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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in Coop Housing Properties Discussion & Resources' LiveJournal:

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
1:19 pm
Tips for Being a Successful Landlord
Tips for Being a Successful Landlord

In today’s apartment rental market there are several things that are “must do’s” for becoming a successful landlord. The reason you’re playing the real estate rental game is to have the check in your mailbox on the first of the month, right? Here are a few tips that can help you to achieve this with as little aggravation and frustration possible.

First and foremost is finding the right tenant to rent your apartment, house or other rental. This is the most important ingredient in the recipe. Checking the prospective tenant’s credit history to make sure they are paying their bills is one of the best ways you can screen. A tenant that pays their bills on time most likely will send you their rent on time. Establish a clear system on collecting rent, handling complaints from the tenant and how you will contact them if you need to gain access to the apartment.

Secondly, get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing. You have the option to have a basic rental agreement or draw up a formal lease. Whichever you decide, the important thing is to document the terms that you and the tenant agreed to. Clarify who is paying the utilities, the rental price and any other agreements made between you and your tenant.

It’s a good idea to stay on top of the repair and maintenance needs of your property. When you are notified of something that is broken or not working, repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damages. You may also lawfully enable the tenant to withhold rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions or move out without notice.

On a similar topic make sure you are carrying enough property and liability insurance to cover yourself in any situation. A well designed insurance program can protect your rental property from losses caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary, vandalism, and personal injury lawsuits.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Just remember, as long as you follow these simple tips you will be on your way to a happy and fulfilling landlord future. Best of luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Goldstein, associated with www.AllSpaces.com which Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places, has been dedicated to the real estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 landlords with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals feel free to visit www.AllSpaces.com or email him at Eric@AllSpaces.com.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
8:47 am
Motivating Co-op members
When you are a cheerful non-participant, what sort of stuff draws you in and motivates you to take part?

The reason for the question: I'm a director and the property manager at a small self-managed co-ownership co-operative in Toronto. I'm feeling discouraged right now, because it seems that my good efforts to build a more active sense of community are falling on deaf ears and that most owners are content to let me exhaust myself on their behalf without lifting a finger.

Not all. We have a few who are interested in more active participation, but the challenge is determining which tasks can be delegated to them, for they are not computer users, nor are they interested in becoming ones. Our owners are a mix of elderly elderly, who, quite frankly, are waiting to die, not so-elderly, for whom this is their Toronto pied-à-terre (!), young and working, who are working their butts off and living their lives (OK, I'm working, but I don't think I'm living my life - this joint is sucking a lot of that time away) and newish Canadians, who's english isn't so good. Because most of the tasks that need to be spread around are a) doing research as to options for financing building restoration work or b) stuff, that under current insurance practices, if done by uncertified people, could very well negate the building's liability insurance, unless handled very carefully. (we have a certified plumber living here; we have an essential long term maintenance task that has been indentified that he _could_ handle, but he's putting in long hours at the paying job, and there are some kinks around verifying certiifcations that we'd (read "I", in the current climate) need to figure out, as his English isn't so good.)

I also have limited time to devote to all this; my first priority is adding some new skills to my bag of tricks and landing my next gig. Kind of need to do that if I'm going to remain a solvent member of the co-op. I'm in the middle of recreating a portfolio that I allowed to get sadly out of date; and believe you me, _that_ is a lot of work, a task that I'm only eight weeks into. I have to add Flash, Dreamweaver, a little GoLive and some database construction and programming skills to my tool box to get the gig I want. (tutorials, anyone?)) Any time spent on the building is time not spent doing this essential task.

I've spent about eight hours a week moving my list of projects forward; my fellow board members are not so dedicated. (we've had heating system repairs over the summer, are getting a couple of cold areas of the buidling insulated, and are getting ready to do balcony and masonry restoration work in Spring 2007) I'm burning out. I see the necessity of getting all this work done; others, apparently not so. Or at least, not with the same sense of urgency.

So, any suggestions as to how to get my fellow shareholders to see and understand the urgency of the task? And to take some of it off my shoulders? One of our chief culprits is an extremely capable woman, who so far, hasn't done a thing on her assigned task, and when I gently pointed out the time criticalness of it (getting info and co-ordinating an efffort to get some CHMC funding assistance for low income owners to help pay for building systems relating to health and safety, translated balcony rehab and elevator replacement) lashed back and asked about a bylaw enforcement matter that another Board member had agreed to deal with (and which also hasn't been enforced)

As I said, I'm feeling discouraged.

(crossposted to Co-ops)
Thursday, April 27th, 2006
5:03 pm
771 Prior St
Known locally as the Irish house, this former sawmill and rooming house has a huge space on the ground floor that has seen some use as a pub and speakeasy. 4800 sq feet, suitable for a single family dwelling (rezoning would require $ upgrade, but also do-able).

Asking is $480,000 plus $30,000 for closing costs and repairs. Per my friend Oliver:

I predict that a bank would want at least 35% down, although we might get
lucky... We should ask for 25% down initially and see what they say.

35% of $480,000 is $168,000. Plus $20,000 reno costs, and up to $10,000
closing costs (depends on members eligibility for Property Purchase Tax

This works out to $33,000 down for each of six parties.

A best case scenario would see this come down to perhaps $139,000 ÷ 6 =
$23,000 each. (25% down, buy house for $460,000).

A mortgage is going for between 5 - 6 % right now, so the interest portion
would be around
$1560 per month on the worst case, $1437.00 in the best case scenario, plus
principal (so payments around $1800-2000 range. Taxes are $2000 / yr, city
utilities I am guessing around $400, so add another $200/ month. Insurance
(which is a whole other can o’ worms) would be around $900 / yr (so another
$75 / month.)

So let’s say $2200 / month, ÷ 6 people, is 366 + hydro, gas, internet. Very
affordable, eh?

I love this place. If i could finance it, I'd perform the inital repairs that would be required for the city to allow me to occupy it (thereby stopping the looting that has been going on at the moment). And then we could build it up into a cohousing space with a large shared are on the main floor and 6 - 8 adult occupants. Construction-wise, I think Oliver and I could find the people to make this happen. $$ wise I'm just starting the process of getting investors. For more info on how investors can work with co-operatives, see the Co-finance thread.

Mmmm, I have to go watch the kids, but I'll try to add some other properties and get a more streamlined format for raving about them eventually!

Current Mood: hopeful
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