Being a landlord is rewarding, but the role does not come without some challenges; when first starting out, it’s especially important to know what to expect. The tasks of a landlord range from finding the right tenants to collecting rent online. Here’s what first-time landlords should take into consideration before their property hits the market.
The goal of tenant screening is to find quality renters who will be punctual with rent and respectful with your property. To filter out tenants, look for an applicant who can pay rent in full, has a positive rental experience, and has no criminal history. If you are unsure of how to choose the best tenant for your property, a reputable property management company can guarantee you find the best fit.
Know Housing Laws
It’s important to thoroughly understand housing laws, since they impact both your tenants and your property. Understanding the laws will also aid you in the instance of accidents or liability claims.
Invest in Renovations Wisely
Although renovating your property may seem like an easy way to increase property value, not all upgrades lead to a substantial return on investment. Before picking up a toolbox or putting down cash, evaluate if an increased rent will justify the renovation expenses.
Pets on the Property
A question that all landlords will hear: Are pets allowed? Whether the answer is yes or no, knowing your answer in advance will make communication easier. Keep in mind the nature of your property—a carpeted apartment may be damaged by pets, while a pet-friendly property with an outdoor space may attract pet-owning renters. Discuss the rules with your property manager in person to ensure you are on the same page.
One of the most important aspects of being a landlord is rent collection. Managing payments firmly and efficiently is key to ensure your renters pay on time. It is your role as landlord to keep challenges from escalating in the event of late payments.
Establish Online Payments
Today, more renters than ever are paying their rent online. Online payments are more convenient and secure than their paper counterparts, which is why new landlords should have a means to collect and manage rent digitally. Having an online option for your tenants will increase the likelihood of timely payments.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
One of the decisions to be made is whether to hire a property manager. If you are interested in removing the time and hassle of managing a rental, then transferring duties to a property manager can be a valuable investment. A management company can ensure tasks such as rent payments and tenant challenges are dealt with effectively. Juggling multiple rental properties can be a challenge starting out; a property manager will take the stress of marketing and managing away.
Each step towards renting your property matters, from screening tenants to evaluating renovation costs. Other aspects of the rental process to consider include marketing strategies, additional income opportunities, and financial planning. If you decide to work with an experienced property management company, please contact us. We are happy to help you manage every step along the way.