Landlording 101: What Do I Need to Know?
Facts, Tips and Worksheets for Landlords
Renting accommodations is a business, whether it's a room, a basement apartment or multiple units in a large apartment complex. And just like any business, there is a certain art to this business that must be cultivated.
Become a successful landlord by:
In this guide, you'll find all the information you'll need on the Residential Tenancies Act and how it impacts the renting process. You'll also find practical advice on everything from how to find your ideal tenant to tips on being a good landlord.
Before signing a lease
During the tenancy
Ending the tenancy the right way
Tenancy dispute resolution
BEFORE SIGNING A LEASE
Is your rental ready?
Attract your ideal tenants by getting your rental into tiptop shape.
Your ideal tenant
Your tenants are one of your biggest assets, so be sure to spend some time thinking about what kind of tenant you'd like in your rental. You'll probably want a tenant that
Where to advertise
Avoid headaches and protect yourself during the tenancy by performing some due diligence. Thoroughly check out any prospective tenants before you rent to them.
Follow a Procedure
Establish a fair procedure for screening, and be sure to follow it the same way with each and every potential tenant.
At the Viewing
The screening process typically begins at the viewing. These questions will help give you an insight into the type of tenant(s) they are likely to be:
However nice the prospective tenants may seem, don't take any chances. Ask your prospective tenants to provide you with some references and spend some time checking as many of them as you can. References can include past or current landlords. Be sure to document what the references say.
For key questions to ask when contacting references, download our Reference Questions Worksheet.
Trust your gut. When you talk with prospective tenants, pay attention to how you feel about them. Is there anything that you've seen or heard that would make you uncomfortable renting to them? Do you feel they are trustworthy and respectful? Do they seem likely to pay the rent on time? Though not scientific, listening to your instincts is an important part of the screening process.
Put the time and effort in to find the best tenants in the short term, and you'll save money and headaches in the long run.
New Brunswick leases now cover tenancy agreements for apartments, houses, condo, rooms and mobile homes sites. The lease is a contract which contains crucial information about the tenancy, and becomes an essential communication tool between the tenant and the landlord. The lease is available in English and French. It is now possible to save Residential Lease in a PDF format.
Tailor it for your needs
Make sure you include the following information in your lease:
Get the tenants to read it
Make sure your tenants read the lease and rules carefully. Ask them if they have any questions. Remember, the lease is a legal contract so it's important they understand what they're signing. This will help you avoid any potentially difficult situations that might pop up.
You and your tenant must sign two copies of the lease. You should each keep one copy.
Check out these FAQs on Leases for more information, including a downloadable copy of Residential Lease. Also be sure to learn more about the Office of the Rentalsman and the Residential Tenancies Act with these General Tenancy FAQs.
You can ask your tenant for a security deposit, which can be no more than a full rent payment. (So, if rent is $500 every month, the most you can get for a security deposit is $500.) The security deposit acts as your protection against any damages, necessary cleaning, unpaid rent or unpaid utilities (heat, water, electric power or natural gas services, etc.) provided by the landlord but not covered by the rent and late payment fees. Tenants can pay the security deposit to the landlord or directly at any Service New Brunswick Service Centre.
Check out these FAQs on Security Deposits for more information.
DURING THE TENANCY
Move In Time: Tenants can expect to move in at a reasonable time on the morning their lease starts. The specific time should be agreed on with the tenants in advance.
Inspection: Before the tenant starts moving their things in, you should walk through the rental with your tenant and inspect it thoroughly under good light. Look at the condition of the walls, floors, counters, appliances, and everything else in the unit. Write down any damage in an Inspection Report. If you promise to fix something, write that down too, including the date it will be completed on. Both you and the tenant should sign and date the report and you should both keep a copy. Taking photos can also be useful.
You must agree to provide and maintain the rental (and provided items like stoves and fridges) in a good state of cleanliness and repair and fit for habitation. The landlord also promises to keep the common areas clean and safe and follow health, safety and housing standards.
Check out these FAQs on Landlord’s Obligations, FAQs on Entry by Landlord and Repairs and Maintenance - Respective Responsibilities for more information.
Your tenants should keep the rental clean (including things like the fridge and stove). The tenants should also ensure that they and their guests respect their neighbors, and that they repair any damage that they or their guests have caused.
Check out these FAQs on Tenant’s Obligations and Repairs and Maintenance - Respective Responsibilities for more information.
These tips will help you earn and keep the respect of your tenants:
ENDING THE TENANCY THE RIGHT WAY
Notice: Your tenant will need to give you proper written notice if they want to move out. For a fixed-term lease it automatically ends at the end of the agreed period of time. For month-to-month leases, the tenant needs to give a month's notice and for a year-to-year lease, they need to give three months' notice before the anniversary date. For more information, see the FAQs for Ending a Lease.
Viewings: You need to give your current tenants proper notice to show the rental to prospective tenants unless it is clearly specified in the lease that no notice is required during the last month of tenancy. More details.
Move Out Time: The tenant must be out of the rental by midnight on the last day of your lease.
Moving Out: Your tenants will need to clean the rental and all the provided items, like stoves and fridges, to get their full security deposit back. They'll also need to repair any damages that may have occurred, other than normal wear and tear. Tenants must take all their belongings with them when they leave. More details on belongings left behind.
Final Inspection: On Move Out Day, you and your tenant should do a final inspection of the rental. Check to see that everything is reasonably clean. Use the Inspection Report that you both signed on Move In Day, and photos if you took them, to determine if anything has been damaged. Make notes of any damage, and then both sign the report. Be sure the tenant returns all the keys.
Security Deposit: If you feel that there has been damage to the rental, it is not reasonably clean, or if there is any outstanding unpaid rent, utilities or late fees, then you can make a claim against the security deposit. Simply submit a Security Deposit Claim Form to the Office of the Rentalsman within seven days of the end of the tenancy. For more details, see the FAQs on Security Deposits.
TENANCY DISPUTE RESOLUTION
The most common disputes landlords might face during a tenancy often involve:
If a tenant makes a complaint against a landlord, he or she may be protected under the Act from being evicted from the day on which the complaint was made until one year after that day if:
(a) the tenant advises a Rentalsman in writing within fifteen days after the receipt of the Notice of Termination that he or she intends to contest the notice, and
The resolution process follows five steps. They are:
Note: If it is an emergency, you can contact the Office of the Rentalsman immediately, without going through the procedure above.
Check out these FAQs on the Dispute Resolution Complaint Process for more information. You'll also find information on the process a tenant must follow to make a complaint against you. What can the landlord do if the tenant doesn't live up to his/her obligations? What can the tenant do if the landlord doesn't live up to his/her obligations?
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