Never before has there been such an unlinking between the sale price of a home and the rental price it can attain with good tenants in place. Owners really are liking their homes too. Even when they’re for rent.
One of my owners is at Bayview and Sheppard. This landlord has gone above and beyond to provide superior places for his tenants to live. The problem is that his places are duplexes. I’ve noticed a real trend in the rental market… A + tenants don’t want to live with other tenants. You only need to get burned once by living in a duplex with a partying, pot smoking, disrespectful tenant and you’ll never do it again. Especially if you have kids.
Last week I find him perfect tenants, working, respectful, and really nice. They want to move in January 1st. He’s tells me” No I want them to move in December.” I tell him ” They can’t they have to give 2 months notice” So we argue about it.
I get it, I wish they could move in December but they don’t need it. Meanwhile, my phone is so dead that I thought I had pulled down the ads. It gets brutal this time of year and it gets worse until it starts to get better… around February.
Finally the owner tells me… ” This house is worth $1,600,000. They should move in in December if I want them to.” I tell him ” They aren’t buying the place, it’s a basement apartment, they don’t care how much your house is worth. Do you know how many people want to rent out their basements for $1300 plus 50% utilities to great tenants?” Then… I remind him about what the rental market is like in December, January and he relents. I tell him about how my phone was dead. Finally he sees the light.
I’m happy, the match is a great one.
Next Down The QEW
I’m renting a brand new townhouse in Burlington. Again it’s fantastic. In August, apparently one rented for $1800. It’s not August anymore. It’s November and if you have a 3 bedroom the odds are you’re renting for January. The market for these higher end places isn’t people who do not plan ahead.
That’s not to say I won’t rent a place last minute, but the reason had better be good. I’ve been transferred from out of town or moving in from another country are all good reasons. I didn’t plan ahead even thought I have a wife and two kids is not an acceptable reason, because if you can’t plan a move, you can’t plan getting me your rent check either.
The Prospective Tenant
I get someone great who applies, but they want it for $100 less because that’s their budget. They want it for January. The owner decides that it’s such a nice house the price should go up. He paid a lot for it and the carrying costs are more than the rent. There are 2 other places for rent in the same complex that are 2 bedrooms. We are price about $125 more than they are. They are upgraded with granite countertops and backsplash and ours isn’t.
My phone is again dead and I’m showing it about once a week. Still if it were priced right it would be rented already. So far I’ve spent over $400 on ads alone for this place, maybe more.
While I had these great prospects on hold, the owner got a phone call from someone looking for December. I told him, no one decent is looking for December now. Maybe crackheads I tell him. Later on I felt bad, so when the person called to see it, I went out to show her. Sometimes I think I’m just a bitch and this business has totally hardened me so I no longer look on the bright side of things.
My prospective tenant came with her friend, both were wearing 6 inch stilletto heels. Still who am I to judge people’s foot wear? They were both very nice and polite and respectful. She had to talk the place over with her boyfriend because he’s paying the rent even though he doesn’t live there. It was pretty unusual.
I have showings for tomorrow so we’ll see what happens.
Another Strange Landlord Request
Last week I got a call from a landlord that wanted to rent out her basement. Really nice lady. Problem is her religion, no pets, no smoking, no drinking. She wants me to guaranteed this somehow. I told her straight up. There is no way I can do it. She asks me… can’t I put it in my lease agreement? I tell her honestly, you can put it in there but the law is pretty clear… no pet clauses in leases are void and as far as I know… there have been no evictions for smoking even after a tenant signs a no smoking clause, and the drinking, well, just forget it.
My advice to her… post a notice in your church or in Toronto there are many of these little ethnic newspapers, so put an ad in there. What else can I do? I’m not willing to risk any Human Rights violations so I can rent someone’s basement. If you post this kind of property in the regular ads, you’re seriously looking for a lawsuit. I’m guessing that gay or even unmarried couples would be a problem.
My point is that there is a lot of nuance to this business, it may seem very easy to rent out a place, but there is a lot to know and keep abreast of. This November seems unseasonably slow judging by the volume of telephone calls and how soon people started calling for January rather than December rentals.