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Becoming a landlord is a great way to earn money from your property, but it’s also a big commitment. You are taking on a challenge when you decide to rent out your property, and there are a lot of rules and regulations you’ll need to be familiar with before you take the plunge. Here’s what you should know.

Screen your tenants properly. While you might want to immediately rent out to the sweet couple who seem like people you’d like to get to know, don’t just agree to a lease right away. Make sure you do your due diligence and check references and credit scores to ensure they’re financially sound.

Get very familiar with the local laws. You will want to know your Residential Tenancies Act and Landlord Tenant Board information inside out. It’s good to call up these organizations and ask for the rundown on what you should know, along with reading them thoroughly. While you might think it’s up to you to decide if you want to allow pets in the unit or not, there are existing laws that a tenant can invoke even if they sign a contract that states “no pets allowed.” 

Promote your property online. While you can certainly still stick a sign in the window if you want to, today most renters look for rental units online in local listings. Let the pros take the lead on that. Hire an agent to take care of renting it out. They know how to best vet candidates and get your property safely rented out.

Don’t forget to buy insurance. You will need to cover yourself with a variety of different insurance policies now that you’re a landlord. Look into rental property insurance companies to ensure you have everything you need, starting with liability insurance, dwelling protection and detached private structures insurance. You might also want water damage protection, appliance coverage and rental income insurance.

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