Landlords ask us lots of questions about resident building managers – from whether or not they need one, to how much they should pay them. We answer four of your most common questions in this blog.
How big should my building be before I hire a caretaker?
The size of your property isn’t the only factor in deciding whether you should have an onsite caretaker – some landlords are more comfortable knowing that they have a caretaker onsite at all times, other landlords may use a building manager who looks after several properties at once.
Generally, if your building has more than 30 units, you should have a resident manager. If you own several buildings within walking distance of each other, or no more than a 5-minute drive apart, you can use one professional building manager to manage up to six buildings.
How much should I pay my caretaker?
The Employment Standards Act of BC prescribes a monthly minimum salary for resident caretakers based on the number of suites in the building, rather than the BC minimum hourly wage.
However, on average in 2018, rates for resident caretakers range from $50 to $70 per unit. Some landlords pay towards the lower end of the scale, but pay extra for additional work. Others pay higher salaries, but include more in the caretaker’s job description.
Is my caretaker’s suite a taxable benefit?
If your caretaker’s suite is part of their compensation package, (i.e. they don’t pay you rent), then it is a taxable benefit on their T4 slip. If you don’t include it as a taxable benefit, the Canada Revenue Agency can come after you for the difference in taxes between your caretaker’s declared income, and their income with the taxable benefit included.
If your building does not have an office, and your caretaker uses part of their suite as an office, you can discount the taxable benefit by a reasonable amount – see your accountant for more details.
How often should I review my caretaker’s performance?
At least annually, review what your caretaker is doing in your building to make sure that your needs are being met, and that the work is getting done. While most caretakers do their job honestly, we have come across situations when taking over buildings where maintenance isn’t being performed and the building is being allowed to run down, rents are in arrears or below market value, caretakers are pocketing rents from friends while telling landlords that the units are unrented or, they are using rental units for personal use.
If you’re unsure whether your caretaker is doing a proper job, call us to arrange an operational review – it’s one of the many property management services we offer.
With us, your building is always in good hands.
Our building managers are bonded and insured, and receive in-house training on everything from Health and Safety issues to tenant relations. We also have a department dedicated solely to Residential Rental management.
Looking for a residential rental specialist? Give us a call at 604 873 8591.