Believe it or not, once upon a time, I was just like you. New to the game of rental properties and not knowing what to do, what to expect at a showing, and worried about the questions I might get asked at the property.
What if they ask me this? What if they ask me that? *PANIC*
However, with every showing I got more and more comfortable in answering questions. That’s my goal for you as a landlord to feel comfortable answering questions asked of you by tenants.
Here are the top 5 questions our team and I are asked by tenant prospects at a showing:
What is the application/screening process?
Our application process is spelled out very clearly on our website. While you may be self-managing and not have a website which is ok, however you need to be very clear about your application process. Whatever you do, you SHOULD NOT be using paper applications as they are more susceptible to fraud. Protect yourself, spend the money and use an online platform. There are many of them now.
How do utilities work?
It’s very rare these days that utilities are included, and more prevalent that it’s a percentage of utilities. Be very clear and spell out exactly how your utilities work both in person and in your lease agreement.
Are pets allowed?
In Ontario, you legally cannot restrict pets so your answer should always be (legally), yes. However you can screen against them. Cast the net as wide as possible, however, be mindful of whether your applicant has a pet or not.
Can we paint?
We are ALWAYS asked this question and the answer is always “Yes…but….” But what? Well, send us a copy of the paint swatch FIRST and we can go from there. In fact, in some instances our owners will even pay for the paint. Paint is cheap, it’s the labour that’s expensive.
Am I able to sublet if my situation changes?
In Ontario, a landlord cannot unreasonable withhold consent of a sublet, but they can require the sublettor go through the same screening process as your current did. It’s inn your best interest that you work with the tenant on this to ensure that they just don’t put any warm body in your rental.
If you have the answers to these 5 questions you will be fine, but make a mental note of the questions you get asked by a prospect because you likely will get asked them again. Also, if you need help filling your next rental, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’d be happy to help.