Rental Properties and Landlords

Let me share a few recent personal observations in regards to looking for a place to rent here the City of Calgary.  Not for me, but I was able to accompany a young professional couple/family in their quest to find a suitable rental property.  We looked at a good number of options.  Since I haven’t looked for a rental for a long time, I found the process informative.

  • Landlords are aware of the tight rental market (about 1%) and I thought that got thrown in our face a few times.  Kind of like you need us,  and so “take it (the property) as it is, I am not going to fix anything”  and if you don’t like it there are other people.
  • Perhaps but not so fast!  There were rental choices  (in their chosen criteria)  in the market, albeit good properties were in demand and decisions had to be made quickly.  I would categorize the people I was accompanying as very desirable renters, i.e., stable, solid financially, quiet,  respectful & neat and they were evaluating landlords as well.   Some properties were rejected because it seemed the landlords just weren’t that interested in providing an overly  clean and neat place. We rejected some pretty dirty,  beat up places, even a former grow op where the landlord kind of tried to avoid/deny the issue.  Good renters look for good landlords.  Of course none of my readership are the “lousy” kind of landlords.
  • Many landlords were booking several showings at once so it wasn’t uncommon for us to walk through a property with others at the same time.  I didn’t personally find that very professional.  There was one instance where there were two young guys looking at a place at the same time we were. From the vibes, I don’t think they had a chance to get the place.  Something about demographics perhaps?
  • Landlords who provided adequate pictures & descriptions in their advertising, and presented clean and fixed up places were getting the most traffic/interest and were likely able to choose from a number of good tenants. Preparation and attention to detail does matter in both selling and in renting. 
  • With the theory that it can be a mutual benefit to connect (rent) from someone you might know, I did inquire about any rentals from all the agents within my brokerage and I did get a fair number of responses.  Many realtors do own rental properties but it seemed to me that the in general the realtor owned properties were the higher priced properties. 
  • There are illegal secondary suites out there with slightly lower rates,   but I don’t think many of them get overly advertised. Kind of hush,  hush, don’t tell.  Not sure if the concrete pipe suite pictured is illegal or not. Kind of hard to say.

Concrete home