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Strata Rentals: Dos & Don'ts

Living in a strata corporation community 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 strata can be rewarding, but it also has its challenges. As a landlord, profitability is crucial, but you most also respect the strata corporation and its operation guidelines. You want tenants to be happy, but you also must maintain a healthy relationship with the strata council and neighbours. Here are some dos and don'ts to consider for owning a rental property in a strata corporation.

DO: Understand the types of rental opportunities allowed in your strata corporation.

Many stratas 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 investment property or lease your home to a tenant. Seek guidance from BC Tenancy Act, or a specialized attorney and review the strata bylaws and rules to confirm your rental property adheres to the community’s bylaws. You might find additional tenant screening requirements, rental investment restrictions, and long or short-term lease stipulations.

DON’T: Assume a tenant will cover strata fees.

Once you buy a property within a strata corporation, you’re legally required to pay its strata fees. While some rental provisions may allow this responsibility to fall on the tenant, it’s ultimately your duty as a landlord to ensure strata fees 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 strata council. It shows you care for and are involved in the success of the community. If you still live in the area, make it a point to attend strata meetings and contribute your time and ideas. And pay attention to all emails and written correspondence from the strata 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 communitys welcome package with your tenant and ask the strata to add them to the strata’s distribution list for newsletters and 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 strata 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 bylaws and Strata Property Act provisions 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 lawn care 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 strata bylaws and rules violations.

Make sure you and your tenant are aware of the community’s bylaws 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 bylaws and rules is your and your tenants’ responsibility. Your strata  can send notifications 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 e orts needed to keep your investment sustainable and pro table. It can be a full-time job. Property management companies, like RHOME, do the heavy lifting. Experienced in everything from contract negotiations and local, provincial, state, and federal legislation to property maintenance, marketing your home, and more, a professional property management company ensures you, your tenant, and your strata council 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 Strata Community

It's not always easy to navigate the relationships and responsibilities between your tenants, neighbours, and the strata council, but with more than 43 years of Property management experience, Associa can help guide you.