As more and more people are renting properties these days, becoming a landlord is something that many people are looking to do. Being a good landlord is much more than just offering out your property – it involves careful sums, keeping your tenants happy and staying on top of any problems that arise.
So, whether you have already invested in another property or you will be looking at investment properties in the near future, here are a few easy steps that will set you on the path to being a great landlord.
Treat Your Rental Like a Business
Ultimately, anything that is bringing you in another source of income should be treated like a business. So, this means doing careful sums to work out how much you are bringing in every month in rent compared to how much you are spending on mortgage payments. Also, don’t forget that you need to be putting some money aside every month for repairs. Like any other sort of business, you need to be focused on keeping your customers happy and in this situation it is your tenants. So, you should have a plan in place for dealing with any issues if you are out of town or otherwise not available. We will talk a little more about this later.
Screen Tenants Carefully
Having bad tenants in your property can be extremely challenging, so you need to make sure your screening process is thorough. If you can get recommendations through friends and family, this can help to give you the reassurance you are looking for. However, be wary about renting directly to friends and family. You may end up in a situation in which you have to choose between losing money or losing the relationship which is never a good situation to be in. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the income of your tenants is at least three times the cost of your monthly rent. Also, you should run credit and background checks, as well as asking for recommendations from past landlords if they are available.
Treat Your Tenants Well
When you do have good tenants, you will want to make sure they stay with you. After all, it is an enormous amount cheaper holding on to tenants than it is to find replacements for them – especially on a regular basis. There are plenty of ways to make sure that they stay happy; when there are repairs that need doing, get them completed promptly; always treat your tenants with care and respect; keep the property in a good condition at all times. If your tenants regularly pay on time and don’t cause problems, you could look at ways that you can improve their overall living experience with upgrades around the place.
Get Professional Help
Though you may be pretty handy yourself, it is still important to recognise that some jobs are simply going to be too big and challenging to tackle yourself. This is when you may need to call in a professional electrician, plumber or other tradesman depending on what the issue is at your property. You don’t want to risk causing more damage which could then cost you more money in the long-run. And you may also need to enlist the help of a legal professional when you are drawing up contracts or making other arrangements. Remember, when it comes to being a landlord, there should be no such thing as a verbal agreement – everything should be carefully documented in writing.
Take the Time to List the Property Well
So much apartment listing is done online these days (as is so much of everything) so you need to make sure you get this right so you can attract tenants. Ensure the place is in tip-top condition before you start taking pictures of it and use a high quality camera so you capture it in its best light. Write the description carefully and list all the positive features about the property and surrounding area that you think may interest potential tenants. Use different marketing channels so you are casting the widest possible net and you are increasing your chances of generating a positive response.
Get the Rental Rate Right
When you are setting rental rates, you should make sure that they are in line with the current market. Take a look at what similar properties are being rented for and examine the market conditions. When it comes to accepting rent payments, do this online as this is much faster and more convenient.