Thanks to recent changes in Edmonton’s zoning and rental laws, more and more homeowners have the chance to rent out parts of their homes or properties for added profit. Making the switch from homeowner to secondary suite landlord, however, comes with some unique situations that are different from regular landlords. Whether you’re renting your basement suite or lane house, these are some situations to look out for when you are a secondary suite landlord.
1. Shared Space
Whether it’s a kitchen or just the laundry room, many secondary suite landlords end up sharing some amount of space in the home. This can prove difficult if you’ve been living in your home alone for awhile, especially if it’s more than just a laundry room. If you end up sharing space, be sure to keep the area clean. If it’s a kitchen, establish clear rules that outline your expectations for the space, who does what, and how it’s expected to look. If it’s more utilitarian, like a parking space or space to do laundry, understand that you are more responsible for its cleanup, but that you have the right to outline your expectations for that space as well.
Complaints for secondary suite landlords come in two forms: your tenant and your neighbours. Statistically, homes with a secondary suite attract more complaints. Both can be solved, once again, by clear standards outlined before the tenant moves in. With your expectations laid out, your tenant will know what they can do and what they simply cannot get away with. With these expectations made clear, you’ll also experience less complaints by neighbours because things won’t change drastically.
3. Improper Screening Processes
Renting to someone with whom you’ll be sharing a space requires a lot of added screening. After all, a regular property mostly requires a responsible tenant who can pay their rent on time. A tenant in a secondary suite needs to also match your personality, and you should take the extra time to see if you will be compatible together. Be aware, however, that your personal preferences may unknowingly conflict with a person’s rights and, despite you deeming some information important, you are not privy to everything. Be respectful during your screenings and take care to learn the information you need and not necessarily the information you want.
Renting out a secondary suite is an excellent way to make some extra money. Many people use it as a strategy to pay down their mortgage in near-record time. But renting out your own home comes with unique challenges and situations.