As a Realtor® and property manager, this is one of the top 5 questions I get… How do I find a great tenant? Getting a great tenant or even a good tenant can be the difference between great cash flow and huge expenses. If you pick the wrong person(s), watch out! You could be stuck with them for years and not receive a dime in rent. Every State and Province has different tenancy rules, but some universal principles remain the same. The residential laws are usually in favour of the tenant. At every step in the Landlord/Tenant relationship, you have to ensure you are following the rules set out by the government.
Just because a tenant does not pay rent, doesn’t mean they can automatically be kicked out. In some areas you have to give 24 hours written notice just to change a light bulb or you will be heavily fined.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from becoming a landlord, but it is imperative to do your homework first. If you have rental properties or want to get into the real estate game, you must first realize that it is a business and not a part-time hobby. There are “professional renters” that know the laws better than you and will go out of their way to make your life miserable while they live in your property for free. Not to mention destroy it. In most areas there are great lawyers and paralegals that specialize in helping landlords protect themselves. There are also property management companies that specialize in the type of properties you already own or want to purchase. Seek them out and ask questions.
The worst case I ever saw was in the Ottawa Rental market where a landlord we met had a tenant that did not pay for three years. At some point, the owner just gave up and was tired of fighting on his own. We connected him with the right paralegal and we were able to evict the tenant and find him a new tenant that actually paid the rent.
Investing in Real Estate is one of the best ways to build wealth. As long as you find the right team to help you and are patient in finding a great tenant, you could become a very successful and wealthy landlord.