Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
Landlords know that running a rental property comes with several challenges. For a landlord to be successful, there has to be careful planning - from screening potential tenants to after you hand over the keys to new tenants. If you're new to landlording, you'll need some good pieces of advice to ensure that you find the right tenants and your business runs a smoothly as possible.
We've prepared for you a list of success tips below. Check them out.
A common and frustrating experience among tenants is getting locked out. Sometimes tenants forget their keys and sometimes their children lose them. For convenience and peace of mind, use keyless entry locks. Going keyless will spare you from being called by your tenants especially if you're unavailable. Also, you won't ever have to worry about forced entry and property loss in your tenant's home since criminals have no way to enter the unit.
Going for hardwood flooring instead of old carpeting offers several advantages for you and your tenants. Hardwood flooring, although more expensive, looks high-end, is easier to clean (tenants simply have to wipe the surface), lasts longer, can be refinished, and is ecologically friendly.
Failure to include all the essential information in your rental ad can cause a lot of prospects, even unqualified ones, to call you for more details. Make sure to state everything potential tenants need to know about such as the basic specs of your rental unit, pet policies, smoking policies, whether or not utilities are included, property location, and monthly rent.
A good tenant screening practice would be to go over every tenant's rental application. This will help you pre-qualify tenants based on the items they completed on the rental application. Take note that incomplete rental applications are a red flag. Bad prospects may want to hide important details about themselves such as a fake identity and previous evictions.
Whenever your tenants call you, answer your phone as much as possible. Your tenants might have concerns or problems that require immediate attention. Whether these are disputes or noise complaints, these things need to be solved quickly. You can't afford to ignore your tenants' calls and play phone tag with them later. They might not be available.
As a landlord, one thing you need to avoid is appearing too friendly or nice to your tenants. Instead, play fair. Meet your obligations and expect your tenants to meet theirs. By being too friendly and letting things slide, you'll run the risk of being taken advantage of. Do not allow your tenants to break your rules. Stick to the lease. Remember that business is business.
One month before a tenant moves out, do an inspection of the rental unit. It's important to let the tenant know what exactly he or she needs to do to keep his or her full security deposit. Do this in a polite, non-hostile way. The benefit is that the tenant will remedy areas that need attention. The unit will be returned to you in good condition.
From the beginning, enforce a no-smoking policy. There are several advantages you and other tenants can enjoy when your area is smoke-free. You won't have to deal with the residual smell, apartment fires, and costly maintenance. In general, a smoke-free rental unit attracts more renters, especially the good ones.
Anything important that happens before and within the lease period should be put into writing. Situations that need documentation include but are not limited to tenant maintenance and repairs, walk-through inspections before tenants move in, tenant application screening, and emergencies that occur in your tenant's unit. Documentation will protect you in the future just in case a tenant files a lawsuit against you.
Part of your tenant screening process is interviewing prospects over the phone. Take this opportunity to weed out unqualified applicants. If a tenant cannot recall what you placed in your rental ad, most likely he or she is looking for other rentals at the same time. Check if the tenant applicants have the funds to pay their rent on time and if they are able to comply with your pet policy or no-smoking policy.
Landlording is a profitable business but exhausting as well. Follow these tips and you'll have lesser headaches and a greater chance at success in managing your property.
To gain more knowledge and tips on landlording, we invite you to sign-up for our Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. This will also grant you access to the complete DIY landlording course and landlord forms/templates so you can stay knowledgeable and confident as a landlord.