Being a landlord is challenging and a lot of work. It’s important to have a good relationship with your tenants instead of viewing them as opportunities to profit. Regardless of how attractive your property is, it’s not going to reach its full value and potential if you don’t properly manage it.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve in your trade, here are some essential tips you should know:
Handle It Like a Business
As a landlord, you’re essentially a business owner, so you must work to manage your finances, thoroughly screen tenants, and treat them with professionalism. There are also many federal, state, and local laws that apply; abiding by them will avoid legal trouble and help keep a positive reputation. Also, purchase landlord insurance to protect yourself from accidents and liability claims, which can save you money following unfortunate situations.
A terrible tenant can ruin your business. They can cause extensive damage, refuse to pay the rent, and it usually takes months to sort out. An effective tenant screening process will save you money, time, and stress. Carry out thorough referencing checks and chase up references.
Approachability is often one of the most neglected landlord characteristic. When your tenant moves in, show your face. Take the time to ensure they’re happy. It’s comforting for a tenant to be shown around the property by the person who owns it. Give your phone number and/or email address. Let them know they can contact you at any point with their concerns. And reply promptly to emails and telephone calls. There will be times when you can’t answer the phone, but if a tenant leaves a voicemail, return their call as soon as possible.
Make Sure Your Property Is Safe
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, HVAC maintenance and clean vents, and checking pipes and appliances help keep your tenants safe. But dangerous problems can still occur. You should have a plan that covers how to fix issues such as broken water heaters, furnaces, or pipes. Keep the numbers of electricians, plumbers, and other contractors on hand so you have someone to call at a moment’s notice.
Be Responsive to Maintenance Needs
When tenants report that a repair is needed, give it your attention right away. Even if it’s something that doesn’t require an immediate response, let your tenants know that you’re aware of it, and working on it. Any emergency maintenance should be handled ASAP. The number one reason tenants leave their rental properties is because they’re dissatisfied with their landlord’s response to maintenance. Don’t give them a reason to leave.
Create a Personalized Tenancy Agreement
Most landlords use a standard tenancy agreement which usually covers all bases. By giving your agreement a personal touch, you can dispel any ambiguity and irrelevant clauses. Be sure to make it clear who’s responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property – to prevent any future misunderstandings. It may be best to consult a legal professional in this process also.
Your lease should explain how late payments are handled, pet policies, and what is expected of the tenant as far as maintenance. The more detail you include, the less likely you’ll have disputes with tenants later. Be firm but fair; outline consequences of breaking rules so tenants don’t continuously do so.
Set a Fair Rent Price
Rents are already quite high, especially in urban areas. Research the market based on your location and set the price accordingly. Otherwise, you may deal with persistent vacancies that waste money. The right price can attract a good tenant quickly. Also make sure rent payments cover expenses such as mortgage payments, repairs, insurance, property taxes, and others.
Find what payment options work for your tenants
If you want your tenants to pay the rent on time, make it as easy as possible. Setting up direct debit payments is one of the best ways to ensure the rent is always paid on the allotted day. You can ask the tenant what day is best for them, they could pay rent on the same day they get paid for example. That way, they don’t end up in a financial hole. Be flexible about how the rent is paid. It really doesn’t matter how they pay as long as they do pay!
Hire a Property Manager
A property manager or management company can save you time, especially if you have another job. If you’re overwhelmed with the tasks, and/or manage multiple properties, a property manager can collect rent, market your property, and handle any tenant issues that arise. If you live away from the property, a property manager can help maintain a habitable home for tenants. They can handle roof work, repainting, and other projects as well.
We can find qualified tenants, collect rent payments, and handle all maintenance needs for you.