yes, we have a list of preferred vendors we use. To be a preferred vendor they have to:
- Sign our vendor agreement, where they agree to a certain standards and a code of conduct.
- Carry insurance.
- Deliver great service and quality work.
No. Our fee covers the coordination of needed services, not the services themselves.
We have plumbers, flooring installers, cleaners, appliance repair, and other trades people who provide such great service, we are happy to refer them to our clients. Some trades like handymen, we do not refer out, as good ones are hard to find and we keep them very busy.
Unfortunately not. Over the years we have tried hundreds of contractors. Cost is always important, but as you know, sometimes you get what you pay for. The contractors we use provide quality workmanship and competitive pricing. We have a great team behind us who will ensure that your property is well maintained and taken care of.
Unfortunately not. It gets messy when there are too many chefs in the kitchen. We require that we use only our preferred vendors. This ensures leasing deadlines are met, as we work with these vendors regularly and know what to expect.
We have been doing this long enough to know what certain services should cost. This means we generally do not need to get multiple bids for routine maintenance tasks like carpeting, cleaning, small painting projects, small repairs, etc… We already know who can do the best work at the best price.
On larger projects like replacing an AC, replacing a roof, large painting projects, etc., we definitely get multiple bids to ensure you are getting a fair price.
The tenant pays Welcome Home rent and we deposit it into our trust account. We direct deposit the rent from the month, minus our fee, and any other expenses, into a bank account of your choice.
At the beginning of each month we provide you an owner statement. The statement shows income and expenses for the current month. We also include copies of work orders and invoices.
Statistics show over half of all households have pets. By being open to pets you will increase demand, thus increasing the rental price. However, by allowing pets you increase the risk of property damage. Being open to pets doesn't mean you need to accept them, but it will increase the amount of potential leads who will come through your property.
No. The law in Ontario says non-refundable deposits are illegal.
We lease the vast majority of our rentals in 6 weeks or less. If it sits on the market longer than that it means either the property is priced too high or it does not show well. We get the most activity on a property in the first 2 weeks. If it has not rented after 2 weeks, it usually means we priced it too high and we need to reduce the price.
No, we generally do not allow owners to meet their tenants. When owners meet the tenant, it can cause confusion because the tenants will think that they can contact the owner for issues instead of us, the property management company. It is easier for all parties if we act as the buffer between the owner and the tenant.
Send the lead to us and we will send them information on how to apply. All tenants must go through our application process, even if you know them. Keep in mind, renting to friends or family can get messy, so proceed with caution.
Our agreement is month-month and can be cancelled with 30 day notice from either party. There will be a cancellation fee if you cancel during the leasing phase.
We also have the Happiness Guarantee. If you're not happy, let us know and we'll make it right. If you want out of the agreement, you can cancel at anytime without penalty.
We will send you a contract to review and sign via e-Signature.
If the property is vacant, we will perform a Make Ready Survey. We carefully go through the entire property and make a list of all repairs needed to make the property rent ready. We email you regarding our findings and explain our plan to make it rent ready.
You need to carry an insurance policy for a rental property. This has specific coverage’s important to landlords, so it is important you switch to this type of policy, if you currently have a homeowners policy. A Landlord policy is usually a little more expense, but the extra coverage is very important.
Let’s say a tenant trips at the property, breaks her leg, and sues. She is probably going to sue you and Welcome Home. Your insurance should step in and defend you. Since we are acting as your agent, we need that same protection. Our management agreement, like all management agreements, has an indemnification clause that says you agree to indemnify Welcome Home, unless we are found to be negligent. This means, if your insurance does not cover us, we have to hire an attorney on our own. Then our attorney will be fighting your attorney and the tenant. If we are found not guilty, our lawyer will come after you for legal fees. Had we been added as additionally insured, your insurance company would defend us both equally. Most major insurance companies do this and for no additional charge. If your insurance company will not add Welcome Home, you will need to switch to an insurance carrier who does.
We carry General Liability, & Errors & Omissions insurance.
We do Agent showings where one of our agents will meet prospects at the property to view.
Yes! About 95% of our tenants pay their rent online. They can also submit maintenance requests through their tenant portal.
The owner portal is currently under development by the developer of our management software and is slated for release in the Fall of 2022. The owners portal will be a hub for information relating to key documents like owners statements, leases and other pertinent documents In the interim, we will email monthly financial statements.
A lease is a legally binding contract and cannot be cancelled unilaterally. Only with the agreement of both parties can a lease be terminated early.
The terms in our management agreement are designed into our management systems. It is hard for us to change terms without having to change our processes. Most of the time we cannot change our agreement. If you have a specific concern, we are always open to addressing it with you.
You will be assigned a portfolio manager who oversees the leasing process for your property. Once the property is leased, your main point of contact will be our portfolio manager. If there is a maintenance issue on your property, you will likely be contacted by our maintenance team.
Our company is departmentalized, which means we have employees who are assigned certain management tasks. This creates efficiency and higher quality service to our clients. The result is experts who focus on their one specific job and doing it better and faster than anyone else.
This gives us a strong advantage over our competition. Most companies hire independent contractors to manage a portfolio of properties. That sole person is responsible for all showings, maintenance, accounting, collections, tenant screening, and many other duties. This results in a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Since no one person can be available all day, every day, we allocate our resources so that as a company, we can be available all day, every day.
Rent is due on the 1st. There are no exceptions! If rent is not paid by the 2nd of the month we issue what's referred to as an N4 notice for non payment of rent The tenant then has 14 days to make payment or the eviction process will commence.
If we do not receive the rent after the 14-day notice , our owners are notified. We will give you our recommendation on how to best proceed. Options include moving forward with the eviction process or working out a deal with the tenant.
We do a very good job of screening tenants upfront, so tenant damages are limited. However, even with the strictest of criteria, things can happen. Only a small percentage of our move out dispositions have tenant damages exceed the security deposit. In that event, we try to collect the sum from the tenant. Should the tenant not pay, you will need to take them to the Landlord Tenant Board, obtain a judgement and then pursue them in small claims court. We are not debt collectors, but can refer you to companies who can assist you.
The tenant is required to pay rent until it is re-rented. Our lease agreement covers this topic so the tenant knows upfront.
You can. This isn't something Welcome Home Management does a lot of but we would be able to assist you.
All of our leases are standard 12 month terms unless otherwise agreed to by the owner.
We do not pay mortgages and leave the payment of other bills to the owners.
If you decide to sell, please alert us before you commit. There are a number of things that we can do on our side to make it successful.
You can sell a property while the tenant is living there, but often that is not the best play. Occupied homes generally do not show as well as vacant, professionally staged homes. They are also harder to show as agents must work around the tenants schedule and give 24-hour notice to show. If the tenant has multiple months left on their lease, the only buyers will be investors. This cuts out the largest majority of buyers, the owner occupant. If the lease is coming to an end, the tenant keeps the home in great shape, and the tenant is easy to communicate, then it may make sense to list it for sale while occupied. We can guide you on the right approach for your situation.