If this is your first time renting out your home, or even renting a room out of your home. This will be a great guide to show you how to rent abiding by The Residential Tenancy Act and Regulations of Alberta.
Step 1: Advertise Your Property.
Facebook and Kijiji.ca are the best ways to advertise your rental for free! However, if you are too busy to fill your rental ad, you can do paid ad campaigns on both sites that will effective. From my experience Kijiji's Top Ad for $40 for one week is the most effective.
Step 2: Know Your Rental Rate.
Using Padmapper.com is the best way to see what others are renting for. It compiles all rental ads from multiple websites. This will give you a great idea of your market rate.
Step 3: The Application Process: Qualifying Your Renter
You want to know who is renting from you. Are they able to pay every month? Are they good people to deal and will they rent without any problems? This is the most important step in the process of renting. So many people loose rent from tenants from not paying or they end up with their home vacant the night before rent is due. You want to screen potential tenants with the following; income, credit history, work history, rentals history with landlord info, and criminal back ground.
Here is a free download for an Alberta Rental Application.
✓Checking the income and affordability for an applicant is very important. When they fill out the application form, they should list their annual income and their references. Always call the references! This is so you can find out if they are consistent at work and also to see if they are a good fit for your rental.
✓Credit history can be checked using online websites, most of which you have to pay for. However, you can get the applicant to purchase their own credit check from Equifax.ca From my experience, unless you have professional property management, calling their previous landlords and work references can qualify them without a credit check.
✓Rental History is very important! Calling their current and past landlords can determine how they are as renters and if they pay on time.
✓Criminal Background Check: From experience, I always have the applicant sign off to give me permission to run a back ground check. But I never go through with it. I ask the applicant if they want to let me know about anything that might come back from the criminal record check. Most times, they spill the beans and you don't need to bother with the criminal records. This works well!
✓Facebook Check: This is something thats very convenient. Always check all applicants on Facebook by entering in their name, email or phone number. You can tell a lot about someone from their Facebook! I use this all the time!
Step 4: Sign A Lease Agreement
Always follow the guidelines when leasing to tenants. You can find lots of information for renting in Alberta by visiting Alberta Landlord Tips. Here is a Standard Alberta Lease you can download.
There are 3 rules when getting a tenant to sign a lease. First, get the lease signed and check their name on their ID (drivers license). You want to ensure they are who they say they are! Second, get your damage deposit and first months rent. Third, try to get post dated checks or direct deposit so you don't have to chase the tenant for their monthly rent.
All Tenants are required to read the Alberta Residential Tenancy Act. You can also provide them with Tips for Tenants.
Step 5: Give Them The Keys
Once you have gone through all of the steps you may proceed to give the keys to the tenant. Please do not skip any steps. They are vital to find a good person and to ensure you get paid your rent on time. DO NOT give the keys to anyone despite their situation before they have give the damage deposit, first months rent and the lease signed!
RE/MAX River City