The fact that a tenant is in occupancy of your rental property does not mean the door is completely closed on carrying-out renovations. As with many matters relating to rental properties, it is possible to do as you wish but not without having to engage the tenant.
One of the most overlooked maintenance pieces in condominium apartments involves a small drain leading from the air conditioning/heat pump unit. It’s not big, but can present real problems. This drain can become easily blocked, and once blocked, the drain’s overflow tray fills with water and can overflow and cause damage to both the hardwood floors walls in your unit, and in adjacent units. This can be a silent and symptomless problem, especially if it drains into another unit, and not yours!
One of the most contentious issues for people renting out their homes is crab grass. It’s true! Many people who have rented out their houses are careful to include a requirement for tenants to mow the lawn right in the lease. However there is a difference between mowing the lawn and gardening. Mowing the lawn does not include weeding flower beds, fertilizing, aerating, watering and general lawn and garden maintenance. And mowing the lawn has nothing to do with controlling or removing crab grass.
The importance of paint choice is a rare instance where something is both hard to quantify and yet invaluable. As property managers, we recognized its importance many years ago and now recommend to our clients that they choose from a range of colours that have proven themselves both popular with tenants, and good investments for landlords.
Property Managers will always recommend property inspections – not necessarily to check on tenants, but to check on the property itself, and to ensure that critical issues are not missed, and that small but essential maintenance items are taken care of, before they become larger issues.
Until 2005, the Greater Toronto Area was developing in a manner not unlike that of Los Angeles: vast urban sprawl. Recognizing the hazards of this approach to development, the government of Ontario passed the ‘Places to Grow Act’ in 2005.
In short, it has fundamentally shifted the nature of home construction from single-family detached and semi-detached homes in the outlying regions of the GTA to condominium units in in building scattered across the city.
It did this by creating a ‘Green Belt’ around the city that contains development within its borders, forcing developers that want to build in the city to get into the high-rise game.
Every major city encounters a point where its growth hits a wall and it has to build up instead of out. Some cities become limited by geographic constraints but in the case of the GTA, the wall is policy-based. Either way, it triggered a fundamental shift in the marketplace.
Even though the state of the economy is not particularly strong and the condo market is cooling off, we are still seeing robust numbers in the single-family dwelling market segment throughout the region which is undoubtedly resulting in part from the legislation and expected to continue well into the future.
As the adage says, “Put your money in land because they are not making any more of it.” This applies even more so to anyone buying property in the GTA.
As a consequence of surging construction of high-rise residential units and a decline in the same for single-family dwellings, we will see in in the medium- to long-term the prices of the single-family dwelling housing stock perform better as their prevalence becomes increasingly rare.
The dream of families to live in such properties will continue, but it will become more expensive as more lower-income families must opt instead to occupy two- and three-bedroom suites in more intensified areas.
For the investor, however, this presents an opportunity to get into the market and benefit from the value appreciation that will occur – a benefit intrinsically tied to the fact such properties sit on their own of land. The investor with the longer-term horizon will benefit the most.
Condo suites will still present an investment opportunity especially for foreign buyers unable mortgage more than 60 per cent of the purchase value and in it for the long haul.
But in a city where condo construction continues to run strong with no end in sight, the future performance won’t be as strong compared to single-family homes, for example. It runs the risk of taking hits to its value in those times where demand fails to absorb supply as we are presently seeing.
The fact is that the 20,000-plus units coming on-line in recent years is hard for most cities in the world to absorb, and Toronto is no exception.
One of the most commonly misunderstood concepts is whether an owner of a condo unit requires home insurance. While it’s true that the Condo Corp generally ensures the building structure and common areas, the same is not necessarily 100% true with the interior of your unit.
No season is as rough on a home as the winter and sadly this is the season that everyone spends the most time indoors and thinking the lease about the condition of the property. Making preparations for the season is critical to ensure no issues develop in the cold winter months ahead.