Author Topic: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?  (Read 735 times)

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Offline Jstewart99

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Wondering if anyone has considered being a landlord while active duty. And how that has turned out for them? Is it a good or bad idea considering the constant location moving? I am a reservist going reg force most likely in the next few years to come. What are your thoughts on doing this? Either 1) Buy a house which i can rent out to other members and make money off reliable individuals near a base or 2) buy a house completely far from a base, near a school or something and rent it out to civilians to try and make money off of that then live in shacks?
All of this after my trade training and such..
I have saved up a considerable amount of money and I'm really wondering if this is possible, if it is i'm interested.
(Not sure if this should've been posted in this section or "Radio Chatter" If it should of been posted there, my apologies.)

Offline Scott

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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 17:19:08 »
You'll want to be intimately familiar with whatever legislation exists for your area before you go into this. I am speaking from firsthand experience. If you don't know it, you could get pretty badly burned. Hell, even if you do know it you could still wind up with a dirtbag and have to spend more time than it's worth sorting through the processes, repairs, etc.

There are also differing tax implications now, IIRC.

I can't comment on the possibility WRT military life, and I won't discourage you. But do your research and lots of it.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 17:26:16 »
I have known many members of the CAF who have owned properties that they have rented out.  Some have owned several properties as landlords.  Some have rented their homes out, when they were Posted to other locations, in the hope of returning to that home in the future.

Scott has given you some advice.  Perhaps some other members who are renting out properties can give you more suggestions.

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 17:34:27 »
A friend of mine had several Rental properties.  My best advice, from his experience, is to be very careful in whom you rent to.  Ensure you vet them well.  One piece of advice was to actually visit where they currently live to see what kind of condition they treated that location, and that would give you an idea how they may treat your rental, for cleanliness, damage, storage, etc.  If it is a pig sty then don't rent to them. 
My friend spent many days in court trying to get rent and damage payments from people who mistreated his properties.  He even had to take a sister-in-law to court; so family can also be a bad tenant.
In most locals, the Tenant has more rights than the landlord, so keep that in mind.
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Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline Remius

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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 18:40:03 »
I use a property management company.  They do the vetting and find my tenants for me. Saves me a lot of hassle and I claim the expense on my tax return. 

There are tax implication to having a rental depending on how you are set up.  Are you looking for rental income or do just want your property to gain value and keep the income portion as low as possible etc etc.

Also if you plan on being a landlord on your own you can get picking tenants that will call and complain every week about everything.  Know your obligations and aim,I arise yourself with the appropriate landlord tenant act for your jurisdiction. I did and decided to let someone else manage that stuff for me because of all the obligations and rules that tend to favour the tenant. 
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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 18:51:02 »
Before you rent your property walk through with a camera taking pictures/video of every nook and cranny, and make sure you have a video stamp on pictures/video.
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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 07:12:48 »
I use a property management company.  They do the vetting and find my tenants for me. Saves me a lot of hassle and I claim the expense on my tax return. 

There are tax implication to having a rental depending on how you are set up.  Are you looking for rental income or do just want your property to gain value and keep the income portion as low as possible etc etc.

Also if you plan on being a landlord on your own you can get picking tenants that will call and complain every week about everything.  Know your obligations and aim,I arise yourself with the appropriate landlord tenant act for your jurisdiction. I did and decided to let someone else manage that stuff for me because of all the obligations and rules that tend to favour the tenant.

My nightmare scenario resulted after I used a service and the tenants were vetted.

It varies by province how much you can ask for from a prospective tenant.

If you're not desperate, and I grant that we were when we found our special dirtbags, then take your time. But more importantly, as pointed out above, know EVERYTHING. It'll help you before, during, and if you're in front of the board adjudicator.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Possible to be a house landlord while regular force?/ Good idea?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 10:53:31 »
My experience is limited to renting our house to which I intended to return.  In one case it worked out really well.  I could not have asked for a better tenant.  The second time I did it, it did not work our nearly as well.

With the first house, I had great property manager, which is crucial for success.  I would never even consider doing this without a property manager in the local area to the house.  I simply could not have managed the property while posted elsewhere.  As it turned out, I never did return to that house and still haven't gotten back to that city and here we are 20 years later....  I eventually sold that house after seven years for a tidy profit.

The second experience did not work out so well.  I was out of the country for three years and unfortunately, the timing of my posting was such that the house didn't go on the market until the worst possible time (August) and it sat empty for nine months.  The first set of tenants were students who damaged the hot tub ($2000 to repair) and the stove ($600 to replace).  Then then tried to skip out on the last month's rent (I won that one).  There was other damage to the house, but I could not determine whether it was the first or second tenants (the second "family" were no winners either).  Long story short, when we re-occupied the house, we had to re-paint the living room and dining room and repair some walls and other things.  Nothing too serious (although there is still that mystery burn mark on the living room hardwood) and we've mostly recovered (repairs are also tax-deductible).  I think the biggest disappointment was with the property manager.  They worked very hard in some aspects, but fell short overall.  My mistake in this case was to hire a real estate agent to manage the property vice a property management company.  My small consolation, is that mail from various collection agencies, looking for all the tenants, still arrives from time to time.  The phone calls were fun too as I happily threw the tenants under the bus.  The funniest part was when I got an email from one tenant asking for a receipt for the rent they had paid (presumably for tax purposes).  I happily agreed, as soon as she remitted the balance owing for the damages.  ;D  She hasn't gotten back to me....  Unfortunately, you cannot ask for a damage deposit in Ontario. :(

I have a friend who rents out a property on the other side of the country as an investment.  Even when co-located with it, he crammed his family into a PMQ (with all that entails).  Now that he's located here, he continues to rent it out.  He's been fairly lucky with the property itself, but it's not without its headaches.  Furthermore, the idea of owning a house that I'm not living in, while living in a PMQ has no appeal to me whatsoever.  I don't enjoy being a landlord and the ONLY reason I did it was to be able to keep the house with the idea of someday returning to it.  In my particular neighbourhood right now, there is a strong possibility that I if I sold my house and went away for a few years, I wouldn't be able to buy again in this area when I got back.

There are lots of people in the Regular Force who own multiple properties as investments and some are doing quite well at it, but it takes organization and if you're not co-located with them, a good property manager (which cuts into the profits even though the expense is tax-deductible).  It's not for me though.  Another thing to consider is that even you don't have tenants or your tenants aren't paying their rent, you still have to make your obligations.  I remember being annoyed with a subordinate once who owned several properties and was living in a PMQ, yet was crying financial hardship (and looking for assistance).

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