7 Tips For Rental Property Owners
March 13, 2021
Are you a new landlord looking to be the best rental property owner you can be? As a rental property owner, there are many landlord duties you need to understand and manage to make sure tenants have a great experience.
Being the owner of a single rental property can be difficult on its own but if you own multiple properties, it can be overwhelming. To help guide you in the right direction, here are 7 helpful tips for first time landlords.
7 Landlord Tips For First Timers
1. Follow a Tenant Screening Process
Screening tenants carefully and thoroughly when renting out your property is important to find quality tenants. A little extra effort to screen a prospective tenant at the beginning will help avoid lease violations and eviction reports.
For example, prospective tenants that have no regard for your investment property may destroy it, cause disturbances to other tenants, or miss monthly rent payments. Make sure you really get to know potential tenants, which includes checking references, credit, eviction history, income, and other factors.
Getting landlord insurance or “rental dwelling policy” is a common way for property owners to protect themselves. It typically covers the property and protects the landlord in the event of a lawsuit. A security deposit is also a good form of protection in case a bad tenant damages the property. However, local law will also determine how security deposits work in different areas.
2. Create a Transparent Lease Agreement
The lease is the foundation of any landlord and tenant relationship. Take the time to thoroughly understand landlord-tenant law. You will have to lay out expectations, such as rental price, collecting rent, pet policies, requiring renters insurance, and other responsibilities tenants need to be aware of, as clearly as possible in the lease.
If you’re not sure about what should go into your rental agreement or are feeling unsure about landlord-tenant law, then it’s a great idea to seek advice from a lawyer that specializes in this area.
3. Maintain Your Property Regularly
As you are the owner or manager of the property, any and all maintenance issues fall on you to handle. There are a lot of ongoing maintenance responsibilities as a landlord. Developing a detailed maintenance schedule will help ensure that your rental units stay functional for tenants, and that you can deal with any unexpected issues as soon as possible.
4. Understand How Rental Law Works
Being a landlord requires you to stay up to date on local landlord-tenant regulations and state law. Knowing the local landlord-tenant laws is the most important part of rental property management so that you can keep your properties compliant and free from any legal trouble.
Additionally, it’s essential to perform regular health and safety checks to ensure that your homes meet the appropriate standards.
5. Check-in with Tenants
It’s always a good idea to check in with residents and make sure that everything is going well. Regular communication gives you the opportunity to build trust with your residents and also allows for any tenant complaints to be addressed quickly before they become larger problems. Making quarterly inspections is one way landlords stay in contact with tenants and help keep your property in top condition.
6. Consider Using a Property Manager
When it comes to landlord tips, one of the most important pieces of advice is to ask for professional help when necessary. Knowing when it’s time to reach out can be key in staying on top of your worries as a landlord. If you have multiple properties, hiring a property management business can help manage the day-to-day operations and keep everything running smoothly.
Asking for help could mean enlisting the help of property managers or the help of an experienced lawyer. In any case, rental property experts can provide you with valuable landlord tips and better equip you for success as a landlord.
7. Have a Contingency Fund
Last but not least, landlords should have a contingency fund set aside for unexpected costs associated with running your rental property. This can help prevent unexpected costs from derailing your plans. Make sure you are aware of fees related to insurance requirements and hidden fees that might sneak up on you as well.