Ensuring that your property is accessible for the disabled adds an extra layer of appeal for marketing. An accessible apartment isn’t only attractive for those with a disability that prevents mobility, but for a growing population of seniors in Toronto as well. In addition, under the law, you must provide accessible housing to tenants who are disabled, except in the case where refitting the property would cause undue hardship. But there are costs associated with such a renovation.
Renting to people with disabilities – what your responsibilities are
Under the Code, it is against the law to refuse to rent to a tenant because of a visible or invisible disability. You also must have reasonable accommodation for their disabilities in the housing unit. However, in a practical application, this can pose some issues for you – a non-accessible apartment can cost thousands of dollars to remodel to make it accessible. If you are a small landlord with one or two properties, you can argue under the law that this will pose an undue hardship. The American Disability Association estimates that renovating a bathroom to make it fully accessible can cost up to $9,000. But you don’t have to go that far to make a property accessible.
Start with minor alterations to make it senior-friendly
Performing minor renovations with seniors in mind can start you down the path to having an accessible property. Installing handlebars beside the toilet and in the tub and fall-proofing your home with various measures, including securing carpet on stairs, are things that will count towards accessibility if you need to take further measures in the future. When it is complete, you will have an additional marketing feature for your property. Here is a list of things to do to ensure your property keeps tenants safe from falls. Most are inexpensive and won’t take much time.
If your property isn’t accessible now, renovate to accommodate
Realistically, if your property isn’t accessible now, it doesn’t make financial sense to remodel it in the event that you have a disabled tenant. The best way to handle it is if the situation arises, renovate the property to accommodate their specific needs. For example, you may not need to make it wheelchair-accessible, but you may have to ensure items in the bathroom such as handrails and showers are modified to meet an individual’s needs.
If you are thinking about renovating your property to make it senior-friendly and accessible for the disabled, Highgate has a full-scale renovation crew ready to do it. Contact us today to find out more.
We’re rolling out the red carpet for new clients at Highgate Property Investments this month with promotions for home buyers, sellers and landlords seeking property management services. While we can go on about how great we are in our marketing, the only way to really sell our services is to show you what we can do for your bottom line. (more…)
There comes a time in the experience of any inversor, when the workload of managing your properties becomes a bit too much. The more properties you have to manage, and the wider they are spread across Toronto, the harder this balancing act becomes.
Even ruling out bad scenarios and only considering day-to-day routine operations, it still adds up to a full-time job and more.
That’s when most investors realize that this effort is defeating the purpose of capitalizing on the investment, by substituting it with another job.
This problem can be solved by hiring a reputable Toronto property management company.
Simply delegate the task of running your property to a responsible organization with dedicated employees, a full array of emergency response solutions and lots of legal know-how.
This is likely the most immediate and urgent of reasons why most investors seek out a management company. The value of on-site maintenance cannot possibly be overstated. It is important not only because it’s lots of work, but also because when the property is well maintained, tenants are happy and rent prices are kept high.
A poorly maintained property, on the other hand, tends to decline in value and has harder time to find good tenants.
When maintenance is done by professionals, the property will always be kept in top-notch shape, keeping its occupancy rate near 100%. A management company has immediate access to a whole army of trades, repairmen, locksmiths, roofers, plumbers, electricians and more.
Hire a good property management and you will never have to worry about maintenance problems again.
Finding Good Tenants
This is something we mentioned in passing above, but it should also be stressed. Good tenants are those who keep the property clean, in good repair, don’t cause problems with neighbors and pay their rent on time.
It may not be obvious but good tenants are not easy to find, and not simple to keep.
A property manager comes with years of experience in finding, interviewing and evaluating tenants for your property. Most owners don’t have the time to see a dozen applicants for a single property. We do.
Improved Retention Rates
This brings us to the next point, which is retention rates and vacancy cycles.
Efficient maintenance and finding good tenants are crucial conditions to keeping occupancy rates high. Bad tenants will leave without notice, or simply switch too often (and there’s always some down-time between leases no matter how hard you try).
But our expertise as a property management company goes beyond that.
We make sure that the tenant is happy and stays in the property for as long as possible, and also make sure to get the next tenant in as soon as possible when the previous does leave.
Finances, Taxes and Forms
Even if you only have one property, taxes can be hard enough. If you have more than one… well, that’s what a property management company is for.
We can assist in the process, from keeping all the property’s bookkeeping organized, to helping you make the most of the return by knowing just what deductions you can claim on the report.
The Personal Reason
Last but not least, the fact that you don’t have to deal with it yourself is huge. We alleviate the stress involved with running several properties in parallel by simply taking care of it for you.
Every rental real estate owner knows that repairs and maintenance are among the most important components of managing the property. It can be costly and tedious, especially to new investors who lack the know-how of cutting costs and preventing unnecessary repairs. This is the main reason most investors choose to have a Toronto rental property management company on the job.
Timely repairs and maintenance are needed for three main reasons:
1. Happy Tenants. When your tenants are happy, the turnover rates are low and you save money on vacancy downtime as well as the inevitable clean-up and touch-up costs that come with putting it on the market again.
2. Property Value. When the property is kept in prime condition, you can rent it out for more, attracting quality tenants as well as increasing cash flow.
3. Repair Costs. Preventative maintenance and small repairs can spare you from having to deal with bigger, more expensive issues. A crack in the eaves trough can be easily mended now, but leaving it as is (to save on the immediate cost) will see you having to replace a whole section only a year from now.
Those all sound simple enough, which they are if done by a professional Toronto property management company, but may be difficult when you have many other properties to run and little time to dedicate to every one of them.
Moreover, a property management professional will know exactly where to look and won’t miss a budding problem, putting out fires before they grow. There will always be a full a repair staff on hand, with quick response times. For more hefty jobs they have affiliations with trusted local contractors, which allows to reduce repair costs. Last but not least, a property management company can advise you on the best ways to write off repair and maintenance expenses, minimizing the losses of every job.
Smart Tax Deductions on Investment Property Repair
We just mentioned taxes and writing off repair costs. Let’s elaborate on this. Not everybody knows that while the cost of repairs can be deducted entirely in a single year, not so the cost of improvements. This specific cost goes into the “home improvement” category and may need to be depreciated over more than a decade. Many investors have benefited from having their maintenance done by a property management company in this alone.
This was, of course, not much more than a brief overview. The nuances of running a rental property are many and varied, and the benefits a Toronto management company can bring you are not restricted to maintenance alone.