Living in a condominium has its perks. And the community lifestyle, professionally maintained amenities, and enhanced property values that attract homebuyers to the neighbourhood are equally enticing to prospective renters. Owning a rental property within a condominium can be rewarding, but it also has its challenges. As a landlord, profitability is crucial, but you must also respect the community and its guidelines. You want tenants to be happy, but you also must maintain a healthy relationship with the condo’s board of directors and neighbours. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider for owning a rental property in a condominium corporation.
DO: Understand the types of rental opportunities allowed in the community.
Many condominiums (and municipalities) have restrictions governing both short-term and long-term rentals. Make sure you understand what’s allowed—and what’s not—before you purchase a potential rental property or lease your home to a tenant. Seek guidance from an attorney and review the governing documents to confirm your rental property adheres to the community’s regulations. You might find additional tenant screening requirements, rental investment restrictions, and long-term lease stipulations.
DON’T: Assume a tenant will cover condo fees.
Once you buy a property within a condominium, you’re legally required to pay condo fees and assessments. While some landlords may make arrangements with their tenant, it’s ultimately your duty as an owner to ensure condo fee payments are paid in full and on time. Set a rent rate that includes your community’s fees and create a manageable payment schedule for your tenant. The easier you can make it for your tenant to pay their financial obligations, the easier it’ll be for you to pay yours.
DO: Stay connected with the neighbourhood.
The best way to be a good steward to the community—even if you live elsewhere—is by staying connected with neighbours and the board of directors. It shows you care for and are involved in the success of the community. And pay attention to all emails and written correspondence from the condominium corporation to stay up-to-speed on new initiatives and parlay any relevant information to your tenants.
DON’T: Go silent on your tenants.
Keep the lines of communication open with tenants, and let them know to reach out to you as soon as issues arise. Then, respond and address the issue in a timely fashion. Share the community’s welcome packet with your tenant and any newsletters or notices of community events. Tenants who feel supported by their landlord and neighbourhood tend to be more satisfied, more likely to renew their lease, and may take more pride in caring for your property.
DO: Ensure your rental property is well maintained.
Your condo rental property has the potential to directly impact your neighbours’ homes and the community. Neglecting regular upkeep might not only put you in violation of the community’s guidelines, but may also decrease curb appeal and lower home values in the neighbourhood. Show pride of ownership and visit the property, make upgrades, and maintain a regular maintenance program. You might inspire your tenants to treat your home with the same level of respect and sustain long-term retention of high-quality renters.
DON’T: Ignore condo violations.
Make sure you and your tenant are aware of the condo’s governing documents and rules and understand how to comply with them. With restrictions on everything from street parking and lawn care to holiday decorations and yard signs, it might be easy for a tenant to lose sight of what’s allowed and what isn’t. But as the property owner of record, compliance with the rules is your responsibility. Ask your condo if they can set up dual notifications that get sent to both you and your tenant, so you remain aware of any issues and can respond promptly.
DO: Hire a reliable local property manager.
When you self-manage a rental property, you take full ownership of the contracts, maintenance, and marketing efforts needed to keep your investment sustainable and profitable. It can be a full-time job. Property management companies do the heavy lifting. Experienced in everything from contract negotiations and local, provincial, and federal legislation to property maintenance, marketing your home, and more, a professional property management company ensures you, your tenant, and your board are always on the same page. Explore property management companies in your area and ask for referrals before deciding on one that’s right for you.
How Rental Properties Succeed in a Condominium
It's not always easy to navigate the relationships and responsibilities between your tenants, neighbours, and the condo board, but with more than 25 years of condo management experience, Wilson Blanchard Management, Associa® Company, can help guide you.