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Screening Tenants for Pets

After reviewing the pros and cons of allowing pets in your multifamily property, you may have decided that the increased revenue and attracting and retaining more tenants outweighs the cons.  To attract the right type of pet owner, you will need to screen your tenants to ensure that they are responsible and that their pets will not damage your building.  As the premier agent for apartment buildings for sale in British Columbia, here is an outline of how to screen your tenants and their pets.

Restrictions

Before even beginning to screen your tenant, you may want to think about placing restrictions on what type of pets you will and will not allow into your multifamily property.  These restrictions can include:

  • Size of dog.
  • Dog breeds – such as pit bulls or other perceived aggressive dog breeds.
  • The number of pets allowed in one suite.

By placing restrictions on your tenants and monitoring the type and number of pets that are allowed, you may save yourself a lot of problems down the road.

Create a list of Questions

A thorough screening starts by asking the right questions.  Some important questions that you should ask a possible tenant include:

  • How many pets do you own?
  • What is the pet’s breed and its size?
  • What is the age of your pet?
  • How long have you owned your pet?
  • Does your pet have its updated shots and vaccines?
  • Is your pet fixed?
  • Has your pet ever acted aggressively towards other animals or people?
  • Is your pet trained?

By getting answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to decide if this is a tenant and pet that you want in your multifamily building.

Identifying a Responsible Pet Owner

Besides asking pertinent questions about the pet, there are other ways to identify a responsible pet owner.  When meeting the owner, be sure to watch their body language and whether their pet listens to them and how friendly the pet is to strangers (you).

Here’s the Deal:

Before making any final decision about the tenant, remember to contact references and ask them the same questions as you asked the tenant.  You should also check with prior landlords, verify their income and place of employment and do a credit and background check.

Creating a Lease

Once you feel that you have thoroughly screened a tenant, it is time to create a lease.  When presenting a lease, it is important to address the following points:

  • Rent amount.
  • Pet damage deposit amount.
  • Nonrefundable pet fee.
  • Require renter’s insurance from the tenant to cover any damages or other problems such as dog bites.
  • Other pet rules such as picking up after their pet and disposing of waste in outdoor garbage bins only.

By screening and protecting yourself and the other tenants in a lease, you should be able to enjoy the pros that being a pet friendly multifamily property brings.  If you would like more information on how to create and implement a screening process for your property or are interested in some of the great multifamily investment opportunities that are available in and around the province, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

 

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Pros and Cons of a Pet Friendly Policy

Deciding on whether you should allow pets in your multifamily dwelling can be a huge decision and a wide range of factors need to be considered before arriving at an answer.  Unfortunately, a fast or easy answer is not possible as there are both pros and cons to allowing pets.  As your premier agent specializing in apartment buildings for sale in British Columbia, I would like to present some of the pros and cons of having a pet friendly policy in your multifamily property.

Pros of a Pet Friendly Policy

Create More Interest

A pet friendly policy is a guaranteed way of generating more interest in your multifamily property.  In some cases, you will be able to attract up to 70% more possible tenants.

Increase rent

Not only does a pet friendly policy attract possible tenants, you as a property owner will also be able to ask for more rent.  This rent increase can be written into any rental policy with terms such as:

  • Non-refundable fees associated with pets.
  • An increase in a damage deposit in case of pet destruction.
  • A monthly rent attached to the pet itself.

Longer Stays

Tenants in pet friendly properties tend to stay longer.  Part of this is because finding a rental that has a pet friendly policy can be difficult at best.  The other part of the reason is moving pets around (especially dogs) can be stressful on both the owner and the pet.

Cons of a Pet Friendly Policy

Damage

The one obvious reason why a pet friendly policy may not be ideal is the fact that the chances of incurring property damage will increase.  This can be offset with an increased damage deposit, but unfortunately wear and tear in each suite will increase if you allow pets in your building.

Noise

Pets can be noisy and upset other tenants in your building.  This disruption can lead to other non-pet owning tenants relocating to avoid the noise.  Again, if you are going to adopt a pet friendly policy, you may want to include the amount of noise or the number of complaints in the original rental agreement.

Allergies

With pets often comes allergies.  This is especially true of any long-haired cat or dog breed.  Allergens can spread from suite to suite via air ducts and will affect the common areas.  Be sure to notify the tenants that you are a pet friendly building, so that they can plan accordingly.

Before arriving at any type of decision, it is wise to weigh the facts to decide if a pet friendly policy is right for your multifamily property.  If you would like more information on this topic or are interested in viewing some of the new and exciting multifamily properties that are available, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

 

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Do Pet Friendly Properties Attract More Tenants?

If you have been looking for ways to attract and retain more tenants, then read on.  Since over 70 % of all renters are pet owners, creating a pet friendly property can really pay off.  As your premier agent for apartment buildings for sale in the Lower Mainland, here are a few ways to create a pet friendly multifamily building that will attract more tenants.

Revamp the Common Areas

If you are looking to attract dog and cat lovers, take the time to revamp the common areas, so that they are as pet friendly as your policy.  By preparing your common areas for pets, you will reduce the maintenance costs associated with accidents and will be greatly appreciated by your tenants.  Great ideas to make your common areas more pet friendly include:

  • Change the carpets to hardwood or concrete floors. This will reduce the wear and tear on the floor and make any accidents easier to clean up.
  • Remove any breakable items or items that may be damaged by pets.

Create a Dog Park

If you have unused space on your multifamily property, an outdoor off leash dog park is an excellent way to attract and keep tenants.  Fence in a portion of space to allow dog owners a convenient place to let their dogs run free.

Install Waste Stations

By installing waste receptacles and bag dispensers around your multifamily property, you will make it far easier for pet lovers to clean up after their dogs.  The added convenience will be appreciated by both pet and non-pet owners alike.

Review your Pet Policy

Before wholly committing to a pet friendly property, it is a good idea to review and tweak your pet policy.  It is best to fully outline your pet policy and how you screen for pets.  Be clear on what types of pets you will and will not allow as well as the process that a tenant will have to undergo, if they choose to acquire a pet after they move in.

As property manager, you will also have to outline how you will handle any behavioural issues such as complaints about a barking dog or a dog with aggressive tendencies.

Pay Attention to Details

Small details can go a long way.  Kind gestures such as putting a water bowl in the common areas, especially in the summer months will not go unnoticed.  A bowl of dog/cat treats at the front desk is another great way to keep your tenants and their pets happy.

Adopting a pet friendly policy can be a great way to attract and keep tenants.  If you feel a pet friendly approach is for you, then make sure to go all in and see how quickly your building fills up with happy pets and pet owners.  If you are interested in other tips on how to make your building pet friendly or would like to see the exciting multifamily properties that abound in the Lower Mainland, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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3 Proven Ways to Increase Your Multifamily Revenue

Like any investment, the end goal of your multifamily property is to generate revenue.  As the premier agent for apartment buildings for sale in British Columbia, I would like to share these 3 proven ways how you can increase the revenue on your multifamily investment.

Increase Rent

Study the rental markets in your area and set your rates accordingly.  You may want to consider adding incentives before raising rents.  Smart technology, new flooring or an accent wall can make a raise in rent more palatable for your tenants.  Before increasing any rent, make sure that you are aware of the maximum increase allotments or if your property is in a rent controlled area.

Here’s the Deal:

Be cautious about raising rents too quickly as turnover can be quite costly and time consuming.  Tenant retention can be as important to your stream of revenue as rent increases – act accordingly.

Increase Occupancy

It is estimated that each month that you have a vacant unit in your property, you are losing 8.3% of your potential yearly income.  These losses can add up quickly and greatly impact your annual revenue, especially if you have more than one unit vacant.  The minute one of your units becomes vacant, act quickly to get it back on the rental market.  Make sure to:

  • Have your lead maintenance worker ready to do any needed repairs, painting or other jobs as soon as the tenants move out.
  • Begin placing a wide variety of ads the day after the old tenants have moved out.
  • Try to match interest to your suites to the rental market. If you are not getting any interest from possible tenants, you may need to lower your rental price or add other incentives.

Add Revenue Streams

Look for other ways to increase your monthly revenue stream.  Some excellent ways to not only add revenue, but also increase the value and interest in your multifamily property include:

  • Storage lockers.
  • A bike room.
  • Upgraded features and appliances – smart thermostat, in suite laundry etc.

By boosting occupancy and increasing rent while looking at adding additional revenue streams will help to provide additional income to your multifamily property.  If you are interested in other ways to increase your investment profits or would like to see some of the new and exciting multifamily properties that are available around the province, please contact me today.  I look forward to working with you soon.

 

 

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5 Landlord Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding mistakes in your estate planning could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and years of expensive lawsuits after you die.  If you own and invest in apartment buildings, you need to avoid these 5 disastrous estate planning mistakes.

As an example, take landlords Betty and Jim.  Betty and Jim have lived in the same home in Burnaby since they got married in the 1960s.  They raised their three children, Ray, Julie and Dave, who now all have their own families. 
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Five Things Nobody Told You About Wills

Avoiding mistakes in your estate planning could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and years of expensive lawsuits. If you own and invest in apartment buildings, you need to know about these Five Things Nobody Told You About Wills.

In this article, we’ll take landlords Betty and Jim as an example. Betty and Jim have lived in the same home in Burnaby since they got married in the 1960s. They raised their three children, Ray, Julie and Dave, who now all have their own families. Jim’s plumbing business took off in the 1970s.

In 1985, Jim’s company got hired to replace the pipes in an older apartment building. Jim found out that the building was for sale,
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21 Hilarious Excerpts from Tenant Complaints

Some days, being a landlord can be a thankless job.  Have a laugh with these 21 Hilarious Excerpts from Tenant Complaints:

1. I wish to complain that my father hurt his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.

2. The lavatory is blocked, this is caused by the boys next door throwing their balls on the roof.

3. This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door.
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6 Landlord Jokes that will Make You Laugh (or Cry)

Apartment building owners work hard! Enjoy a break and a chuckle with these 6 Landlord Jokes that will Make You Laugh:

 

A large family, with seven children, had just moved to Vancouver. They were having a difficult time finding an apartment to live in. Many apartments were large enough, but the landlords objected to the large family. After several days of searching, the father asked the mother to take the four younger children to visit the cemetery, while he took the older three to find an apartment. After they had looked most of the morning they found a place that was just right.
Then the landlord asked the usual question, “How many children do you have?”
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9 Things You Should Know About Off-Market Apartment Buildings

Want to know a secret? Apartment buildings are being sold in your area…transactions you’ve never seen or heard about.

Off-market deals make up a significant percentage of apartment building transactions in British Columbia. Buying or selling an apartment building off-market can offer advantages and disadvantages. Market knowledge, strong relationships, reputation and patience all lead to success or failure.
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BC Landlords Can Benefit From This New Law

Legislators in Ottawa just dropped an atomic bomb on housing in Canada. BC landlords can benefit, if they play their cards right.

In October, legislative changes rocked mortgage lending Canada-wide. Middle-class Canadians attempting to buy their first home saw buying power destroyed by 24% or more. Changes to the mortgage rules make it harder for home-buyers to get into the market or qualify for mortgage insurance.

These same mortgage rules may prove highly beneficial to landlords.
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3 Ways to Save Fixed-Term Leases

Landlords and property owners can take action to save fixed-term leases and stop changes to tenancy law in British Columbia.

As reported in the Globe and Mail this week, Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman proposes to change the fixed-term tenancy laws for residential landlords in British Columbia. He claims that it’s a “loophole” allowing landlords to skirt rent control laws.
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