Contrary to popular belief, being a landlord is not easy as other people make it out to be. It requires a lot of time and effort in ensuring that the property is actually getting the return of investment.
When done correctly, this profession can bring financial stability and allows you to achieve financial goals much faster. But when done poorly, you will be vulnerable to risk and can get into numerous legal disputes. Being a landlord is a matter of providing great property management while being careful in the process.
Property management is handling a range of jobs such as dealing with tenants, managing contracts, grounds keeping, and property maintenance amongst others. Having an efficient property management means to have the whole place running smoothly all the time. However, you are bound to run into some problems at one point. With that, here are some property management tips to help you manage risks and become a good landlord.
Keep your property in good condition.
Need we say more? Being a good landlord is to make sure that your property is safe to live in and in good condition. Set up a regular maintenance schedule or inspections to make sure that the property is in tip-top shape in case a new tenant comes. This will decrease the probability of problems from happening.
Be sure to inspect the following items:
- Smoke and fire detectors
- Emergency door access
Be particular with tenant selection.
Selecting good tenants to live in your property must be a priority as a landlord. It’s a lot cheaper to have a high-quality tenant that will stay long-term than it is to clean up after a messy tenant only for them to leave in less than a year.
Require applicants to fill up your rental application so that you will have their quick information and a brief background on their employment status and landlord references. Take the time and effort to do a screening process and possibly a background check on the tenant applicant. Good potential tenants are: responsible, can pay monthly rent in full, has no criminal record, and has a good rental history.
In order to attract good potential tenants, you must advertise on the correct platform and have your listing consistent with the target market you are aiming for. Listing on paid property portals will give you access to the employed market who are seeking homes. Accompany your listing with high quality photos to help you attract quality tenants. On the other hand, if you are targeting students or families, you may opt to list in a more cost-effective option like the Facebook Marketplace.
Know your leasing agreements.
To protect you and the tenant from losses, have a rental lease agreement in place. This is a legally binding contract between the tenant and landlord that can help eliminate any issues that may arise. It sets the policies, restrictions, and requirements for both parties.
All agreements must be put into writing instead of leaving it as verbal agreements to avoid any miscommunications. A leasing agreement is a good reference in case the tenant (or the landlord) violates a policy. As the landlord, it is your responsibility to consistently uphold the policies and protocols indicated in the leasing agreement.
Set the right rental price for your property.
Research your market and learn which amount is the right price to attract your target market in your area. Also consider your rental and maintenance expenses when setting up a leasing price. At the end of the day, this is still one of your sources of income. It is important that you do not arrive at a loss with your rental price.
Take note of your fixed expenses like mortgage, property taxes, and property insurance amongst others. Have a target range for your variable expenses such as maintenance costs, utilities, and improvements so that you can gauge how much it would cost every month and account them in the rental price.
Keep a record of everything.
It is necessary to keep a record of everything related to the lease such as payment receipts, maintenance receipts, transactions, and landlord-tenant communications and agreements. It is more efficient to keep this record digitally than in paper to avoid clutter and misplacement of records.
Keeping a record is a good practice for landlords which will help them in case any legal issue might arise. It is a good way to keep track of all the transactions and manage the overall lease.
Keep good tenants.
Constantly repeating the whole rental process can be quite exhausting. When you come across a good tenant, try to make them stay. Offer to renew their leasing contract for a better price a few months before it expires. Renewals will save you from vacancy and time to look for a new tenant.
Managing a rental property is a business that can provide you with a lifelong financial security. From maintaining the property to screening tenants, every step matters. As a good landlord, it is your responsibility to create a liveable space for your tenants and to ensure that the policies and protocols set in place are followed through. Getting the basics down and being aware of your tenant’s and your rights will help you arrive at a less stressful situation compared to poorly managed properties.
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Lindy, J. (2021, July 09). 6 property management tips for landlords. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.offthemrkt.com/blogs/6-property-management-tips-for-landlords
ServiceMaster Clean. (n.d.). 7 property management tips and tricks for Success. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.servicemasterclean.com/clean-blog/janitorial/7-property-management-tips-tricks-for-success/