Top Tips for New Landlords

Getting your first investment property and transitioning from being a tenant or an owner to a landlord is an exciting change! However, first-time landlords might find that getting the right tenant and navigating through the rental process can be much more complicated than it first seemed.

Here are some of the tops tips for new landlords to keep in mind when renting out their first property.


Screen Tenants Thoroughly

Screening tenants is probably the most important stage because making the right choice can set you up with a long-lasting and beneficial relationship. Making the wrong choice can lead to problems and unexpected costs.  Errors in judgement do happen as human behavior can be challenging to predict — but taking the time to screen prospective tenants is worth its weight in gold!

Assessing whether or not your tenant is able to pay rent in time is a priority and there are legitimate ways to go about this. Asking questions about employment is a good start. Reference letters from previous landlords can also offer quite extensive insights. Finally, checking their credit history can provide a clear picture as to whether or not they can cover the rent. 

In addition to financial inquiries, there are other questions landlords should ask to see if the tenant is the right match. These include:

  • How long tenants have lived in their previous home
  • If they pay their rent on time
  • What their reasons are for moving out
  • How many people they will be living with
  • If the tenants smoke
  • If they have pets

Another important inquiry to check is to see if the tenant has received their full security deposit at their previous residence and, if not, what sort of deductions they incurred. A quick online search can also be performed to see if they have had any issues or have left negative reviews because of being evicted, being charged for not cleaning, having outstanding rent, etc. when having moved out from their last residence.


Familiarize and Follow Appropriate Laws and Regulations

The terms of rents are regulated by rental agreements as well as applicable laws, such as the Residential Tenancies Act. These regulations define landlord rights and obligations as to:

  • Making necessary repairs and maintenance
  • Providing for uninterrupted supply of utilities
  • Timely notices
  • Rent increases
  • Evictions
  • Security deposit


Although many of these regulations are common, some of these may vary by province. For example, in Alberta, landlords can use the security deposit to cover the costs of damages or cleaning when tenants move out. This would not be allowed in Ontario. 

A licensed property management company will be aware of the local regulations and be able to provide the right expertise and relationships with attorneys to ensure compliance.


Take Advantage of Extra Income Opportunities

As any rented property is an investment, landlords should maximize all of its opportunities. For example, separate storage spaces are great amenities for tenants with bikes/many belongings and should be charged extra. Other opportunities include shed, garage, or parking spaces. 

Professional property managers will be knowledgeable of current market conditions and can assist you in maximizing your rental income potential.


Know What Resources Are Available to Landlords

Landlords can get more valuable information and advice when participating in landlord associations available in their province. These non-profit organizations were created with the purpose of educating landlords about their legal rights, providing them with the best strategies and showcasing any available opportunities.

Another option is to hire a professional property manager who will take care of most issues while providing valuable tips to new landlords. Having a real estate professional by your side when renting out for the first time can help you build confidence and experience.


Contact Us Today!

At Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., we have been assisting landlords and providing property management services for several decades. Our professional team works with apartment units, houses, condominium corporations and commercial property.

We are happy to provide you the full gamut of our inclusive services — such as more landlord tips, tenant screening, rental agreements and settling any issues which may arise during the lease. Don’t hesitate to contact us today — we will be happy to bring you the right tenants and peace of mind.

Why Use a Property Manager When Renting a House?

Most of us rent for a long time before we can afford to buy a house. Even though renting is not the same as owning, it’s still important to lease a place that we like and feels like home. But looking for property to rent can be difficult and long-winding, causing us an immense amount of unnecessary stress.

A way to ease the process of finding a rental home is to use a property manager. Many people think that property management companies are only necessary when after you find a place to live , but the truth is that there are many benefits to using one when you want to rent too!

So, why use property management for a house rental? Read on to discover why they’re a great choice and what advantages they bring to the table.

Licensed Brokerages Have Years of Experience

For normal people, trying to navigate the rental market can be like a minefield. Contracts are confusing, and as tenants, we often don’t know what we’re entitled to. A property manager, on the other hand, knows all of these things and can help you get the best deal.

Property managers and leasing agents have fantastic inside knowledge of their local areas, ensuring they can find you a place in the best locations. Their industry experience also means that they’ll know which documentation you require and can be realistic about what properties you can afford within your budget. When you hire property management, your fee for a rental house may end up being exactly what you’re searching for.

Working with a property management company with in-house leasing agents will save you a lot of time and effort as you search for a rental within their own portfolios of units for rent. Leasing agents and property managers will also work with you to ensure you get what you want. The property market is fast-moving and competitive, with many people going after the same property.

As soon as you start looking for a new rental home, you should connect with a property management company or one of their leasing agents to help get a head start on new leads as soon as they become available. This will give you the opportunity to book house tours that work around your schedule. You can also visit their website and monitor what is available and what meets your list of needs and wants.

Searching for a property is time-consuming. But for leasing agents, it is their job. So, if you don’t have time to look yourself, let an agent work with you! They can compile a list of potential properties for you and recommend the paperwork you will need to have. That way, you’ll be organized and ready to act if you find a rental property that works for you. 

No-Risk of Scams

Finding a property to rent online is easy, but comes with many risks. Often, these properties aren’t rented with legal contracts, meaning that your rights as a tenant aren’t protected. In Alberta, landlords must pay a specified yearly interest rate on security deposits, which is then returned to the tenant once the rental agreement ends. Unless you have a legal contract through a rental agency, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience the benefits of this.

Finding Your Dream Rental

If you’re searching for a rental property and want to use a trustworthy leasing agent and property manager for a rental house, get in touch with us at Emerald Management & Realty. Our team of experts in Calgary, Alberta is happy to help you with whatever you need. Drop us a line at 403-237-8600 or get in touch via our website.

COVID19 Update Mandatory Mask Bylaw

Mandatory Mask Bylaw

On August 1, 2020 the Calgary temporary mandatory masks bylaw comes into effect.  This bylaw requires the wearing of masks or face coverings in any indoor space that the public has access.  Businesses are also required to post signage where applicable along with maintaining a safe work environment.   

As we continue to work together to help flatten the curve in Calgary, a sign requiring the use of a mask is posted at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s front entry as the main reception area could be perceived as a public area.  Current social distancing and sanitizing protocols remain in effect for the protection of our team and clients.  

We understand that some people may be unable to wear a mask due to various medical reasons.  This is a situation that we will address with kindness and understanding.  That being said, our team understands that it is important to be in compliance with this bylaw for the safeguard of fellow team members, clients and customers.  Everyone’s support and cooperation as we work with this new bylaw is most appreciated.  

Our goal at the onset of Covid-19 was to keep our team and clients safe, healthy and working.  As we enter this next phase, wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene, maintaining good health and wellness,  in addition to remaining diligent to the habits already developed continues to be important.  Our team is aware that when it is not possible to maintain social distancing in accordance to Alberta Health Services recommendations, a mask is required when in public, on a job site and when working with customers.  

In support of this temporary bylaw, half a million masks have been made available for free around the city of Calgary.  Free masks in packages of 10 are available at select recreation centres, Calgary Transit stations, bus terminals, and animal shelters. 

For more information on this Bylaw and for helpful tips to help limit the spread, visit: 

 COVID19 information continues to be fast moving.  Please let us know if you have any concerns or notice a sanitation issue in properties being managed so that we can work together to minimize the risk of transmission.    

A big thank you, from our team to all of our clients, customers, trade members and third party contractors, for your support and collaboration during these difficult times! Stay well!

Are Condos a Good Investment for Rental Property?

Condos seem to be all the rage these days. Modern designs, compact living spaces, attractive prices — it all sounds great. But once you break down all things considered, the real question arises: are condos good investment properties? 

First, we recommend determining if a condo is a good fit for you. Then, you should thoroughly explore the pros and cons of condo investing. Sounds like a daunting task? We are here to help! 

Should I Invest in Condos or Houses?

Determining your objectives, project timeline and budget is vital to the success of your investment property. Additionally, a variety of factors should be considered — including the market, location and your personal preferences before making a decision. All of this combined will help you figure out if a condo or house is a better fit for you.

Understand Your Target Market

The type of renters you will attract with a condo versus a house is quite different. 

With a house, you’ll likely find families who have more members and personal property. You should seek renters who are willing to maintain the home to some extent. They will become the property’s primary caregivers. 

Condos tend to attract single people or couples who live a more minimal lifestyle. The condo corporation will usually offer building maintenance and other services. This means your renters will not need to assume as much responsibility in that regard. 

We highly recommended that you screen all potential tenants, regardless of your property type. 

Advantages to Condo Investing 

Less Costly

Condos are typically far cheaper investment opportunities than houses. Having said that, every market and location is different — so you should always make sure to do your research. Condos might be a more affordable way to get started in the rental market for many investors.  

Less Maintenance and Fewer Bills to Manage

Since condos are smaller in size, they have fewer maintenance tasks and lower costs. It can be more practical and successful to take on a condo rental property, especially for your first experience. 

Condo fees generally cover some of the expenses you would normally be charged with. This may include cable, water, snow removal, landscaping, garbage, etc. Although you are still financially responsible for these services, you do not need to worry about managing the monthly bills for them.  

Great Locations

Condos tend to be in areas where people want to be — downtown centres, trendy districts and vacation hot spots. These areas usually contain a higher density of condos, which can certainly make your investment property more desirable to renters.  

Disadvantages to Condo Investing 

Condo Fees

There is usually a condo board  that sets a monthly fee that condo owners are required to pay. It is important to understand what exactly this fee includes and to factor this into your operating costs.  


If you are hoping to purchase a condo and turn it into a rental property, you’ll want to make sure you are permitted to do so. Some condo corporations  have restrictions in place and could even require a deposit.. We suggest doing your legwork on this one — it is well worth the effort. It is extremely important that you read your condominium bylaws and that tenants are also given a copy. Often, you are responsible for your tenant’s actions.

Financing Obstacles

Lenders tend to be more inclined to approve financing for houses rather than condos. With condos, lenders factor in different variables when making these decisions. This may include the occupancy rate of the building, its delinquency rate and possible ongoing litigations.  

Need help finding or maintaining a rental property?

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has been servicing the Calgary area for more than 40 years. We have experience with condos, apartments, houses and commercial spaces. 

We can assist both tenants and property owners and we specialize in catering our services to each customer’s specific needs. If you think we can help, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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