Anyone can be a landlord. On top of that, it takes effort and practical knowledge to be a good landlord. Whether you are a first-time rental property owner or have been a Waldorf landlord for a while, this is the most ideal time to try developing the habits that set good landlords apart from the rest. Here are some of the top how-tos that will help you refine your skills and professionalism.
Treat Your Rental Property Like a Business
People turn into landlords in highly varied ways. Regardless of how you become a landlord, it’s pertinent to treat your rental management as a business. Akin to any business, being a good landlord will call for an investment of both time and money. It’s crucial to protect your valuable asset – your rental property – by always making it safe and fit to live in. This means taking care of maintenance and repairs before they turn into bigger problems. It especially involves interacting with your tenants like a professional and knowing about and following all state, federal, and local landlord-tenant laws.
Set an Accurate Rental Rate
Another critical part of being a good landlord is learning how to set accurate rental rates. You first need to research and learn about the local rental market. Even though you may have a rental rate in mind that you think is ok, it’s substantial to hear what other similar rentals are charging in your town and neighborhood and make yours comparable. It’s additionally pivotal to stay on top of market changes and renew your rental market assessment at least once a year.
Know Your Renter Demographics (and where to find them)
Good landlords understand very clearly who their “ideal” tenant is – and not just one who pays their rent on time (although that is important). Especially useful for owners of single-family rental homes because the type of rental and the location will conventionally lure the kind of tenant who yearns to live there. When you are certain who your renter demographic is, match your advertising so that it will reach them. For countless young or mid-career renter groups, this specifies marketing your rental online and freely offering quality photos, virtual tours, and online applications.
Invest in Tenant Screening
Your tenant screening process is one of the major parts of being a good landlord. You should require all potential tenants to give you a written application. Thoroughly check all of the information they submit by running credit and background checks, calling previous landlords and references, and simply doing a Google search on their name and location. Most landlords even take time to check social media to get a clear sense of who the applicant is. It takes more effort, but a properly fashioned screening process can help you find a good tenant more confidently.
Create and Use a Custom Lease Agreement
Akin to your screening process, your lease documents should also certainly be something you spend time preparing. A lease is a binding legal contract, and the last thing any landlord needs is to discern too late that your lease documents have loopholes or irregularities that your tenant can exploit, perhaps to your detriment. Take the time and effort to prepare comprehensive, customized lease documents that include all the essential lease clauses. It’s vital to have an attorney check your documents to see that they comply with all state and federal laws. Should a dispute crop up, lease terms that violate a tenant’s rights will be unenforceable in court.
Keep Records of Everything
Another thing that all good landlords do is keep records of everything they do related to the property. For example, it’s key to keep tabs on all financial transactions, including any money you spend on maintenance and repairs. On top of that, ascertain to document your property’s condition both before a tenant moves in and after they move out. Photos are a great way to keep informed of wear and tear or repair issues. One final matter, keep a record of every conversation with your tenants, whether verbal or written. Offer your tenant various ways to contact you (email, for example) to help you document each exchange. Tracking and documenting your interactions with your tenant can be very helpful in the event of a dispute.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
As you can indeed very well see, it takes time and effort to be a good landlord. But if you don’t have much time to spare, you can still be a good property owner by hiring a property manager to handle everything for you. At Real Property Management Gold, we provide quality Waldorf property management services that include expense tracking, convenient online rental payments, tenant screening, quality lease documents, and much more! Contact us online today to learn more.
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