9 Tips to Becoming an Awesome Landlord?
Landlording is not for the weak and if you are planning to take this path, you must know, a lot of strings are attached to it. It can be very profitable but as with any success, it takes hard work, patience, and some studying. If you are seriously considering it or you are currently a landlord who wants to be better at it, here are 9 do’s to becoming an awesome landlord.
1) Take it seriously. This IS a business.You have to keep that in mind all the time. You are growing and protecting a real estate investment. You’re entrusting a property to tenants and carefully watching and making sure that these tenants are taking care of this investment. If you think that’s no big deal then maybe landlording is not meant for you.If you want to be a landlord, you have to be willing to commit your time, effort and money in ensuring the property will last and remain profitable for years to come. This is not a hobby or pastime. You have to constantly think of ways to make the property more profitable while making sure that your clients (aka tenants) are well taken care of. You have to invest in the improvement of your property and make every effort to make your investment marketable.You have to find the balance between making a profit and pleasing your tenants.
2) Be organized. Being organized will help you achieve greater freedom, keep out of legal troubles, and increase the profitability of your rentals. Organize records and other data to help you monitor everything properly. Creating a system for bookkeeping will help you through tax season if you do it properly. If this is an aspect of landlording that you’re not really good at, find someone who can help you. It’s better to ask for help early than to run into issues later on.
3) Awareness of the law is crucial. Always remember that with any business, you have to adhere to certain laws and regulations. The same applies to renting out properties. There are federal, state and local laws that apply to landlording and tenancy. Make sure you are well aware of all these. Start with the basic: Fair Housing Laws. To avoid fines and jail time, don’t discriminate against any of the protected classes (race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, disability, and other locally protected classes).There are also specific rules as to how you should manage your tenant’s deposit, or what you can legally deduct from their deposit once the lease contract ends. If you’re a newbie, check with your local board for landlording groups or associations. Joining these groups will help you not only in knowing the law but also in running your business smoothly.
4) Market your property properly. Quality tenants are like diamonds: hard to find but once you find them, it makes good money. More than ever, it’s easier to market properties these days. You have a long list of options when it comes to marketing your property. Whether it’s traditional media like newspaper, TV or handing out fliers, or new media like Facebook and Google advertising, marketing your property is not a problem. If you want quality tenants, you have to go out there and advertise your property.
If marketing is not your strongest suit, you can always hire people who can help you with it. Facebook and Google advertising is very effective. It saves you money and helps you target the exact type of tenants you want to deal with. Find someone good at these, there are plenty online!
5) Screen potential tenants. Once you’ve attracted potential tenants, the next and always tricky part is identifying the good and the bad. Setting up a screening process solves this problem. Don’t just rely on instinct; you have to ask questions. Run a thorough screening and check for criminal records, credit history, rental history and income stability. Call previous landlords and find out if there’s a history of delayed payments and unruly behavior. Call employers just to find out if they are regular employees or if they have the capacity to maintain your rental property. There are many ways to do it, just make sure you check the legal way to do it.The last thing you want is an overbearing tenant who doesn’t pay rent so make sure you go through a screening and application process
6) Sign a comprehensive lease agreement. Lease agreements should be state-specific and thorough, carefully spelling out the duties and responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord. Make sure your lease covers all bases. The agreement should cover not just the person paying the rent but also all the adults who will reside in the property – parents, cousins, boyfriends or girlfriends. There are instances when the original tenant decides to move out, leaving you with people who are not in the lease agreement. You can’t kick them out but you don’t have a contract with them. So make sure all adults are covered in the contract. If you’re unsure of how to do this, you can always consult with lawyers or property management experts. They will be able to help you craft a lease agreement that protects both you and your tenant.
7) Train your tenants, too. No two tenants are the same, some will take the time to read and keep in mind the details of the lease agreement while most will sign it and forget more than half of the agreement’s content. Train them to follow deadlines, requirements and office hours. If they make a non-emergency call beyond the specific office hours you’ve set, make sure to remind them and not answer the phone next time. Be strict on your payment deadlines to teach them to prioritize payment.You can be on good terms with your tenant without being lenient. Rules are there for a reason.
8)Communicate well. A smooth landlord-tenant relationship is based on good communication so make sure you’re communicating well with your tenants. For tenants with plenty of requests and questions, make sure you address their concerns properly. Not all requests can be granted but make sure you explain why you’re refusing these requests. Be clear with your requests and instructions, too, to make sure you don’t get into any miscommunication.
9) Resolve issues carefully and effectively. No matter how well you train your tenants or communicate with them, you will have problems. From fights among neighbors to repairs and complaints, make sure you address them the best way possible. If it’s a fight between tenants, make sure to hear all sides. If it’s a repair, deal with it right away. Ignoring these repairs can cost you a fortune later on, so be diligent with staying ahead of damages. When dealing with difficult tenants, make sure you stay calm and reasonable.
Landlording can be difficult but with dedication, hardwork and patience, renting out properties can turn out to be the best decision you’ve made .Still overwhelmed? Help is always available. You just need to ask.
Clear View Property Management