If you are under an impression that the landlord job is just as much as finding a tenant who is ready to pay the desired rents, you need to really make a realty check. The job of landlord includes several more responsibilities. Here is a run-down on things that you should keep in mind before you decide to become a landlord.
Fixing the rent
Even before the landlord starts hunting for potential tenants, he needs to fix a rent for the property. A thorough understanding of the property market is essential for fixing the right rent. You can do a study of rental advertisements that are published in the newspapers for properties that are located in close proximity to yours. You may seek a premium or offer a discount to the market prices depending upon whether you think your property has better features than most of the other properties in the same location. If you have a property that is facing the lawn has more amenities than others, is freshly painted, you may seek a premium.
Asking appropriate rent for property helps to attract the right tenants for your property. The right rent for the property should leave you enough money in your pocket after covering repairs and maintenance expenses and vacancy costs.
Getting the right tenant
A right tenant is somebody who is not only ready to pay the desired rent but is capable of doing so over the contract period. Do make it a point to understand his educational qualifications and current employment status. To avoid any potential conflicts with the tenant down the line it is essential that you understand the tenant’s history. If the tenant has been staying in other rented premises in the past, give a call to previous landlords to check their track record.
Be aware of the laws that govern renting of properties
Ignorance of law is no excuse and as a landlord you should know them all. While renting out to tenants it is essential that you screen their history and ask them questions, but remember the law does not allow you to discriminate based on religion, race or color. There are also laws that define the way you should be handling security deposits. If you are looking to force a tenant to leave, you would need to adhere to laws. The laws might make the eviction process longer but you do not have a choice in that case. Besides, the property that you rent out should abide with health and safety regulations.
Other responsibilities and hassles of a landlord’s job
As a landlord you should be prepared to do menial jobs like following up and collecting the rental payments every month. The tenant might bother you for every little problem. He might call you up late night complaining about a leaking tap or a broken pipe. You may either chose to fix these problems on your own or hire a professional. It’s always cheaper to fix these problems on your own but be sure that you are not compromising on quality. Poor quality job might worsen and may sometimes cost more than you would have spent had you hired a professional.
If you think, all of these things require tremendous time and effort you may need help of a professional property management firm. These people will help you in screening the tenant, fixing the rent, collecting rent and also look after other maintenance issues for a fee.