Let’s Talk Real Estate: The Steps to Renting Your Condo

Over the next few weeks, I am preparing a series of articles dealing with real estate. Several of you have asked me questions over the past few weeks on my Instagram page (just HERE ) and it was only natural, therefore, to tell you more about it on the blog.

My little owner story

I bought my first property when I was 24 on the Plateau Mont-Royal. At the time, I was living in an apartment in Rosemont with my ex-boyfriend and it felt cramped there as we were both household workers. He had his projects and I launched, at the time, the first version of Codmorse. So, we needed space. When I say that I bought at 24 years old in Montreal, people often look at me with big eyes. I have saved money since I was a teenager, I lived with my parents a good part of my studies and I have always been a thrifty person. So, I had the money to make this purchase nine years ago.

Last year, my current partner and I bought a triplex in Saint-Lambert, the city where I grew up. Marc coming from Estrie, he dreamed of leaving the Plateau and the triplex on the 3rd floor. I was less in a hurry than him, still loving my condo as much, but I was ready for this new step. So, suddenly, we had three units to rent: my condo, which is a 5 and a half on the Plateau, and the two 3 and a half above our apartment in the triplex on the south shore! You quickly go from simple owner to owner-landlord. In a year and a half, I tell you, in all transparency, I have learned and I know that I have not finished learning in this field!

Renting a condo: things to know?

First of all, the word condo is broad. There are divided and undivided condos, there are condos in triplexes, others in large complexes, etc. So, it is first important to know IF you can rent your condo.

  • Is this allowed in our condo agreement?
  • Does our financial institution allow it?
  • When these two questions have been answered: Are all types of rentals allowed?

Once all of this has been answered, I suggest you ask yourself some more questions:

  • Does my condo need renovations before renting it?
    • For my part, my kitchen counter was outdated. So I bought a new counter that I had installed. I also repaired the front balcony which was aged. Then, as the paint was from when I arrived eight years ago, I repainted the entire condo in white to make sure everything was as refurbished as possible.
  • Have I checked comparable units in the area to set a price?
  • Do I fully understand all the sections of the lease: do I need to check some of them with the other condo owners in my complex?
  • Do I rent with appliances?
    • I chose to leave the appliances in place since I wanted to buy new ones for my triplex and they were in good condition. So I adjusted the price of housing accordingly.
  • Do I rent furnished?
    • I chose not to rent furnished. Once again it is a choice.

What are the next steps?

  1. If you have already rented the condo: do my tenants want to stay or not? Be sure of their intentions first and make sure you have everything in writing to protect yourself and the tenant.
  2. You are now ready to display it… or almost! The first step is to take pictures of each of the pieces in a professional manner.
  3. Choose where to display the condo. I chose to go with LesPAC since the site is now free and it helps you create your ad by immediately offering you several options to check, which makes it easy to use. In addition, unlike other platforms on the web, LesPAC attracts serious and motivated tenants, it saves time since renting accommodation is often a lot of message exchanges that lead to nothing … who likes waste one’s time? Not me!
  4. Once advertised, I recommend speaking on the phone with interested tenants BEFORE allowing them a visit. We are in a time of covid, so we have to think about our health, that of current tenants and visitors. We then try to concentrate the visits during a few time slots to disturb the current tenants as little as possible.
  5. Once the new tenant has been chosen, I recommend doing a credit check and checking the name of the latter at the TAL. Of course, it takes time, but we can save ourselves from big problems with a bad tenant later on (I also advise tenants to do their investigation with the owners since it is a game that is played for two!).

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