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Old
02-19-2010, 11:39 PM
  #1
OneSharpMarble
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Renting Out A Room.

Hello I purchased a home with several rooms and intend on renting out rooms to friends and possibly strangers. Now this is my first time doing it so I want to make sure I atleast get some info and possibly stories that I can learn from.

I have rented rooms out myself before and have always tried to be a good tenant by paying rent on time, not doing damage etc but I am fully going into this expecting to get a few bad apples.

I understand that I need a damage deposit, and references but I don't really know all of my rights and the renters rights.

For instance say the renter is late on rent and probably will not be paying, can I call up the cops and get them removed or do I give them a time frame? I would be paranoid about having someone I am evicting in my home for several weeks.

Should I sign a lease or just go month to month?

Any tips/stories would be of great help. Thanks.

Also do you find you have had more problems with men or women?

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02-20-2010, 12:30 AM
  #2
Real_Estate-Agent
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If you had used me as the agent to buy that property - I would have introduced you to friends - some who rent out "by the room"...

My wife & I have tenants in the house we live in - years of experience of learning the tricks of the trade....

Good luck - hope it works out for you....

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02-20-2010, 12:38 AM
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if you want long term house mates do it my the year--if you want short term by the month

but make sure you interview the person properly--the worst mistake you can do is rent to a person (like me--saving you all from saying it) and coming home, finding your wife knocked up and your house empty

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02-20-2010, 12:53 AM
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Dorian2
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The only insight I have on this is: we purchased a house in 93...heard horror stories of bad renters, and decided to rent the house (below monthly mortgage amount) to someone I worked with for a couple of years. We paid the extra money to take care of the mortgage, but the renters helped fix up the house etc...I'd stick with someone you trust and/or use your 6th sense in any interview you hold with the possible renter

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02-20-2010, 01:01 AM
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Perfect_Drug
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I've rented in a mixxed house before.

If you're planning on having over 4 people in a house of professionals, then get everyone to chip in for a Molly Maid service ($20 each a week).

No arguments over tidying up, vaccuming, dusting, lawnmowing, whatever chores.

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02-20-2010, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumptheshark View Post
if you want long term house mates do it my the year--if you want short term by the month

but make sure you interview the person properly--the worst mistake you can do is rent to a person (like me--saving you all from saying it) and coming home, finding your wife knocked up and your house empty
That's crazy. I was just about to use you in that exact same example.

Here are some nice government documents for you about your responsibilities as a landlord: http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/1132.cfm

Also, as someone who works in HR, I can tell you that reference checks will be a complete waste of time unless you do them properly. Obviously everyone puts down references that they are fairly certain will result in a positive opinion, so they're not all that valid to begin with. Come up with a short list of questions you want to ask. Push them for more information. If a person has a quality you don't like, e.g. they come off as too immature for your tastes, make sure to bring that up when you call their references to get their take on it. If you have hard hitting questions and push for information, you're far more likely to get something out of a reference check.

The only other thing I want to point out is that there are so many jerk landlords. My brother was threatened with an eviction notice last winter for having the audacity to request that his landlord fix the broken furnace in his rented house (it was the middle of January). Please don't be like that guy.

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Old
02-20-2010, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Real_Estate-Agent View Post
If you had used me as the agent to buy that property - I would have introduced you to friends - some who rent out "by the room"...

My wife & I have tenants in the house we live in - years of experience of learning the tricks of the trade....

Good luck - hope it works out for you....
Why did you even respond? You didn't give him any advise at all, you just cried. He didn't use you to buy the house? get over it. It isn't all about you.

Perfect_Drug gave you a good tip.

I rent by the month to people. I put ads on Craiglist and usually get people from out of country. Right now I have people from Italy and Paris renting rooms. I used to rent to people from the city I live in, but usually ended up getting stiffed for rent. Don't count on the RTO to help you out either. Never do a lease, it may sound beneficial but if you get stuck with a bad renter you are hooped.

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02-20-2010, 04:19 PM
  #8
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Always rent to someone smaller than yourself in case of disagreement.

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02-20-2010, 05:57 PM
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OneSharpMarble
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Some good advice in here, thank you guys.

A question I have been wondering about. Now I have to give out reciepts for rent right? Can this be some sort of hand written thing or how do I go about doing this?

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02-20-2010, 09:59 PM
  #10
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Trust your instincts. I relunctantly agreed to rent out a bedroom to a rather shoddy individual last year. Right from the start, I had a feeling this guy was "a little off".

Finding burnt spoons full of 'white powder' is not cool. Nor is finding his buddy banging a skank in the living room.

Never again will I rent to a total stranger.

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02-20-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Some good advice in here, thank you guys.

A question I have been wondering about. Now I have to give out reciepts for rent right? Can this be some sort of hand written thing or how do I go about doing this?
Visit theLandlord/Tenant Board and pick up a landlord package. It has leases, application forms and walkthrough forms.

Make every applicant fill out an application. Check every reference and pull the applicant's credit. There are a bunch of online credit services but I use Check First Online. It's about $25 bucks per credit check but I can't remember whether or not there's a one-time sign-up fee. Some may tell you the credit check is overkill and a waste of money but it is the single most important piece of due diligence you're going to perform when you're looking for a tenant. If you don't want to pull credit, don't be a landlord.

Renting out space in your home doesn't fall under the Residential Tenancy Act so you need to make sure your lease outlines what is and isn't acceptable behavior, when rent's due, what is included in rent (utilities, parking, etc), and what the repercussions are for failing to meet these expectations.

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Old
02-20-2010, 10:07 PM
  #12
okgooil
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there are a lot of ins and outs, for rights call the landlord tenacy advisory board. If this guy will talk to you, call him http://martyshukhousing.ca/ He rents about 30 houses in Edmonton. To all sorts of poeple, he knows every thing there is to know.

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02-20-2010, 10:14 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleP View Post
Visit theLandlord/Tenant Board and pick up a landlord package. It has leases, application forms and walkthrough forms.

Make every applicant fill out an application. Check every reference and pull the applicant's credit. There are a bunch of online credit services but I use Check First Online. It's about $25 bucks per credit check but I can't remember whether or not there's a one-time sign-up fee. Some may tell you the credit check is overkill and a waste of money but it is the single most important piece of due diligence you're going to perform when you're looking for a tenant. If you don't want to pull credit, don't be a landlord.

Renting out space in your home doesn't fall under the Residential Tenancy Act so you need to make sure your lease outlines what is and isn't acceptable behavior, when rent's due, what is included in rent (utilities, parking, etc), and what the repercussions are for failing to meet these expectations.
Credit checks can be massivly over rated. there are many places that don't report dues, So you can get some one that lived in a slum and never payed rent and has fine credit, mean while you can get a guy who stayed at a board walk property and lost his job 5 years ago and still had bad credit. Also many people may not be the person on the lease. So they don't pay rent and never get reported. Do a credit check, but take it with the grain of salt, good peopel get bad credit and bad people have good credit.

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02-20-2010, 10:20 PM
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OneSharpMarble
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Credit checks can be massivly over rated. there are many places that don't report dues, So you can get some one that lived in a slum and never payed rent and has fine credit, mean while you can get a guy who stayed at a board walk property and lost his job 5 years ago and still had bad credit. Also many people may not be the person on the lease. So they don't pay rent and never get reported. Do a credit check, but take it with the grain of salt, good peopel get bad credit and bad people have good credit.
Can you ask for an employers number and call them? That seems like it would be a great place to see if they are a delinquent or not and if they have the funds to pay the rent. If they are a student I would probably call the parents, get addresses etc.

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02-20-2010, 10:23 PM
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okgooil
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Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Can you ask for an employers number and call them? That seems like it would be a great place to see if they are a delinquent or not and if they have the funds to pay the rent. If they are a student I would probably call the parents, get addresses etc.
Ya, you can do whatever you want. Just get them to sign a consent form for release of personal information. Tell them exaclty what you are doing. Make an agreement. Most tenants if good will have nothing to hide and will be more then happy to offer up contacts. Realize to though people lie all the time about references, not much you can do about that. been going on since the beginning of time. Just try and check out as much as possible. It is tough, some times the worst people, the biggest liars are the ones that appear the best. Mean while some one that just seems ok, will actually be great. Bottom line people lie.

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02-20-2010, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Some good advice in here, thank you guys.

A question I have been wondering about. Now I have to give out reciepts for rent right? Can this be some sort of hand written thing or how do I go about doing this?
Yes you should and if you are giving receipts you also need to be claiming the income on your taxes I do beleive, but at the same time you can write off the percentage of your home that you rent out as well.

REA had good advice in the sense that your Realtor can maybe help you out.
Contact the Realtor that sold you the house and see if they can help with finding renters. That is always a possibility.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AHF View Post
Trust your instincts. I relunctantly agreed to rent out a bedroom to a rather shoddy individual last year. Right from the start, I had a feeling this guy was "a little off".

Finding burnt spoons full of 'white powder' is not cool. Nor is finding his buddy banging a skank in the living room.

Never again will I rent to a total stranger.
That seriously is the worst thing that can happen.

If you are going to rent out rooms then you have to have some pretty strict rules about the common areas of the house as well, that way there are no ugly disagreements.

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02-20-2010, 10:53 PM
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no matter what kind of check you will do you can still get a bad tenant.

As a rule to quickly figure out a tenant I have learned this. Write down excuses tenants give you for things like why they are late paying rent. If you write it down and catch them in a lie you know that if they lied to you once about rent they will lie about it again and they are most likely a bad tenant that will start to get further behind in rent.

The good thing if you are renting rooms in your house is that you see the state of things. if you can tell there is a smell coming from a room or someone makes and excessive mess you can give them the boot before things get too bad.

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02-20-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Some good advice in here, thank you guys.

A question I have been wondering about. Now I have to give out reciepts for rent right? Can this be some sort of hand written thing or how do I go about doing this?
If you admit to the government for taxes that you are renting otu you should give out receipts. Even writting it down as a record that you have received them with a date and time so you can prove if someone has always been behind on paying rent.

Anything really is a legal receipt according to the government you could write it down on a piece of paper or do it all up on a computer if you want to make it fancy. For your purposes I would just get a receipt book. You can get that at a stationary store or maybe even in the dollar store ( I know they have sales books in the dollar store so likely they have a receipt book )

You want 2 parts to the receipt filled out one for the tenant and one for you. Much like a business cheque. So both people have a record of the amount of money and the date it was paid, along with what month the rent was paid for.

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02-20-2010, 10:59 PM
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I have a list of excuses for not paying rent, there are about 50 of them and when I had rentals I used to give them to my tenants when they signed their lease with the expectations that I had as a landlord. These were excuses that were not valid for not paying rent. Some people would laugh and some would not sign the lease. If i can find it I will let you know.


My life has been so much less stressful since I sold my revenue properties, I am just not landlord material anymore.

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02-20-2010, 11:15 PM
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REA had good advice in the sense that your Realtor can maybe help you out.

Contact the Realtor that sold you the house and see if they can help with finding renters. That is always a possibility.
A slim possibility since Realtors normally do not deal with renters. But some Realtors have clients who have bought investment properties for tenants - these clients are a valuable resource because they know the tricks of the trade.

OneSharpMarble might still be able to get their Realtor to help; but since the property is already bought, there is little motivation on that Realtors end...


If I knew that expertise, information & assistance was needed with tenants, that would have been one of my criteria prior to choosing a Realtor to work with...

Similarly, if I was thinking of buying a business, I would make sure that my Realtor had expertise in buying & selling businesses. I would ask them to "add to the deal" by introducing me to other business owners who would be valuable mentors.

It is better to ask in advance; not after the fact...

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02-20-2010, 11:50 PM
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That seriously is the worst thing that can happen.
Indeed. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way. You live you learn, I guess.

Telling him he had to find another place to live was a nice feeling though. Getting that elephant that was standing on a grand piano off my back was great.

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02-20-2010, 11:57 PM
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Just as an aside, IF anything goes wrong, show no quarter...along with all the other legality's mentioned here. My Mother In Law rents her Duplex, woman wanted to rent seemed OK, Mother In Law told her the date she could move in with down payment, renter was in before the date and had 4 people not mentioned in the rental agreement, Renter was told to take a hike......Experience counts in these situations

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02-21-2010, 07:17 AM
  #23
Oilerz
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Originally Posted by TripleP View Post
Visit theLandlord/Tenant Board and pick up a landlord package. It has leases, application forms and walkthrough forms.

Make every applicant fill out an application. Check every reference and pull the applicant's credit. There are a bunch of online credit services but I use Check First Online. It's about $25 bucks per credit check but I can't remember whether or not there's a one-time sign-up fee. Some may tell you the credit check is overkill and a waste of money but it is the single most important piece of due diligence you're going to perform when you're looking for a tenant. If you don't want to pull credit, don't be a landlord.

Renting out space in your home doesn't fall under the Residential Tenancy Act so you need to make sure your lease outlines what is and isn't acceptable behavior, when rent's due, what is included in rent (utilities, parking, etc), and what the repercussions are for failing to meet these expectations.

Stay away from all this and stick with my advice. See. Keep it off the books, you may have to replace them once in a while, but trust me, you can get them out in an afternoon. Just say "Sorry, this isn't working out."

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02-21-2010, 08:24 AM
  #24
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Not sure if you have seen the following link, but that should answer a bunch of your questions:

http://landlord.landlordandtenant.or...e/default.aspx

Also, take advantage of your social networking technology (Facebook, Twitter etc. if you use it) to get help with finding renters who friends can help vouch for.

I would draw up some policies as others mentioned that you need your renters to abide by and have them sign a month-to-month. This way you can maintain a bit of authority in the areas you consider 'deal breakers' within renters' rights of course. Also if the renter turns out to be trouble, you have some ground to stand on when you take action and since you had them sign a month-to-month, you can get rid of them faster than a year-to-year. Take care to highlght your policy on when rent is due and what your tolerance is on the subject. For example, rent is due on the 1st of every month, if it hasn't been received in full by the 5th with no explanation you will act in the following manner: these have to be within the law obviously and make sure you read everything so the person understands, couldn't hurt to get them to initial your terms as an acknowledgement.

Use the net - you might be able to find some AB tenancy contracts from which you can follow, or from friends / friends of friends....

Good luck!

If you get some good renters, encourage them to sign a year-to-year at an incentive - less headaches for everyone involved.

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02-21-2010, 08:36 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Real_Estate-Agent View Post
A slim possibility since Realtors normally do not deal with renters. But some Realtors have clients who have bought investment properties for tenants - these clients are a valuable resource because they know the tricks of the trade.

OneSharpMarble might still be able to get their Realtor to help; but since the property is already bought, there is little motivation on that Realtors end...


If I knew that expertise, information & assistance was needed with tenants, that would have been one of my criteria prior to choosing a Realtor to work with...

Similarly, if I was thinking of buying a business, I would make sure that my Realtor had expertise in buying & selling businesses. I would ask them to "add to the deal" by introducing me to other business owners who would be valuable mentors.

It is better to ask in advance; not after the fact...
wow you've been a real help. Why don't you offer a service at a nominal fee and get some prospects out of the deal, instead of being all sour grapes.

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