Beware of Rental Scams

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“RentalMiles manages properties on behalf of their property owner clients. Rentalmiles clients will never make contact with you to negotiate terms or pricing of any rentals managed by us as we have been hired to do so on their behalf. All payments within our platform are completed within our applications ONLY, available from the Apple or Google Store, and backed transactionally by our Partner, TD Canada Trust. ONLY OUR LICENSED AGENTS manage communication regarding rental properties within our platform, their email will be arentalmiles.com domain ONLY.”

Entertaining

Its time to show off your home and your decorating skills

With numerous holidays ahead, sporting events, birthdays and etc., we have lot to look forward to as the year rolls on. Instead of being plastered to your couch re- watching episodes of Friends by yourself, this should be a time for family and friends getting together, enjoying each other’s company with laughter over food and drinks. For those living in condos, you should take advantage of your building’s amenities and common spaces.  But keep in mind there are rules in place for renters such as  noise levels after a certain time and responsibilities related to damages to a property. It’s great to open doors to friends and family to your new home but don’t forget you share your building with your neighbours as well.

Know your building

With so many amenities condos can now provide, don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know exactly what your building has and how they can be used. Get in the know! Speak with the condo’s front desk to learn all your building has to offer. You may be surprised to find out that the area of the building you’ve never set eyes upon has a state-of-the-art cinema room for suitable for an awesome Spiderman movie night or even a dining room that you can use to host an amazing dinner party for you and your (selected) family and friends. Once you learn about these wonderful spaces of your building, you can gather ideas for great uses of these amenities.

Know the rules!

Who doesn’t want to have a awesome time, but you need to find out and learn all the rules to  stay out of hot water. These may include a limit on the number of people you are allowed to have over, the length and time restrictions on usage and your responsibilities to the space during and after use. Front desk will be your go-to for these rules. The things you will want to discuss prior to the use of the space are potential deposits in case of damage, and alcohol policy. The building should have a party room agreement in place, so make sure you read this carefully. Once the rules are established and understood, it’s party time!

Book in advance

Don’t wait to the last minute to book! Especially in a larger building, there’s likely to be at least one neighbour who will have a reason for use of a common amenity that night. In planning your big party, be sure to get that reservation in nice and early.

Be creative

Don’t be limited by amenities. You can put your thinking cap on and add to these spaces with some creativity. It may be an option to bring an Xbox game console to the media room and have an epic gamer party, or spice up your dining room party by bringing in fancy dinnerware to go with your elegant shindig. Use your common areas as a base for your party, and then let your imagination guide you. You can buy/rent lavish decorations or bring in a few games to liven up the party as long as the room stays damage/mess free. Do the most with what you have and throw a party that your friends and family will remember!

The food, that’s what it’s all about!

Because it’s not a party unless there’s a cheese board! Simplicity is key when it comes to food at a party. Make a few dishes, like a main course or maybe a side and just buy and assemble the rest. Everything looks fancy if you place it in fine china. Yes, that applies to fried chicken! Appetizers are a must, even if you’re not hosting a dinner party because most guests will arrive hungry, especially if they had a busy day or after they start having a couple drinks. You can create an entire spread with crackers, cheese, fruit, and olives! Remember this is just something for everyone to snack on to hold them over. Think of it as a little happy hour!

Create a playlist

Create a playlist or use an app like Spotify or Apple Music and pick a theme or genre for the party. You don’t need a fancy system, just a regular bluetooth speaker connected to your phone or iPod works great!

Also, be mindful of the noise restrictions in your neighborhood. If you plan to have a raging party and cut off time in your city is 10:00pm, make sure you remember to turn down the noise to avoid a knock on your door from the police or your concierge.

Where are you moving to?

Home is where the heart is …even if you can’t remember which box you packed it in.

Moving Checklist and Tips

Moving is not commonly known as a super fun time, especially in an urban setting with traffic. A key to make this transition easier is to have a moving checklist. Here is an example checklist to help you make your move smooth regardless if you are moving into a house, condo, or an apartment.

Moving Checklist:

Organize (Keep/Throw Away). You need to decide what to keep and what to get rid of based on your new home. Consider donating unused items, selling, or even gifting to friends and family. You may need to purge excess items in preparation for your move, and this will save you valuable time when packing especially if you are  moving from a house to a condo/apartment. You will also want to take measurements of your furniture and appliances to make sure your new space can accommodate them.

Book an elevator.  If you are moving into or out of an apartment, you should book this well in advance as many people tend to move in and out during certain times of the month. There is usually a deposit required, and a time limit on the use of the elevator, so plan accordingly!

Get moving quotes online. You should get quotes from several moving companies before deciding on one. Check online for reviews (watch out for fake reviews!) and make sure to keep valuables like cash, jewelry and items that are of importance with you.

Save your receipts. You will be able to deduct some of the moving expenses from your taxes so be sure keep all receipts. You may be in for a bonus when you file your taxes!

Address change. Contact all health institutions (dentist, doctor, veterinarian etc),schools and/or daycare. Also, cancel or change any subscriptions, change postal address, utilities. Notify your work, bank as well as family and friends (if you want to); Schedule mail forwarding service with Canada Post. Canada Post will automatically forward mail to your home for six months and up to a year. Here is a link to the sign-up form:

Click here for COA link

When changing the address for your cable and internet, you may also want to take this time to explore the cable and internet options for your new place. A lot of condos have a move in deals so you may be able to save a dollar or two.

The joys of packing  Use colours when marking moving boxes. Designatea specific colour for each room such as black for the kitchen and green for the living room. This will make organizing much easier. It is also advisable to make an inventory list so you can be confident that nothing has been forgotten (unless you want it to be, oops!) Pro-tip: Determine what you will need easy access to the day of the move. Separate some essentials such as cleaning products to give your place a quick clean after the movers are done. You can also easily get rid of the dust and grime that comes with moving into a new place and when all is said and done you can sit back, open a bottle of wine and unwind!

We hope these tips will help you with your upcoming move so you can spend less energy on moving and more time enjoying your new home!

Neighbourhoods: This is not Mr. Roger’s neighbourhood!

To find a perfect home, you have to find the perfect neighbourhood. If you’re moving to a new area and can’t distinguish one enclave from another, doing the research required for your new permanent digs is no small feat!

Are you looking for an area with the best schools? Or a close knit community that doesn’t consist of residents who simply eat and sleep? You may want a neighbourhood that is family-friendly or that has a good walking score because you don’t want to add a car to your expenses. With the neighbourhood module on the RentalMiles app, you can find all of this information at your fingertips via your smartphone.

Think about what you’re really looking for in a neighbourhood and your priorities, you may have to make compromises, so start by putting your must haves on the top of the list. These can range from rental prices to the growth of the neighbourhood and its future plans for development, to what fits you or your family’s lifestyle.

Although a perfect neighbourhood doesn’t really exist, there are components common to all GREAT areas. As you evaluate the various aspects of a neighborhood on the RentalMiles App for your prospective home, you’ll want to match them to your current needs and requirements. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Does it complement your lifestyle? – A perfect neighbourhood is one in sync with your lifestyle. People tend to be attracted to areas with similar demographics and cultures as their own. Just as important as finding a place with your friends and family nearby, you may find yourself gravitating towards them and having to commute if you move too far. Pick a place that suits you and your everyday lifestyle. For instance, a gated community may not be right for a young professional looking to date, or a family of four would have a hard time living in a bustling neighbourhood downtown
  2. Schools (because homeschooling is not always the best option). When looking for a new home, great schools are usually at the top of the list of elements which make a great neighbourhood. Not only are they important for families with children, they also make the surrounding areas more valuable and highly sought after. For example, a person who is a new place as they enter into post secondary, they may focus on places that are within walking distance in order to save on transportation costs. Our neighbourhood module will tell you nearby schools and the number of options available for consideration.
  3. Crime rates (You probably don’t want to end up in the background of an episode of Cops!)  Low crime rates are essential to a neighbourhood, especially for those moving with young children. As safety and security is everyone’s priority in a neighbourhood, crime is a way to tell if the area is improving. With our major developments and market data in our app, you can see if the area in mind has made recent improvements or has plans to restructure. In some cases, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider a neighbourhood that is in the midst of a transformation to save a few bucks in your pocket.
  4. Outdoor activities (because we can’t get all of our exercise at the gym). Living close to outdoor activities can encourage you to go out more and exercise or simply get some fresh air. Being close to places where you can jog, cycle, sunbathe or even sail or jet ski, can keep you motivated and proud of your neighbourhood. Proximity to other outdoor facilities like baseball diamonds, gold courses and tennis courts are also great qualities that make your neighbourhood more of a community.
  5. Access to medical care. This is important for all tenants but especially for soon-to-be-moms, seniors and retirees who are looking for a place that has a close proximity to hospitals or doctor’s offices. This may be a priority for people in various stages in life and can be the deciding factor if this neighbourhood works for your lifestyle.
  6. Family-friendly. Areas with children, school and playgrounds are neighbourhoods draw in families with children. If this is one of your deciding factors, things to look for in a this type of community are children playing outside, playgrounds as well as educational centres and libraries. When a community has more accessibility for children, it increases the opportunity for children to play, make lifelong friends and even a neighbourhood watch system.
  7. Proximity to public transportation.  This is a key consideration if you don’t want to buy a car or if the neighbourhood you desire doesn’t have good parking options. Easy access to public transportation with options is a fantastic plus for any neighbourhood. Trains, buses and even ferries are important amenities to any lifestyle, from a retiree who wants to keep the car at home, to a millennial who can’t afford one. Accessibility to public transportation is a key indicator of an invested neighbourhood
  8. Walk and transit scores – It would be nice to ditch the car keys or avoid the expense all together with a neighborhood that has an EXCELLENT walk score. An area with a score of 70 (out of a 100) or higher means that you can get your walking shoes on and hit the pavement. By reviewing all of the amenities and the transportation options nearby, you can see if the neighbourhood can help you alleviate the expense of a car and or if it’s an area with a lot of road rage. Walk and Transit scores are the deciding factor for most renters when looking for their perfect place!
  9. Restaurants and shopping centers. Not everyone plans to cook every night, or even at all! If you fit in this category, you need to make sure the neighborhood you select has great restaurants and shopping nearby. Unless you plan to grow your own farm and make your own clothes, it’s always good to check for the nearest grocery stores and shopping options.
  10. Nightlife and entertainment.What do you want to do tonight? Looking for a nearby town centre, movie theatre, bar or late-night club scene? This could be the reason a neighbourhood comes alive. You may want to walk home after the bar to avoid the cab fare and be the spot for your friends’ after parties. This is usually a priority for anyone who is young and single, but everyone appreciates a neighbourhood where the hot spots are located within walking distance, or a short Uber ride away.

Landlords: Why manage?

A friend asked a tenant about the landlord who lives in the unit above his – “almost every night they stomp on the floor and shout till midnight” When the tenant asked if it bothered him, he replied, “Not really, for I usually stay up and practice my trumpet till about that time almost every night anyway.”

If you are a landlord who is always on the go, chances are that you are looking to maximize the profit from property ownership (as well as maintain and increase the value of your properties) while collecting points to enjoy the financial freedom of traveling. Here are just a few reasons why you should hire a property manager with RentalMiles:

  1. Increasing your property’s income earning potential with a property manager. While many property owners worry about the added cost involved with hiring a property manager,  they don’t realize that they will actually make more money in the long term due to increased care of their property. You will have better tenants who will want to stay longerand won’t have to deal with as much damages  or repairs. With a property manager who will periodically conduct a thorough market study before setting rental prices, you will always know that your home is appropriately priced based on the current market conditions.
  2. Receiving monthly rent payments on time while collecting reward points.  Non payment from your tenant can be difficult and can lead to legal battles. RentalMiles has a tried and true system in place that effectively collects the month’s rent and will make the deposit directly into your bank account – where it belongs. This is particularly important to landlords whether you have  two properties or twenty properties, because collecting payment on time is crucial to maintaining cash flow. Thus, we make sure that paying rent is the first transaction your tenant makes each month. We incentivize tenants to avoid making excuses such as “I can’t pay the rent as my Mercedes is in the shop, and I cannot afford to pay for both”.
  3. Marketing and advertising your property online using 3-D cameras. Property managers will know exactly where and how to advertise your place to make it look as attractive as possible. They will also have access to a bigger pool of applicants from  their extensive marketing and advertising software. With 3-D camera technology and easy access to an mobile app, your home has never been advertised so elaborately. Users with the right technology may even [enter] your property virtually (VR lenses required).
  4. Finding you the right tenants – Leave it to the pros! In addition to finding good tenants, property managers will take care of the fine details, which include securing all criminal background checks andsecurity checks; running a credit report through Credilytix; verifying employment and previous landlord references. We even share these scores with tenants on the app so they can improve them. Our model rewards good tenants who consistently pay on time, leave the rental properties in good condition, and re-lease early. We also pre-authorize tenants during landlord negotiations for new properties by highlighting them against new tenants to the program and guaranteeing same day approval for existing clients for any RentalMiles property. This is all done via a handheld app.
  5. Managing tenants.In addition to finding and placing  good tenants, RentalMiles will manage all aspects of the tenant – landlord relationship. The property manager will handle both routine and emergency maintenance, take care of routine inspections and manage any situations where conflict resolution is required. With the property manager’s role acting as a liaison between landlords and tenants allow property owners are able to maintain a professional distance from their tenants and keep it strictly professional. When issues arise, the property manager is equipped to address the problems professionally and effectively.
  6. Managing risk and ensuring compliance with housing regulations and laws.  There is a multitude of applicable laws as well as local, federal and fair housing regulations to abide by when you first buy your property and make the decision to rent it out. A property manager can help you keep your property up-to-date and compliant with regulations in order to avoid potential lawsuits (Did you know that you are required to hold deposits in trust accounts that bear interest and provide that interest back to your tenants?).
  7. Maximizing the profitability of your time and money.  By having a property manager  take care of the day to day aspects of your property, you can spend your free time to acquire new assets while growing your investment property. Most property managers charge a percentage of your property’s monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. With rates starting at 4.9%, RentalMiles offers full RPM services and reward miles. Rental properties managed by our agents will be a seamless and rewarding process, while saving you more money in the long run!