Ten tips for turning your home into an income property

Posted: September 22, 2009 in All Blogs, Buyers, General Information, Sellers

For Rent(NC)-If you’re looking for a way to increase your income, you may need to look no further than your own home. These days, more and more Canadians are turning their homes into income properties. An income property is a home that is bought or developed in order to generate income, typically by renting it out in part or in its entirety. Renting can be a financially rewarding experience, either to provide extra income, or to help pay off a mortgage. So if you’re thinking of going the income property route, here are 10 important steps you should take:

1. Contact your local or municipal government to determine if you are legally permitted to turn your home into an income property and then work with them to ensure the unit adheres to all building and fire codes.

2. Get to know the landlord-tenant relationship regulations in your province to understand your role and responsibilities as a landlord.

3. Inform your insurance company about renting out space in your home and ask about additional coverage.

4. Get your home “renter-ready”. From a simple change such as a fresh coat of paint to a major renovation, your home should look appealing inside and out to attract potential renters.

5. Price and market your unit competitively. Scan the classifieds and visit rental websites to find out how much similar units are being listed for. If you need help in renting a property contact your local Realtor who can assist you in this endeavour. dale@daledyer.com

6. Conduct a screening process for applicants. Consider running a criminal background check, as well as a credit check, on prospective tenants.

7. Draft a written tenancy agreement with information such as: the move-in date, the rent amount, the date rent is to be paid, services included in the rent (e.g. electricity) and any separate charges, as well as rules the tenant should follow.

8. Consult a lawyer to look over the contract to ensure there are no legal problems or issues with the contract before you present it to your tenant.

9. Request a minimum deposit of one month’s rent in advance that may be used against any property damage or unpaid bills, depending on the laws in your province. It is usually customary to ask for first and last month’s rent.

10. Have the tenant sign the agreement, provide a copy and keep the original for your records. Happy renting.

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