5 Keys To Successfully Managing Your Own Rental Property
When you become a landlord, you have taken on a great responsibility. It is more than just buying a property and letting people live in it. You can save a tremendous amount of money by taking care of the property yourself. While it can take a bit of time and effort to do this yourself, the benefits you will reap in the long run will be well worth it. Here are 5 tips that will help you to be very successful as a landlord.
Make sure your property is in the best possible condition. Whether you do it yourself or hire a service, it is important that your property is in the best condition possible. You would be amazed at what a fresh coat of paint and clean floors can do. Make sure all your appliances are in working condition. Make sure that you handle all repairs as soon as your tenant notifies you.
Make sure you know how you will handle the repairs when they come in. If you are using services and not handling the repairs yourself, make sure you have regular people that handle your repairs and a back-up for when they are not available. By having regular service people or companies you will save money because you are a return customer. You will also be sure that the repairs are handled how you want them to be and they will be taken care of in a timely fashion.
Make sure you have a system in place to handle your renters. You should be sure that you have a screening process in place. For example do they need a background or credit check? Will you allow everyone to view the property or those that pass a prequalification check? Will you have a phone interview, as well as a face-to-face interview? Be sure once you have developed a screening process that you are consistent with that process. Your application should be customized to fit your screening process.
Another consideration should be how you treat your renters once they have begun to occupy your property. Be sure that you are able to treat your tenants as a tenant and not a friend. While having an amicable relationship with tenants is important, it is more important to have a more professional relationship with your renters. You should be able to enforce late fees when the rent is late and speak to the renter when they have violated a policy on their lease. It is very easy to have leniency with friends. A friendship could possibly decrease the profitability of your property.
Finally, be sure you are aware of all the tenant/landlord laws for your state. This way you are sure of what you are allowed to do and what your tenant’s rights are. Making sure that you know both your rights and your tenant’s rights will make for a healthy tenant/landlord relationship. Knowing your landlord/tenant law is important not only while you have tenants, buy you should also be aware of their rights once they have vacated your property. Not knowing these laws could cost you money.
Your lease is the single most important element needed when managing your It own rental property. The property lease should contain all the guidelines that the prospective tenant needs to abide by during their occupancy. Anything that you do not want the tenants to do with the property should be included in the terms of the lease. While a lease is not just about what the tenants cannot do with the property, but it is also important to outline the things they may be liable for, who will make repairs on the property should it need it and the things you and the tenant will be responsible for. Any extra expenses should also be explained in the lease. For example, you may decide to hire a yard maintenance service if the tenants do care for the property. Who is responsible for the payment of the service?
Repairs and Maintenance
Believe it or not, repairs and maintenance is something that should be handled properly or it could end up costing you money and tenants. It is a good idea to make sure you have a good working relationship with a handyman. Try a couple out and then stick to one. It is also a good idea to do that with a plumber and an electrician. Shop around for the best prices and be sure they have a good availability.
It might also be a good idea to have a backup in case they are not able to come when you need them. When you have regular repairmen they will often give you better deals because they are grateful for your patronage. It can be a bit pricy if you have to call one you do not have an established relationship.
Having a regular company can also keep your renters happy by having their needs cared for in a timely fashion. This will keep your renter happy and will keep tem renting longer.
Keep a Budget
When collecting your rents from tenants it is a good idea to put money aside for repairs that your tenants are not responsible for like roof repairs or replacing appliances. You cannot know when flooding, a fire, or natural disaster will hit. Having money in reserve will help alleviate the pain of repairs that you didn’t foresee. You should also put money aside for a rainy day in case you have time between tenants. A good estimate is to plan you will have your property rented 10 out of 12 months.
You should also budget for advertising costs. This is very important. During the time your property is not rented you will have to run ads to advertise your vacancy. You will also need for rent signs for the property. This will only benefit you because the more people you reach; the better chance you will find the perfect tenant.
Following these helpful landlord tips will set you in the direction of success. Handling your own property can save you money and keep you in touch with your property. A bonus tip, make sure that when you have tenants that you check on the property at least once a month to be sure everything is going well.