Open Season: Renting

August is one of the busiest times of the year for rental properties. This because one major portion of renters are students preparing to go back to school in September. With so many people looking for affordable housing in Calgary, renters and landlords need to be informed. 

Renting is a great option if you are not planning permanent settlement in the location or if you cannot yet afford to purchase a home. Renting gives you the freedom to negotiate terms (such as payment, length of stay, etc.) and allows you to "shop around" until you find a location you want to stay in permanently. 

If you are planning to permanently live in the location and can afford a down payment on a house and a mortgage, we highly recommend you look into purchasing a property. Owning equity in a property means that your money is going towards something you own, not a space you are borrowing and can never make money off of. 

Evaluate your options carefully before making a decision! 

As a landlord, you need to carefully do your research to see what other rental properties similar to yours are offering. Remember that location is everything! You may have a giant rental suite with top-of-the-line appliances, but if it is way out on the edge of the city you cannot ask for top dollar. Similarly, a small suite close to the LRT and a University can possibly go for much more than the suite itself is worth.

When you are looking for a property to rent, make a list of what is most important for the property to have. This will help you narrow down your search. Keep in mind that pictures online rarely do a suite justice--visit it in person, and if possible, meet any other building tenants. Stick to your budget and remember to ask if the cost of the suite includes utilities. 

No part of the rental process is more important than having a contract that both parties agree to. This contract should outline the length of the lease and the conditions attached to the property. For example, if you want your renter to mow the lawn in the summer, that should be included in the outline. As a renter you need to read the contract CAREFULLY. 

Protect your best interests and partner with someone who is reliable.

 

 

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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