Renting out your property for the first time can be intimidating. You have to think about pricing, tenants, legal issues, and how to maintain the property. It’s especially difficult in 2020, with many renters having a hard time paying rent during the pandemic.
But if you follow these practical landlord tips, it will make your life much easier, even now. If you’re ready to become a landlord for the first time, keep reading for some great ideas as you get started.
Table of Contents
Landlord Tips For First-Timers
Your focus should be on three main areas: tenants, rent, and organization. These may seem straightforward, but there is a lot to consider in each category. Keep reading for the details.
Get and Keep Good Tenants
Good tenants will make being a landlord so much easier for you. You should never discriminate based on race, age, religion, or any other characteristic like that. But, you should choose tenants that can pay in full each month and that won’t have legal problems.
One good way to do this is to set up a screening process and stick to it. Use a rental application that asks good questions about rental history, finances, and job security. Verify this information whenever possible.
In your personal life, you may want to give someone a second chance or a shot at redeeming themselves. But this is your business. Your income. It’s not the time to show charity, as harsh as that may seem.
Once you’ve screened and found good tenants, you want to keep them happy. Fix the things that go wrong. Listen to their complaints and suggestions. Always respond to their calls or emails. The best way to lose good tenants is to ignore their concerns.
Collect The Rent– Every. Single. Time.
Collecting rent is the entire business. That’s the revenue that you’re after, so make sure your tenants pay in full each month. Any exception should be exceedingly rare. It might make sense to be gracious the first time a tenant misses a payment.
But if you’re not seeking that rent aggressively the next time, one late rent payment will turn into several late payments. Don’t wait until someone is 6 months late to grow a backbone. Be firm with rent payments.
A tenant is not your friend. They are a part of your real estate investment. This means they should be treated with respect, but also the expectation that each of you plays your proper role. For tenants, this means paying their rent on time every single month.
If there ever problems or disagreements that come up, it’s going to be very important to be organized and keep good documentation. Keep records of when each tenant pays rent and how much. Keep track of every repair to the property.
If you have to deal with snow in your area, make sure you arrange for snow removal. The same goes for lawn care and other property maintenance. Keeping a spreadsheet with all the tasks you need to do will keep you on track and minimize complaints from tenants.
Even though it’s not a great moment for some renters, if you want to invest in real estate as a landlord, you can do it! Just follow the above landlord tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a good, well-respected landlord.
Keep checking back here for more great real estate articles!