Do You Want to Be a Landlord?

I talk to so many people who tell me that they would love to have a rental property or two but that they are afraid to be a landlord or land person. 

I have been a landlady since I was around 23 years old and it has served me very well! I am all about multiple income streams in my financial basket and owning properties has proved to be one of the best and most secure investments that I have made.

Of course, there are legitimate concerns over owning rental properties and dealing with maintenance and tenants, but it can be very rewarding too. I have great relationships with the majority of my tenants and some have become friends to this day!

One of the secrets to being successful in this industry is by learning to get great tenants and that comes with experience.

I provide coaching for people who wonder if they are cut out for this job but I will share here a few pointers on what would make a good tenant.

Good Tenants

. People who are friendly, open, and transparent. They answer the phone in a cheerful voice and don’t seem like they need to hide anything from you.

. People who take care of their things. Do they have a vehicle? Is it well cared for? Do you know where they live now? What does their current landlord say about how they keep their unit?

. People who have a good track record of paying bills and rent on time.

.People who have a great relationship with their current landlord(s). I have found that the best tenants are the ones that have gratitude and appreciation for their landlord or the home/unit they are currently leaving. Often they don’t want to leave but the owner is perhaps selling the home or something like that. These types of tenants seem to transfer that great attitude with them when they come. But keep in mind you must be a great landlord too! It works both ways.

. People who are non-smokers. Now don’t beat me up on this one. Hear me out. I was a smoker myself for many years, it’s not about smoking although that is a BIG issue, especially if there are multiple units involved and there are health issues with other tenants such as asthma or breathing problems, not to mention the smoke damage to the units.

However, the big issue that I find with smokers is the expense of smoking. Here in Canada, a package of cigarettes at the corner store is somewhere around $15 to $18 a package! This is a very expensive habit and let’s face it, an addiction. And with addictions, they usually win when it comes to budgets.

And like I said don’t beat me up on this, I believe in free will and choice and smokers have the right to smoke. I also have immense compassion for smokers who want to quit but struggle. I also have wonderful friends and current tenants who are indeed smokers, however, I am only coming from my 30 plus years of experience and what I’ve seen on rent day in many cases. And it’s all about the math!

. The math has to work! It doesn’t matter what the source of income is, but the math has to work! In my experience with some tenants, they think they can afford the rent and expenses but in reality, the numbers don’t work. I also try to make sure they have a full grasp of the total expenses and are very realistic about if their income matches the expenses. I don’t want them to be unable to afford their rent or to suffer. Nobody wants that.

A sheet of paper with math on it and a pen on top.

I always want my tenants to enJOY their home and to also be able to enJOY life so the math has to work.

On another note, I have also noticed that when tenants get behind in rent they sometimes believe that they can catch up, but the reality is the math just does not support it in many cases. The math must always work. And are they prepared for unexpected expenses in life? Again the math must always work.

I hope you found these tips helpful and I encourage you to be open-minded about being a Landlord. Owning properties and renting them out can be an asset and an income that also provides tax deductions for repairs and maintenance, mortgage interest, and such…. lots of benefits indeed.

A Tip from a Landlord in Cold Temps

I was reflecting today on how I have been a landlady since I was about 20 years old and have now accumulated 30 plus years of experience.  Wow.  I was impressed with myself when I realized how young I was when I started 🙂  In the 30 plus years I have had to take care of various issues, and it got me thinking about things that I have learned along the way  that I can share that might be helpful to others.

Yesterday, Canada was the coldest spot in the entire world. Geraldton, Ontario hit -51!!! One of the things that has been coming up a  lot lately, while wearing my landlady hat in these frigid temps, is freezing pipes and water issues.  So today’s tip from me is for everyone. Whether you are a home owner, a landperson (correct term?) lol, or a tenant, everyone needs to know this:

In your home or residence make sure you know where to shut off your main water that goes into the house as well as the shut off valve on your hot water tank.  There are also individual shut offs under sinks and such which are good to know, but knowing where the two main ones are are the most important!

water valve

When a pipe breaks or there is a leak, one does not have time to think and figure these things out. 🙂

Being prepared is the best way to circumvent disaster and costly repercussions.

I hope you found this helpful and I look forward to sharing more useful information to empower others on life’s journey.

Maggie Holbik.com is a Life & Business Coach who believes in Servitude: the art of helping others. Maggie offers coaching to people looking to get into the rental property arena and to current landlords who need tips on the in and outs of the industry, finding good tenants, and the general business of rental property management. Her favorite person to coach on this, is the entrepreneur who is excited to start investing in rental properties or those who want to, but have fear of finding suitable tenants and how to screen them.  Maggie has en-JOYed her role as a landlord and has met amazing people throughout her years doing this.  In fact many are good friends to this day! 🙂