Jenni MacDonald

Are You Sure You Want To Be A Landlord? Part 1 of 3

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billionphotos-1675486So, you’ve heard some people talking about all the money they make from their rental properties and think it’s a good idea for you too! It might be… or it might not be! Being a landlord is more than sitting back to watch your bank account grow. Here are some of the topics that you need to consider before you leap into the world of rental income properties with 4 doors or less (properties with more than 4 doors have different rules):

First, you need to find the right property. Falling in love with a rental property is not an option. Only the numbers are relevant when choosing a property. Write yourself a little spreadsheet to calculate what your net income will be. You need to assume that any given rental unit will be empty for at least one month of every year. In Cornwall, usually tenants are easy to find but that is not a guarantee. If you can’t afford to pay for a rental unit while it’s empty…. Then, it’s not the right property for you. Sometimes you inherit tenants with a property. More about tenants later but please be aware that if a tenant has a lease a new owner cannot just raise their rent or cannot evict (even if the landlord wants to move in). Carefully screen the tenants and consider their current rents. Also, confirm whether utilities are included in the rent. An easy way to verify the monthly costs of the utilities is to call the Utility and ask how much the equal billing would be on that unit/building. I recommend always putting utilities on equal billing and pre-authorized payment to reduce the number of hours you have to spend on running your rental properties.

Second, you need to purchase that property. The down payment minimum required to purchase a rental property is 20% (and with most lenders 25%). Some lenders will also charge a higher interest rate for a rental property. There are other costs incurred when you purchase a rental property such as an appraisal (Cost will be between $300 – $600 depending on the number of doors), legal fees, work order searches, title insurance, land transfer taxes, etc. You will need to speak to your lawyer about other costs that are involved in purchasing a multi-residential building.

Jenni MacDonald ( is a Mortgage Broker with Dominion Lending Centres The Mortgage Source (Lic.#10145).  She has over 5 years of experience in the Mortgage Industry and works with at least 40 lenders including banks, credit unions, and private lenders to find the best mortgage for each client. You can contact her by phone or text at 613-551-0639 or via email at

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