Being a landlord can be tough and overwhelming. Who knows what your tenant is going to be like? Landlords have to put up with all sorts of problems and will also have to know how to tackle any situation wisely. Sometimes, tenants are really stubborn and dealing with them is something only a good landlord can do. However, as bad as it may sound, handling tenants can become easy and less challenging with time if you act with prudence.
Here are 10 easy steps to become a successful landlord.
1. Do not involve family
Renting to family and friends is a big no-no. Involving any family member or friend in any form of business is a cardinal sin. In case any serious problem arises, you either lose your money or your relationship.
2. Your rental property is your business
Anything you make money off must be treated like a business, even if your income isn’t that great. You need to create a business plan and have systems and procedures in place to be successful. So, create a marketing plan, methods to check prospective tenants, how to handle complaints and maintenance requests and what will you do in case of an emergency. Always set aside 10% of your rental income to handle repairs to avoid out of pocket expenses.
3. Use lease targeting to your advantage
It is important you keep in mind when the market provides the best prospective tenant traffic. This is when you should schedule the majority of your lease end dates. June 1st is often known to be a great target move-in date.
4. Check for bad tenants
This possibly is the most important step and will help you avoid future trouble. You need to make sure tenant income is at least 3 times the monthly rent. The last thing you need is a tenant who delays or doesn’t pay rent. Make sure you ask for references, workplace details and also names and contact details of previous landlords.
5. Use professional help
Just because you own the property and know every nook and cranny, it doesn’t means you have to handle every problem and repair yourself. Get a professional to fix issues, so that they are done correctly. And, when you use professionals regularly, you will be able to rely on them for emergencies.
6. Document everything
It is always good to be professional when it comes to any business transaction. In today’s world, a verbal agreement holds no water. Therefore, to protect yourself and your tenants from any potential confusion, it is mandatory to take down everything in writing and both parties should sign it. This way, there is no scope of ambiguities.
7. Keep the rent just right
You don’t want to be that landlord that just puts out the first number that comes to your head. Look at the market and season, keep your income in mind and choose the right rent, one that is fair to you and your tenants.
8. Keep an eye on everything
Let the tenants know that they will need to bear expenses for any damages. A good idea would be to take video of the property before move in and just after the tenant vacates the property. This way, there will be no dispute over the security deposit. You cannot charge a tenant for normal wear and tear.
9. Make it easy to pay rent
These days, it is lot convenient to pay rent online. Give your tenants the option to pay via electronic cheques, credit card or set up automatic payments. This will help them pay on time. Also, have a policy for late payment. Let your tenants know from day one that they will be charged a late fee if the rent is overdue.
10. Work towards retaining tenants
Keep your tenants happy by being courteous to them and fixing repairs in time. Spend a little money on maintaining the property and your tenant will stay for long. Retaining a tenant comes out to be cheaper than looking for a new one.
Use these tips to turn your rental property into a successful business endeavor.
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