Achieving success as a landlord: basic steps you must follow
By Sadiya Anjum
Being a landlord is a tough job even if you are renting out just a one bedroom apartment. To be a successful landlord it requires some amount of hard work, patience and organizing. If you are new to this or even experienced, to get the best out of your rental property you need to handle all aspects of renting out from fixing the air conditioner to juggling the legal aspects. There are no short cuts if you want to get the best out of your property/ properties. Following are some guidelines that will help you manage your business and keep you on top of things.
Firstly, it is about finding the right tenant. Hundreds of articles may specify this and still cannot fully emphasize on how important it is to find the right tenant. Half your problems are solved if the right tenant has knocked on your door. To be absolutely sure about your prospective tenants, obtain a credit report on them and always check references. A polished person can fool just about anyone. So if the references are not quite up to the mark, drop them. A tenant who promises that he has seen the error of his ways is just trying to get a roof over his head. So go by the references. But do not discriminate for reasons based on race, national origin, gender etc. This is not just unethical but expensive in the form of a law suit.
A lease agreement should be up to the mark. It should be fair to both parties and a landlord should not try underhanded ways in the manner of fine print to get the upper-hand. A judge is going to favor the tenant ultimately so make sure you have performed your duties well of producing an agreement that is fair. Even if the tenant is your best friend, draw up the lease on paper. Verbal leases will not go a long way.
Apart from the lease, get everything else in writing. From a code of conduct for tenants to requests for repairs by them, everything should be in writing. Follow up on tenants’ requests must also be put in writing to safeguard your interests. It may seem like a lot of paperwork but it will save you a ton of money if you can avoid litigation just because you put down a small detail on paper.
Another major aspect of being a successful landlord is to maintain your property well and to make repairs requested by tenants promptly. Pinching pennies is not going to help if the tenant can prove in court that you have not stuck by your side of the deal. You may even consider putting up security measures for your tenants apart from keeping the property looking clean. If you maintain the property and respond well to tenants’ requests, the rent will also reach you regularly.
Always be fair to your tenants. You do not have to be overly friendly but a polite smile and the willingness to listen to them may take you far. Put yourself in their position to understand their predicaments but you do not have to melt unnecessarily and forgive a month’s rent. Also respect their privacy. Do not nose around unnecessarily and stick to the agreement clause on the landlord entering the premises.
It is very important that you get your property the maximum insurance it can get: rental insurance, property liability insurance, and any other insurance available in your state for your property. Apart from this, if you are hiring a property manager pick the one that will best suit your property and your temperament. If someone else is going to take care of your business, he/she better be good. So choose wisely.
It takes a lot to be a boomingly successful landlord irrespective of the kind or number of properties you own. If you cover all tasks and do justice to each of them, you will find yourself with a smooth running business. But get yourself organized and allocate your tasks if you must, but ensure that the work gets done and gets done right.
Article Source: ChoiceOfHomes.com - Home Selling and Home Renting made easy.This article may NOT be reprinted in any form without the express written consent of ChoiceOfHomes.com
©Copyrights ChoiceOfHomes.com 2004-2006