A couple of years ago my parents bought a second home in a little town about an hour’s drive northeast of Toronto, Ontario. They already own a nice big house on a river with a gorgeous lot, big trees and great neighbors. However, they bought the second house to be used as a rental property until they retire in five or six years.

One local property owner is offering his tenants an immediate reduction in their rent amounts, and he hopes others will do the same as a measure of financial relief amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


My parents are not new to being landlords. They have experience with renting, having rented in the past themselves, and currently renting out their guest cottage as a rental property. The difference with their new rental property is that it’s far enough away that my father can’t keep on eye on things and ensure that their latest tenant is maintaining the house and property to a sufficient degree. Of course, from time to time, my parents will take an afternoon and drive over to make sure all is well at their rental property and they do keep in touch with the tenant by telephone as well. So far they have been very fortunate to find responsible individuals that treat the rental property with respect and keep it clean an tidy, as they likely would their own home.

In the past my parents had some trouble with one tenant. She refused to take her garbage to the bin and would simply throw it out her back door, essentially into my parents yard. My parents have two small dogs who are allowed to run about the yard for their daily exercise. What a disaster it was the one afternoon my mother turned her back on them for a second, only to find they’d torn the trash bag open and had strewn garbage across the yard. After that, my parents approached the tenant and insisted that no garbage be left out where pets or wild animals could reach it. The tenant was quite rude and ended up leaving the rental property shortly thereafter, to my parents relief.

Of course there might be misunderstandings and differences from time to time, however my parents have found that the best route to success in renting out a rental property is to have a clearly defined tenant/landlord agreement signed, along with any rental agreement. That way ground rules are laid before any problems arise, thereby circumventing potentially large issues down the road. So too, it’s important to familiarize oneself with all rental laws including regional by-laws that might affect the rental property. Following these guidelines can really help to ensure good tenant/landlord relations and ensure that a rental property stays rented on a permanent basis.