There are several things that landlords have to juggle on a daily basis in order to keep their properties and business running smoothly. Sometimes being a landlord can get very difficult, busy, and overwhelming. Bringing your focus back to the three most important things will help you to stay on track.
The property you are renting is your product. No company is successful without a quality product that is marketed well. It is super important to set up an organized system to ensure your rentals are in top condition and it is properly communicated when they are available for rent. Related: How Often Should I Have my Carpets Cleaned?
Start your organized system by knowing how much the property is worth. Do this with the help of a property manager or real estate agent. Find what similar properties in the same neighborhood are renting for. This will help you determine how much rent to charge and what the competition looks like.
Have a quality space that is clean and updated. Once that space is in top condition, highlight these features in your rental advertisements. Things like attributes of the neighborhood, newly updated kitchens and bathrooms, reserved parking, security features, and energy efficiency. Include these along with general things like size and number of rooms.
Set up a Move-In and Move-Out Inspection process to ensure the property is in great shape and ready to go or to determine what spruce ups need to take place before you put it back on the market.
This would be you. You need to determine your expectations and boundaries for yourself as a landlord. Ask yourself what you want the relationship between you and your tenants to look like. This should be a professional business relationship, but it is also beneficial for it to be a friendly business relationship. Tenants who do not like the landlord do not stick around when the rental agreement has expired. You want to be able to present yourself as effective, firm, and fair to your tenants. A landlord who cares about them as human beings, but also is still the one in charge when it comes to making the final decisions.
Set boundaries for your reachable working hours outside of an emergency situation. Decide which maintenance issues you will take care of and address. For example, many landlords make sure to take care of plumbing issues or a broken stove, but they will not be held responsible for fixing the whole of the tenant’s dog dug in the yard. Knowing what exactly you are required to care for by the law is helpful in these cases. Make sure to study the Fair Housing Act and local requirements of landlords in your area.
Now that you have a great product and you have set up and know your boundaries and expectations/requirements as a landlord, it is time to set up what you will expect from anyone that is given permission to live in your rental.
Make everything very clear and organized for tenants from the start. Let them know what you expect from them to avoid as little drama or confusion resulting in the need to retain a deposit or charge extra or maybe issue a refund. Tenants that know what the expectations are and sign their name to those written expectations are less likely to become problem tenants.
Pre-screening tenants is always a good idea. Require that they include references on their referral application. Ask them questions and get to know them, if they are vague or scramble to provide details about previous housing arraignments this can be a red flag.
With the right main structure organization, you can run a smoother rental business. If you would like help in putting this together or taking some of the workloads off of your hands talking with an experienced property manager is a great idea.
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