How to Manage Your Rental Property in Vancouver
Vancouver is a notoriously tough market when it comes to property management. The rules are always changing, the competition is stiff and the renter turnover is high.
However, if you manage to get your ducks in a row, your rental property can also become a highly lucrative investment. As one of Vancouver’s best rental management companies, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started on your landlord journey. See how HostGenius can make the entire process easy and stress-free for you.
Tip 1: Make Your Rental Property Liveable
No one wants to live in an inhospitable place. If you’ve bought a fixer-upper and you plan to rent it out, you’ll need to fix it up. Key areas to focus on are kitchens, bathrooms and floors, but the overall house must also have working utilities and safe conditions that renters can consistently use and enjoy. That means no leaks or hazards like frayed wiring or cracked windows, and no broken faucets or heating systems.
Of course, these upgrades aren’t always cheap, but the better the job you do, the higher rent you can charge. For example, HostGenius sources Vancouver’s top carpenters and tradesmen to ensure our clients get the repairs they need before renting out their property. We consult with these tradespeople and seek the advice of real estate professionals who suggest the best repairs and upgrades to increase the rental’s revenue potential.
Tip 2: Know Vancouver and BC’s Rental Property Licence Laws
If you are the landlord of your property, you’ll need to get a rental business licence from the city. There are quite a few stipulations for getting a licence, and the type of licence you get depends on the length and type of tenancy you seek for your property. Specifically, you can apply for a short-term, long-term or bed and breakfast rental licence. There are also only certain types of dwellings that you can legally rent out, so you need to be clear on what type of property you own. For example, the city of Vancouver website lists the following types of rental housing that qualify for a rental business licence:
– One-family dwelling
– Laneway house
– Secondary suite
– Apartment house
– Residential/commercial building
– Multiple conversion dwelling
– Rooming house
- If you have 1 or 2 tenants living with you in your house, such as exchange students, you don’t need a business licence
- If you have 3 or more tenants in your house, you need a general business licence
Depending on when your property was built, it also might need to be inspected and you will have to provide floorplans in certain cases. From there, you’ll have to fill out a licence application, pay processing fees and provide documents pertaining to ownership in addition to providing proper ID.
If this process seems complicated, a property management company can do all of it for you. At HostGenius, for example, we assist you during the application process, letting you know what documents you’ll need and all critical details that you must understand before starting your application. Our seasoned real estate professionals and licensing specialists also know how to get the application processed quickly, properly and easily—so you don’t have to worry at any time.
Tip 3: Understand Rental Pricing Structures and Marketing Strategies
Once your application is approved, you can begin renting out your property.
Key points you’ll need to address before advertising your rental include
- Pricing and marketing
- Tenant rules
- Contract preparation
- Payment processes
Pricing and Marketing Your Rental Property in Vancouver
If you want to remain competitive in the market while ensuring you have a great return on your investment, then you’ll need to analyze the market and current competition. You’ll also need to figure out your target demographics and how to advertise to them. For example, if you have a small apartment downtown, appealing to working professionals is a must. But where do these professionals find their rental listings? Do you know? We do.
HostGenius’s extensive network of rental listing platforms and partnerships ensure that we advertise clients’ properties to the right audiences at the right times. We also have detailed assessment procedures to price property rentals competitively. We address critical rental pricing topics, such as
the average renter’s income in your property’s area
the average rental price for various property sizes in your area
the core demographics looking for rental units in your area
key upsell aspects of your property and area
Availability: Set a Solid Rental Schedule
Is your rental property going to be available year-round? If not, you need to make a rental schedule that is solid.
Duration: Tenancy Lengths for Your Rental Property
How long do you want your tenants to stay? Do your contract stipulations line-up with your licence? You must make sure you understand the difference between short and long term rentals when arranging this.
Showings: How to Best Show Your Rental Property in Vancouver and BC
Are you available to show your rental property? Are you a good salesperson? Do you know how to answer important questions about your rental?
Not everyone is a natural salesperson. If you want your rental to make a good impression, you also need to make a good impression as the person showing it. Showing nerves, not knowing how to answer questions and not having the correct forms on hand might make potential renters think twice about having you as their landlord.
With HostGenius, we have veteran real estate specialists who show your rental property. They have all the documents on hand, know how to answer every question about your rental and are experienced salespeople who know how to make your rental appealing. They’re also available to show your rental property frequently, meaning that it will likely be rented out sooner. To boot, we have professional cleaning teams who will get your dwelling in pristine condition before each showing.
Tenant Screening and Rules for Rental Properties in Vancouver and BC
Think all tenants will care for your property well? Think again. Without proper vetting procedures and background checks, your rental dream can turn into a rental disaster. From tenants who don’t pay rent to those who damage your property to those who illegally sublet your rental to others, the people you choose to live in your home can quickly cause headaches for you. That’s why many landlords use professional rental management companies like HostGenius. We know how to avoid expensive and time-consuming tenant issues.
With years of experience under our belts, we have professional vetting systems and companies that assist us with background checks, credit checks and more. We also do routine check-ups to make sure your property is being well taken care of. Our insurance policies are also second to none.
Once you do finally choose a tenant, you’ll need to give them the rules for your property. Is it non-smoking? Are pets allowed? Do you have strata rules to follow?
Forgetting to outline these core rules can leave you with costly fines in the long run—so be fastidious—or hire a property management company in Vancouver that will take care of all of this for you.
Contracts and Payments for Your Rental Property
Do you know how you’d like to accept payments? Do you have the correct systems in place to manage the money? What if your tenant doesn’t have cheques?
There are a lot of details to cover when it comes to renter payments and contracts. You need to ensure you collect payments on time and in the form that your renter prefers. You need to document the payments and have a contingency plan if these payments are missed. What do you do if your tenant breaks their contract?
The reality is that property management is a very complex process. There are countless areas to cover, and even if you do cover your bases properly, there is always the risk that your tenant might break your rules or contract. As a top-rated Vancouver property management company, we are dedicated to making the entire landlord process easy for our clients. We also increase rental yields so landlords, like you, can make consistent income without doing any of the work.
Want to learn more about how Host Genius can help you manage your rental property in Vancouver? Contact us today!