Frequently asked questions for Owners
The straightforward answer is: to have someone else take care of all the stresses and hassles involved in leasing, renting and maintaining your property.
Think of it this way, you use a mechanic on your car, Broker for your finances or a lawyer for your legal needs. The same, Landlording should be done by experienced managers.
How does Dash benefit me?
- Monthly on time rent collection and direct deposit to owner bank account
- Move In & Move Out inspections
- 24/7 emergency service
- Coordinating tenants requests
- Communication with building management
- Unlimited 24/7 online access to reports and financial information
- Knowledge of Residential Tenancy Act to avoid costly mistakes
- Professional Realtors who monitor Toronto's market 365 days a year to maximize your rent
- Access to some of the best prices and property services
- Freedom from record keeping and landlording
- Save travel and worry time
WE MAKE PROPERTY OWNERSHIP EASY
The most important part of an investment property is managing your costs, whether it is financial or time, labor even your sanity. An experienced property manager can reduce your wasted time, money and frustrations.
The most common question I get from clients first inquiring on our services is “what can a property manager do that I can’t”. It’s a very fair question; theoretically you could do what we do. However, do you want to be committed to the property 24/h and day, 7days a week, 365 days a year? Do you want your tenant having the ability to contact you regardless of the hour should a toilet back up at 3am? Do you already have a trusted, reliable plumber, carpenter, handyman and electrician on hand? Do you have time to research what contractors are licensed, insured and reputable? What about if your tenant un-expectantly loses their job and can’t make the rental payments, or while they were on vacation the washing machine floods damaging the unit in the floors below, what would you do? And do you really have the time and resources to deal with it? How well versed are you in the landlord Tenancy Act of Ontario, do you know the depths of both yours and your tenants rights and responsibilities? Do you follow regular cases and judgements to see legal precedent? How do you avoid being one of theses Owners.
As a property manager, our job is to know, prepare and be available for all of the above. Just as you have your job specialization; a successful property manager already has the above established in their procedures. It’s what we train for, learn, continuously update ourselves on, but we do it for hundreds of units, everyday.
Most Toronto based unit property managers prices are calculated as a percentage of the rental revenue (generally between 5%-15%) or a minimum fee. So yes, if you are able to commit a lot of your time, resources and sanity, I’m sure you could manage your own property. However, if your peace of mind and spare time is worth more, than around $95 per month, Property Management might be the right direction for you and your property.
Can a landlord refuse to rent to a person who has a pet?
Yes. A landlord can refuse to rent to a person who has a pet. A service animal is not considered a pet.
Can a landlord evict a tenant for having a pet?
A tenancy agreement cannot forbid a tenant from having a pet. And once there is a tenancy agreement, a landlord cannot evict the tenant simply for having a pet. This is true even if they agreed that the tenant would not have a pet.
However, there are some cases when the landlord can apply to the LTB to evict a tenant who has a pet. These are some common examples:
the pet is making too much noise, damaging the unit or causing other tenants to have allergic reactions;
the breed or species is inherently dangerous (e.g. a tenant's pit bull could be considered "inherently dangerous" even if it hasn't bitten anyone);
the rules of the condominium corporation does not allow pets like the one tenant has.
Rent Deposits and Other Charges
Can a landlord collect a rent deposit?
A landlord can collect a rent deposit as long as they ask for it on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into the tenancy agreement. The rent deposit cannot be more than one month's rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less. For example, if rent payments are made weekly, the deposit cannot be more than one week's rent; if rent payments are made monthly, the deposit cannot be more than one month's rent.
The rent deposit must be used for the rent for the last month before the tenancy ends. It cannot be used for anything else, such as to pay for damages.
Does a landlord have to pay interest on a rent deposit?
The landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every 12 months. The percent interest is the same as the rent increase guideline that is in effect when the interest payment is due. The guideline is set each year by the Ministry of Housing.
If the landlord does not pay the interest owed to the tenant when it is due, the tenant can:
deduct the interest from a future rent payment, or
file a Tenant Application for a Rebate
Instead of paying the tenant the interest, the landlord can reduce the amount needed to update the rent deposit (so that it equals the current rent) by the amount of interest owed.
Can a landlord ask for a deposit for keys?
Yes, but only if:
the deposit is refundable, and
the amount of the deposit is not more than the expected cost of replacing the key(s) if they are not returned to the landlord.
The landlord must give the deposit back when the tenant turns in their key(s) at the end of their tenancy.
Can the landlord charge the tenant a damage deposit?
No. A landlord cannot collect a damage deposit to pay for damage done to the unit. Also, a landlord cannot use the last month's rent deposit to cover damages in the unit. The rent deposit can only be used for last month's rent before the tenancy ends.
If the landlord finds that a tenant has damaged the unit or caused damage to the building, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination and/or ask them to pay for the damages. If the tenant doesn't pay, the landlord can apply to have the LTB determine if there are damages and what should be done about them.
Maintenance and Repair
Who is responsible for maintaining the unit?
It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, even if:
the tenant was aware of problems in the unit before they moved into it
the lease says that the tenant is responsible for maintenance
However, the tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, up to the standard that most people consider ordinary or normal cleanliness. The tenant is also responsible for repairing or paying for any damage to the rental property they caused or caused by their guests or another person living in the rental unit. Landlords are responsible for wear and tear and between tenancies.
Think back to the first time you ever signed a lease, a home insurance policy, what about your first second hand car, was there ever a point after the process was finalized you thought “oh well, I know now for next time”. Sometimes a negative first experience, teaches you to be much smarter in the long run. When choosing a property manager you’re essentially handing over to them hundreds of thousands of dollars, your property, and your savings. So choosing the wrong one may end up costing you more than new breaks and spark plugs.
Sometimes I’m baffled by how few questions people ask, where as trust is important and I’m happy I have that established with our clients, there are some questions I insist everyone know or ask before committing;
Are there start up fees? A lot of companies request a set up fee to open and prepare your file/account (some range from 100-400$). Personally, we disagree with this, which is why we do not practice such approaches, especially with the current economy. Absolutely, there is a lot of additional work do be done when a new client joins but this should be incorporated in the monthly rate or in the work that obtaining a new client entails. Companies should be happy to get your business; you should not have to pay extra for them to consider or start managing your property.
How long have they been working in the PM Field? For both the company and the rep you’re working with. There have been numerous new property management companies joining the industry lately, it’s great to see investment properties increasing however, unfortunately not all have enough experience to resolve the everyday possible “special situation” that may arise and do you really want your property to be their learning curve. I recommend considering established companies with at least 5 years experience managing over 75 properties. This lets you know their multi tasking abilities, resources with contractors and the likelihood that they have experience with the potential “difficult tenant”.
Are Property inspections included in your monthly fees? And how often? If your PM is charging you for them to look at your property, what exactly are your monthly fees paying them to manage? Inspections seem to be the new add on in PM fees. Move in and out inspections should be provided to document condition of the unit between tenancies.
Is maintenance on the property conducted by in house or exterior contractors? And who pays what? This varies between every property management company I have come across. Be sure to get a clear answer or you might find monthly deductions more frequently then required. Where it’s good to have a handyman on staff, plumbers, electricians and specialized trades should all be insured and certified (generally from an outside company). Cutting corners with this, can lead to voiding and insurance claim or more excessive repairs to correct a botched one when trying to save money. Some property managers add a percentage to the total invoice, this is a regular practice for some, however get a clarification to a set amount and what is included in this.
How do they handle tenant issues? Have they been to tribunal before (and for what), are outside paralegals used? do they know how to identify a “professional tenant” and what to do in the case of one? Are they able to identify them prior to occupancy? Do they utilize the N notices of the tenancy board?
Remember, as important as questions are, trust your gut. Every tenant, rental, property, and maintenance issues are different every time, no tenancy situation is black and white in this industry. But with questions, you will know if your potential Property Manager is confident and experienced enough to handle each one professionally, efficiently and with your best interest in mind.
Whether you live in Toronto or over seas, we understand that your time is valuable and coordinating maintenance with both contactors, tenants and building managers is likely not at the top of your to do list.
Why not hire someone else to do this for you, at DASH we’re aware of the standards, practices and laws involved with renting out your property. Whether you own a single family home, multi family building, apartment, condominium, or commercial building, a good manager is you reliable partner to whom you can outsource the running of your property.
A few responsibilities that DASH Property Management can accomplish for you typically includes handling rent payment, paying bills and taxes, unit inspections, leases, checking potential tenant credit ratings, and even taking care of building maintenance or construction. Our experience can also mediate typical tenant/landlord issues, letting you know when you are in the right or wrong and following the guidelines of the Ontario Landlord tenancy Act while acting on your behalf. We have no set up fees, because we know you'll continue to have us manage your property.
If you own several properties, it makes sense to outsource the day to day concerns to a reliable manager, and concentrate your time and effort on expanding your career success. The mundane details of managing your real estate holdings can very much be a drag on your priorities. Focusing all your energy on managing your property could seriously affect your primary line of work.
Even if you own just a single property, it may still be worthwhile to hire a manager to look after it. The primary reason for this is that dealing with tenants can be a very unpleasant and tedious affair. In addition to consuming your time, such interactions can zap your energy and focus from other areas too. As your property is being used 24/7 do you really want to be available for your tenant to contact all hours and days? At DASH we also have an after hours emergency line for tenants to contact in the event of an emergency.
With a property manager, its business, there will be no tenants contacting you with a monthly excuses to why their late or need a reduction in their rent. At DASH, we can establish a personal relationship with tenants while being professional. As owners hire us to manage the unit, we work for you, and when rent is due, we deal with the excuses and delays so you don’t have to worry.
- Government issued Photo ID
- Signed Management Agreement
- Proof of title/ownership (status certificate, copy of property tax etc.)
- Void check of account you want funds deposited into
- Condo building rules and regulations (you would have obtained this when you purchased the unit)
- 3 sets of all keys (unit, mail, locker, locker room, amenities, Fob’s, garage, remotes ect) one set for DASH. Two sets for tenants
- Any valid warrantees for the unit and or appliances
- List of appliances make and model numbers inc color (black, white, stainless steel)
- Anything you think we should know about your place
DASH collects the rental payments from all tenants on the first of every month. Some exceptions, rent may be prorated due to move in date.
On the 15th of the month, funds are directly transferred from the DASH account to your Canadian account. It can sometimes take up to five business days for the funds to be visible in your account, so please keep in mind if you have pre-authorized payments withdrawn from your account monthly.
Around the 15th of the month you will also receive notification of your new statement available on your portal. the statement will reflect the funds DASH collected, minus any expenses (with all receipts attached) and the amount deposited into your account, for your records.You may login anytime to view your portal.
If you are outside of Canada for more then 183 days a year, even if you are a Canadian citizen, you are considered a non resident, therefore you have to pay withholding taxes on your property and the income generated from it. There are some situations where you can get permission from the government to retain your residency status even from afar, but you would have had to apply with them for this (generally before leaving the country). If you want to find out your curent residency status as per the CRA, please click here.
Buyers should keep in mind that beyond the purchase price, there are additional costs involved which should be taken into consideration. Certain funds should be prepared to avoid unpleasant surprises on the closing date.
Resale residentail properties are exempted from HST therefore typically and unlike in Newly Constrcuted properties this should not be applicable in your purchase.
You should budget for a real estate solicitor who have the time and expertise to walk you through the transaction, fees vary yet make sure you are aware of the legal disbursments which go beyond the legal fees. Also, your fees will depend on whether you are using a power of attorney and whether you take a mortgage or not. We suggest you budget in and around $2000 for such cost however strongly suggest discussing this with your solicitor in advance.
Land Transfer Tax - this is tax you will be paying to the Province of Ontario and to the City of Toronto, there is a progressive formual that will apply based on your purchase price. Nonresidents typically are not allowed for the first time home buyer tax credit, but if you are first time home buyers and qualify for this credit consult with your solicitor for the amount you are applicable for.
Adjustments - Condominiums pay monthly maintenance fees and sometimes when closing takes place in the middle on the month the seller had already prepaid the month's worth of fees, therefore the buyer should credit the seller for the portion prepaid after closing date, same practice takes place for property taxes and pre paid or last month's rent and interest on last month's rent if the property is rented. In case when the property taxes are not known the solicitors will agree on some hold back and when the tax bill comes available adjustment will take place. Note, adjustments will take place on your statement of adjustment and will be added or deducted from the final price.
New Construction Property:
Solicitor and Land Transfer Tax will be same in RESALE PROPERTY
New construction property has its own unique items such as:
HST Rebate to be paid on closing and then if qualified can file for full rebate (ask us how)
Development Charges based on city of Toronto's fee as agreed with the developer
Education Levies based on city of Toronto's fee as agreed with the developer
TARION Fee for New Home Owner Warranty
Various other fees as per your agreement of purchase
For example, on an average condo that purchased for $415,000 closing costs can be as high as $50,000!!! out of which we can claim back about $27,000!! in short time.
Make sure you use an experienced Realtor who can point the various costs and how you can save big amounts
We are always here should you need help with your purchase, HST Rebate and more
Keeping an eye on your property is important. We document a detailed move in report with new occupants showing the condition in which they received the unit, upon their move out we will compare the reports to determine the tenants care of your unit and any maintenance that may need to be addressed. General wear and tear should be expected when renting out your property and can not be held against a tenant as per the landlord tenancy act. Tenants are responsible for any damages or misuse of the property.