As a landlord, if you make one little mistake, it can soon become a huge problem. If you feel overwhelmed by maintaining your property, you are not alone. This simple guide is meant to help you with your overwhelming task of property management. Here are five tips to make you a better landlord and also protect yourself against certain tenants.
Maintain Your Property
If you want to attract good clients and be able to charge a fair price for the rent, you must maintain your property. People want to be able to drive by and see that that property is in good repair. If you keep up with your maintenance, it will not only keep the home in good conditions, but it will eventually cut down on unnecessary maintenance. You need to have adequate insurance, a pest free home, and nothing dangerous that needs to be serviced. The maintenance aspect is something that you really cannot let go. Installing little things like a power quality meter can only help make your home look better than another on the market. If you offer anything less than a clean and well kept home, you will do nothing but attract less than desirable tenants.
Charge The Right Rental Amount
Coming up with a fair market rent is a bit harder for some than others. It is always best to take the home and its offerings and compare it with other homes in the area. What are other landlords offering their three bedroom rental units at? Is their home better or in worse shape than yours? Ask yourself these questions plus a few more. Is your home near shopping and good schools? Is it in a desirable neighborhood? Is there night life and plenty of restaurants around? All the perks to your property add up to more money on the monthly rental rate. Unless your property is exceptional, do not overdo it with the price. You want to make sure that you do not price yourself out of the market and your home sits empty. Always get the first months’ rent and deposit before anyone moves in. Do not make exceptions, as most tenants will need that deposit to back up any damages.
You do not have to pay a fortune to advertise your home. One of the best ways to get the word out is through social media. Take a ton of pictures and post for potential renters to see. Think of it this way, the more pictures you take, the less you will have to show the home. Many people can look at the photos and see if it is a home they would like or not. The goal is to get as much exposure as possible. If you have time and are in no hurry, then putting a sign in the yard should work. Make sure the home is ready to rent when you start putting out information. People who are ready to move will want to jump on a good property. No one wants to wait months to get in a place they fell in love with. Once you post your ad, be ready to be bombarded with phone calls, emails, and text messages.
Always Background Check The Tenant
No matter how wonderful a person looks on paper or in their appearance, always do a background check. Many landlords have found that the person covered in tattoos would have been a good tenant and the one in a suit and tie would have destroyed their home. It always pays to talk to the previous landlords to see what kind of rent they are. Additionally, check credit, job references, and criminal stats. It pays to spend a bit of money to get the right tenant.
Know Your Legal Rights And Responsibilities
Whether this is your first property or you have been managing for years, you need to know the tenant/landlord laws. At some point in your career, someone is going to try to push the limits. You need to know how to handle those tenants legally so that you keep the law on your side.
Being a landlord can be a lucrative job that comes with many perks. However, it pays to take your time and find the right tenant, as well as keeping your property in good repair.