Reaping the benefits of passive income from renters is the ultimate goal of any property owner. That being said, getting to that point is easier said than done if you don’t understand the legwork involved with being an effective landlord.
In addition, there are many hidden headaches and potential snags that could cut into your profits and sanity if you aren’t careful. Being a landlord is about much more owning a space: it’s about staying on top of your property and tenants while also being compliant with the law.
So, if you’re a prospective landlord looking to smoothly transition into the role as a first-timer, what tips do you really need to know?
Take Care of Repairs
The condition of your property is important for a variety of reasons: from attracting potential tenants and commanding a higher rental free to simply staying in line with regulations, your property needs to quite literally be up to code. Keeping up with repairs doesn’t solely lie on your tenants: you need to keep an eye on your property and likewise take care of any potential problems as they occur.
Similarly, you also must take the proper steps to ensure that repairs are done properly. Rather than take a DIY approach, hire professionals and ensure that your construction team’s working conditions are safe.
Get Serious About Collecting Rent
Your main priority as a landlord is relatively simple: collect the rent.
Of course that’s not all there is to the job; however, late payments from tenants are not acceptable and will ultimately hurt your bottom line if you let tardiness become the norm. When you slack off on staying on top of tenants, they have the potential to flake out on you completely.
And guess who’s stuck with the bill when that happens?
If your tenants go ghost on you, there’s little you can do beyond taking legal action and putting the steps in motion to get them out. Without a steady stream of income via rent payments, your property is essentially hemorrhaging cash. This rings true whether you’re running one property or several.
Vet Your Tenants Carefully
While you shouldn’t look at tenants as potential problems from the word “go,” you do need to be on the look out for any red flags. For example, be mindful of the following as you screen your tenants:
- Credit and background checks are an absolute must: nothing in your tenants’ financial history should imply that they can’t make payments on time
- Speak to them in person: you can only glean so much information via forms and files
- Employee and rent references are likewise a good idea so you can get some third-party information concerning your tenants and their ability to make good on their rent
Don’t Be an Antagonist
With all of this in mind, you should not have a negative outlook about your tenants or property in your pursuit of rent and income. There’s no use in needlessly harassing or bothering your renters, especially if they’ve given you no reason to mistrust them. Instead, strive to maintain a positive attitude and have good faith in your tenants: simply bear in mind that it pays to be vigilant.
Finding success as a landlord means keeping a close eye on the aspects of renting that matter the most. By focusing on these details, you’ll know exactly what to look out for and identify problems before they snowball out of control.