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Tips for Avoiding Nightmare Tenants

Tue, 02 May by Bryon Howard

Success in real estate investment is totally dependent on the property owner’s ability to find and lease space to qualified, dependable tenants.  Good tenants are building blocks for a solid investment.  Each turnover in tenancy involves costs – in lost rent and the cost to prepare space for a new occupancy.  There can also be substantial legal costs involved in removing problem tenants.  While a certain amount of turnover is both inevitable and manageable, the goal must be to keep turnover to a minimum.  Turnover is a landlord’s greatest enemy.

Here are a few valuable tips for pulling in quality tenants and avoiding every landlord’s worst nightmare – the deadbeat tenant from hell who does not pay rent and destroys your property.

Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to tenant screening. – Order background and credit checks on every tenant applicant you consider and have them provide proof of income, such as a current pay stub.  Also, ask for landlord references and make every effort to contact those references.  It is also fair game to check out the social media pages of prospective tenants.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are home to treasure troves of information when you are trying to find out more about a person.  Just because one report or reference comes back looking good, don’t neglect to follow-up with the other checks.

Try a little patience! – Yes, we have established that turnover costs money, but do not lease to the first tenant who comes knocking just to avoid a short-term vacancy.  The costs associated with evicting a tenant will far exceed the costs of a brief vacancy.  Develop patience and wait, if necessary, for the right tenant to come along.

Look for obvious red flags that may signal a problem tenant. – There are signs that alert landlords to tenants that are best avoided.  Anyone who is in a big hurry to move in immediately should cause you to slow down and ask a few questions.  What is the big hurry?  Were they evicted by another landlord or thrown out by their parents?  Also, beware when throngs of friends and family show up to look at a simple one-bedroom apartment.  An excessive number of people living under one roof will result in increased wear & tear and higher utility costs and may even violate the rules of your condo or homeowner’s association.  Finally, watch out for applicants who have multiple addresses over a short period.  This means they move all the time.  Before you know it, they will be moving from your property and you will be back at the drawing board in search of a steady, long-term tenant.

Consider employing a professional property manager. – If your budget has some wiggle room, you may want to opt for the services of a professional property manager.  They have websites designed to attract tenants and are already set up to screen prospective tenants in assembly line fashion.  Best of all, many investors report that property management pros can negotiate better rents than they were getting on their own.

Another way to avoid bad tenants is to be a good landlord.  Honor your own obligations under your rental agreement, respect your tenant’s privacy and your good tenants will be more inclined to renew the lease.  You may even persuade them to accept a little bump in rent to sweeten the deal!


Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at

A Realtor’s 2013 Calgary Real Estate Market Forecast

Tue, 15 Jan by Bryon Howard
A Realtor’s 2013 Calgary Real Estate Market Forecast


At the end of each year, clients and friends are often eager to know my opinion about the state of the Calgary real estate scene, or, on occasions, even the whole of Canada. I often receive questions like: “Is next year a good year to buy a home?” Another popular question people tend to ask me is: “Will my property’s value appreciate next year?”

I can’t say that my take on the real estate industry is definitive, but I did notice a few trends which I will use as basis for some of my projections in this blog.

Zeroing in on Calgary

Based on economic indicators and real estate figures this year, I can see Calgary’s residential real estate market growing even bigger in 2013, thanks in no small part to the solid economy and strong consumer confidence.

Industry insiders will tell you that 2012 had the highest level of sales activity in the last five years. That’s a good sign and indicates a stable economy. They expect to see this sales activity increase even more in 2013.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers and homeowners? Here are a few things that I see happening in the Calgary real estate industry in 2013:

  • Stable property values – Homeowners can rest easy knowing that the value of their investment will appreciate or at least remain stable as employment growth, rising incomes, and low mortgage rates will help sustain demand for housing. In addition, net migration is expected to increase to 20,000 people largely due to the oil and gas sector which is a key industry and is a major factor in generating growth and prosperity. MLS sales are seen to increase by 15.7 percent or 26,000 transactions because of net migration. Moreover, sales prices in the Calgary region are projected to rise by 2 percent or $411,000 and by another 2.7 percent 422,000. 
  • Good time to buy a home – In recent years, more Calgary residents have been buying property, due to the low interest rates.  With low interest rates expected to continue next year, it’s a good time as any to consider buying a new home.
  • Good time to sell – A recent report on the Calgary real estate market showed that single-family homes were most sought after in 2012. More than 60% of sales of residential properties were single-family homes that cost below $450,000. So if you have a single-family home and would like to move to a bigger one, you have a good chance of selling it in 2013, especially if it’s under the $450,000 price point.
  • Strong activity seen in certain Calgary neighborhoods –Killarney, Hillhurst, Marda Loop, Mount Royal, and the Foothills exhibited strong activity resulting in the values of properties in these areas to increase.       One of the reasons that in these areas easily moved is because of their strategic location and proximity downtown.  If you have a few properties in these neighborhoods, next year seems like a good time to sell it, especially with rising demand.
  • Office real estate increases in value– Calgary’s office real estate market has also strengthened this year, compared with 2011. One indication of this is the premium rates that office spaces in certain Calgary areas demand.

The 8th Avenue S. W. Strip, particularly, has been listed as the second most expensive street in Canada, next to Toronto’s Bay Street. With its proximity to retail streets, easy access to transportation, and available parking spaces, it’s no wonder that this particular street in Calgary demands an average of $55.33 per square foot, at $76.50 square foot being the top rent.

As you can see, Calgary’s real estate market is strengthening and continues to grow. From the looks of it, moreover, this trend will continue in 2013. Homeowners, buyers, and sellers in Calgary can be confident that real estate will remain a good investment.


Know someone who is looking to make a decision in real estate? If you know any friends, family, or co-workers who are looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate within the next six months, would you forward this email to them or reply with their contact information? I’ll send them important information about the Calgary, AB surrounding area real estate market and politely ask for their business. I greatly appreciate your valued referrals; it’s the only way I build my business. You can reach me at this number: 403-589-0004

Bryon Howard is a top-producing real estate agent with Re-Max House of Real Estate in Calgary, Alberta. He is in love with his high school sweetheart, an enthusiastic Dad & is crazy about endurance sports. To learn more about Bryon and his real estate tips, head on over to his

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