Are you a Landlord looking after your own rental property? If so, watch out for the following common mistakes Landlords make.
Mistakes Landlords Make
- Incomplete or improper paperwork. Make sure you complete a Tenancy Agreement with your new tenants before they move in. This details all the important information relating to the property, the rent, security and/or pet deposits, as well as who is responsible for what type of maintenance etc. If you have additional rules, make sure you attach a list of these as well so everyone knows what’s expected. Each tenant on the agreement, as well as the Landlord should sign the agreement and any addendum’s. The Residential Tenancy office website has a blank Tenancy Agreement form (#RTB-1) which you can either fill in online and print, or print it off and fill it in by hand.
- Print RTB-1 form here: RTB1 – Residential Tenacy Agreement
- Not completing a formal move-in condition inspection. Failing to document the condition of the rental property at the beginning of the tenancy (and having the tenant sign off on it) will almost always come back and get you at the end. Without a written move-in condition inspection, the Landlord generally cannot make deductions for repairs or damages at the end of the tenancy because there’s no paperwork to prove the Landlord’s claim. ALWAYS make sure you get the tenant to sign off on the condition of the rental unit at the time they move in. There’s a form on the Residential Tenancy Office website (#RTB-27) for this as well.
- Print RTB-27 form here: RTB27 Condition Inspection Report
- Not collecting a security deposit or pet damage deposit. This is your only protection if the tenant causes damage, leaves with unpaid rent, or if the dog destroys the property. By law, a Landlord can collect up to half a month rent as a security deposit, plus up to half a month rent for a pet damage deposit. So make sure you do!
- Not doing complete reference checks. At a minimum, talk to the current and previous Landlords (we generally look at a minimum of the last five years), and verify the employment or source of income for people on disability, or retired people collecting pensions. If the tenant can’t verify their ability to pay the rent, they may not be the best choice. If you can, get a credit report as well. You can also speak to personal references about the tenants personality, housekeeping habits and so on.
- Not understanding laws regarding termination of the tenancy. A Tenancy can only be terminated under a few circumstances and it’s good for Landlord’s to have an idea of those. There are three main types of termination notices – a 10 Day Notice for Unpaid Rent or Utilities, a One Month Notice for Cause, and a Two Month Notice for Landlord Use. Check out our blog series which provides information on the proper use of these notices, how to serve them, and under what circumstances they can be issued.
Property Management & Residential Tenancy Office
These are form that can be filled and filed by you. To ensure your property is managed properly and mistakes Landlords make, call our Property Management department at (250) 751-1223 and ask what they can do for you.
In any situation, if you are unsure about an issue, call the Residential Tenancy Office at 1-800-665-8779, or check their website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca.