“I just bought a condo in Toronto for investment purposes, but now I hear I may not be able to rent it out. What are my options?”
Congratulations! Buying a condo that can generate income for you now, and become an asset or retirement home for you later can be a terrific investment – if you’ve done your homework.
First, don’t rely on comments from neighbours, real estate agents you don’t know, or even that guy from the condo board you met in the lobby for accurate information about what you can and cannot do with your condo.
If you’re in any doubt about any aspect of how you can or can’t use your condo, your first step should be to re-read your condo agreement. Terms pertaining to the renting of units are found under the ‘Use of Units’ heading.
(If your condominium building isn’t brand-new, there may be a condo board in place which may have established additional rules about what you can do in and around your unit. These are unlikely to affect whether you can rent it out or not, but it’s a good idea to give them another read as well.)
You can’t be prohibited from renting your unit
No condo corporation in Ontario can prevent an owner from renting out their unit.
What they can do, however, is set minimum rental periods: In some buildings, rental periods may be no less than 30 days; in others, the rental periods may be no less than one year.
In some ways, these rules are a good idea: They promote stability in the building, and help ensure that you know who your neighbours are from one week to the next. They also reduce the chances that the unit next to you will become an Airbnb unit constantly occupied by a rotating cast of partying tourists.
So what are your options?
If your building requires that rental periods be no less than a year, you may choose to keep your suite unfurnished and rent it out in the traditional way. Keep in mind renting the suite on your own can bring nightmares that you are not ready for. Maintenance requests at all hours, problems with your tenant in the community, etc. Today Living Group offers you a better option. They have a team that will fully vet your tenant, ensure your tenant follows the community rules and regulations, take care of maintenance calls 24 hours and all while you enjoy time with your family, go on vacations, etc.
If your building allows rental periods of as little as 30 days, you have more options. You can go the long-term, unfurnished route – or you can consider offering a furnished unit as corporate housing (also known as ‘executive suites’).
Either way, you can choose to manage the process yourself, but as we’ve said before, this model is often a lot more work than people realize, especially if they’ve never been a landlord before.
For many owners of investment condos, the best option is to engage a property management company. They handle the attraction and vetting of tenants; they look after the collection of monies; and, probably most importantly, they’re the ones on call when something goes wrong, like a leaky faucet. A property management company will also deal with the condo board in the event one of your neighbours complained about a tenant in your unit.
Sure, we’re biased. But we also know that property management companies that specialize in corporate housing – both for short and longer-term stays – tend to work directly with employers looking for good-quality housing for their employees. That generally means better tenants, bills paid on time, and much less wear and tear on the unit (because the employees end up spending most of their time working anyway).
Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.