Despite the due diligence of a Real Estate Agent when screening a tenant issues still occur. A breakdown in landlord / tenant communication can arise for many different reasons. A tenant may fulfill all the requirements on paper and appear like a good fit but become problematic a few months into a lease. Alternatively, a once responsible tenant may go through changes in their personal life preventing them from meeting the terms of their lease. Given the complexities of the relationship between landlord and tenant it is always recommended that a landlord use a property manager.
We have seen a wide variety of tenant issues which have resulted in the need for paralegal services. Most of these issues would have been minimized had a property manager been used. Recently, a landlord living overseas approached us after inspecting their unit informing us that significant damage had occurred due to a tenants pet. The tenant had been paying their rent on time and did not have any issues with the unit. The landlord did not see a need to enter the unit until it came time for lease renewal. Unfortunately, since all the damage had been reported at the end of the lease and there were no records of inspection it was very difficult for the landlord to recover costs. If a property manager had been looking after this unit they would have been doing consistent inspections and been able to deal with this tenant before more damage was done. Another common example is tenants who stop paying rent or is consistently late. Often landlords do not follow the correct steps when dealing with these tenants causing delays and resulting in more losses. A property manager will ensure these tenants are dealt with correctly accordingly to the law speeding up the process. Lastly, when it is time to sell your property you must file the correct notices and have the correct paperwork signed by the tenant. If this is done incorrectly a tenant has the legal right to remain in the property which could cause a sale to fall through. A property manager will facilitate this process and ensure vacant possession.
Below are a list of some services a property manager will provide along with a list of paralegal services. A landlord can utilize the services of a property manager at any stage. However, using a property manager from the beginning will reduce the responsibility and stress of the landlord.
Property Management Services:
1. Rent Collection - On the 1st of the Month or when rent is due.
2. Monthly Financial Statement to Owners - Breakdown of Rent Collected, less
a) Management fee
b) Expenses (If any) for the month - prior approval by the Owner
3. Regular Property Inspection - to ensure the property is kept in Good, Clean and Habitable condition by the tenant.
4. Respond to Emergencies - On Call 24 Hours/7 Days a week for all EMERGENCIES.
5. Cost Effective Maintenance and Repairs - We source for Quality and Cost-Effective service from Experienced Contractors.
6. Effective Communication with Tenants.
7. Serve N4 (Notice of Non-Payment of Rent) ONLY to tenant.
1. Prepare Termination Notice and Serve on Tenants.
2. Prepare documents for set down, obtain hearing date and serve on Tenants.
3. Attend the Tribunal Hearing, Review Hearing and obtain Mediation Agreement, Payment Plan etc.
4. Attend the Tribunal on your behalf, if your tenant files an application against you.
5. Provide Consultation for Meetings, Mediation and Research about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
6. File the Court Order with the Sheriff for Eviction.
7. Open and Review Files/Withdrawals.
8. Prepare Garnishment Procedure and Prepare the file for collection on tenants that owe you rent or cause damage to your property.
If you do not currently use a property manager and are experiencing issues with a tenant you can you contact a property manager for assistance. Cityscape recommends Gooplo Property Management. Gooplo offers both property management and paralegal services. Should you have a tenant that is no longer meeting the terms of their lease Gooplo will ensure they are dealt with correctly and assist in recovering any costs from the tenant.