Running your own rental property can be a great way to make money to help support your mortgage payments, fund your travel plans, or pay for remodels that your property might need. But managing and leasing property isn’t necessarily an easy feat. Being a landlord is a lot of responsibility. You have to find tenants to fill your rental space, you have to maintain your property, monitor rent payments, and communicate with vendors on your tenant’s behalf, just to name a few key responsibilities.
With that said, with foundational knowledge and some preparation, you can take steps to make your life as a landlord a whole lot easier. In this post, we’ll discuss 5 tips for aspiring landlords to follow.
1) Take tenant screening seriously
Ask any experienced landlord where the root of their most challenging problems lie and they’ll most likely tell you that it has to do with finding reliable and respectful tenants. Aside from getting rent payments in, these people are responsible for keeping your property in good condition while they’re living in it, so you certainly want the best of the best when it comes to approving tenants to move into your space. What’s more, your tenants are a reflection of you as a property owner and you’d hope that other homeowners in your neighborhood felt respected by the renters you choose.
This is why it’s so important to be extra diligent during the tenant screening process. Obtaining a rental history report is a key source of information for property owners looking for good tenants. If an applicant was evicted, for example, you might consider this a red flag and choose not to allow them to move in. Of course, there are legal restrictions you must follow when screening applicants, so make sure you’re aware of those before accepting or reviewing any applications.
2) Make paying rent easy for your tenants
Speaking of good tenants…good tenants want to pay their rent on time. But in order for them to do so, you have to make it accessible and easy for them. In our digital age, online rent payments are pretty much the standard (and are expected) for tenants. Set up an online rent collection system and watch those payments come in on, or well before the first of the month.
3) High-quality listings go a long way
You probably already know that the rental market can be pretty competitive. It’s for this reason that so many landlords make a conscious effort to advertise their property and make it look appealing to prospective renters. One thing that can help you step up your game is to have professional photos taken of your property so that you can highlight all of its most important features. Why? This is want draws in renters and more money.
Just be sure that when applicants come to view the property that what they see online is what they actually get. Don’t fake accommodations or brag about features if they’re not there or if they don’t present the way they do on the listing.
4) Keeping up on landlord and tenant laws is 100% necessary
Another big challenge for landlords is how dense and detailed state landlord and tenant laws are. It’s not always easy to interpret their meaning, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to do your job and earn money the right way.
If you want to go the extra mile to ensure you’re operating in compliance with these rules, it might be worth hiring a property lawyer to help you draft legal documents and tenant applications.
5) Clear communication is key
When you think about it, miscommunication is the source of nearly all personal and professional issues we have. Whether it’s bad instructions or unclear representation, miscommunication can lead to a number of issues that are mostly avoidable. This is especially true for landlords. From communicating late rent penalties to addressing maintenance issues, it’s your job to work with your renters in a professional and efficient manner. Whether you communicate over the phone or via email, it’s important to make yourself available and always communicate clearly.
Use these tips and you should have a profitable and simple experience managing your property!
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