I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very merry Christmas and all the best for a safe and prosperous new year. I hope all your hopes and dreams come to fruition in 2018.
Can you believe that another year is coming to an end? And what a year this was, especially with the Toronto real estate market.
The first six months of this year saw unparalleled sales and prices and will likely be remembered as one of the craziest times ever in Toronto residential real estate. I will do a statistical wrap-up of 2017 income property sales activity next month.
Lastly, I would like to invite all of you to join us for our Christmas celebration at the Eton House (710 Danforth Ave.) on the evening of December 21st. Stop by to have a drink with us and enjoy some great live music. Tis the season to celebrate, so we hope to see many of you there.
Do You Have to Compensate a Tenant for Occupying a Rental Unit Yourself?
While this didn’t used to be the case until very recently, the rules have now changed. New tenant protection in the Residential Tenancies Act came into effect a couple of months ago that place more stringent requirements on landlords when evicting a tenant. If a landlord evicts a tenant to use the unit themselves or for a family member, they have to now give the tenant one month's rent as compensation.
The landlord is also required to express intent to occupy the unit for at least a year, which the government says will discourage landlords from converting the unit into a short-term rental or?immediately re-renting it at a higher rate. If the landlord advertises, re-rents, demolishes or converts the unit within a year they could face a fine of up to $25,000. These changes are part of the government's housing plan announced earlier this year, which included expanding rent controls to all rental?units, not just those built before 1991, per the previous rule.
Another change which also causes a lot of misconception, is evicting a tenant for the purposes of doing substantial renovations on the rental unit. In this case, the landlord has to give first right of refusal to the existing tenant at the current rent that they are paying – not the new higher market rent.
We always recommend that landlords become familiar with the Residential Tenancies Act to avoid any missteps with the tenants or further complications down the road.
When is the Best Time of the Year to Rent Out Your Rental Suite?
There are a lot of different opinions about when are the best times to have your suite available for rent. It is generally agreed that busiest time for people moving is in between May and September. Summer moves are more popular than winter ones because the kids are out of school and the weather is likely to be more cooperative. People also tend to be busier with other things during the holiday season.
In a hot rental market like we have here in Toronto, you can almost rent out your suites all year round if they are priced correctly. While the demand may be lower in the fall and winter, there are always new renters coming into the market. Naturally April and May will be your best times because there may be more demand and you may be able to charge a little more.
Remember too that you shouldn’t accept who is willing to pay you the most. You need to properly vet tenants by checking both their credit and personal references. In my opinion it is better to have a “dream” tenant and take a little less rent from them each month.