Are you a first-time landlord? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Knowing how to be a good landlord requires extensive knowledge of renting, as well as the right tools to make the process easier. For a beginner, managing both a rental property and tenants can easily be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. Luckily there are some tips that can better guide you through this process.
In today’s post, we aim to help the new ones in this industry with a brief guide. Keep reading for our top tips.
Know your local laws
Probably one of the least exciting parts of being a landlord is staying up to date on the latest laws and regulations related to property management. For a person that’s not in the law field, it’s not a simple walk in the park.
Although all landlords hope their property and tenants won’t bring them any legal issues, sometimes it’s better to be aware of the laws to protect yourself. These landlord-tenant laws vastly vary from state to state, providing relationship guidelines between the two parties. The laws can cover a wide range of topics, such as the landlord’s right to enter the rental property, the tenant’s right to privacy, and the landlord’s obligations to make repairs.
You must keep these general laws in mind, but you might want to check your local laws for the rest. If you do everything by the law, you have nothing to fear in case of legal challenges.
Leverage your properties
Finance and refinance your properties. Borrowing against your rentals frees up cash to purchase additional rentals and grow your real estate portfolio. A surprising number of landlords pick properties that cost them money month after month. Make sure that your property will generate positive cash flow, and be conservative with your income and expense projections.
Screen your tenants
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when renting out your property is not thoroughly screening tenants. This mistake is still made by professionals who have been working in the rental property business for years, so for a beginner, we recommend being extra careful. Without thorough and effective vetting procedures, you’re far more likely to run into issues further down the line, ranging from faulty communication and payment issues to property damage and even broken lease agreements. Finding the right tenant for your rental property can be a long process, but it can easily make the difference between a profitable investment and a nightmare experience.
Determine how much to charge for rent
One of the most critical aspects of managing a rental property is setting the right rental price. Not only will it attract potential tenants, but it’ll also keep them coming back. Charging too much can result in vacancies and difficulty finding tenants, while charging too little can leave money on the table and reduce your return on investment.
Before setting your rental prices, take some time to assess the local rental market. You can start by researching the local rental market to understand better the going rates for similar properties in your area. Researching comparable properties in close proximity can give you a good idea of what other landlords are charging for homes or apartments like yours.
You can ask a local real estate agent or property management company for their professional opinion on what they think your property is worth. A property manager can provide valuable insights into the local rental market.
Choose a good location
Everybody wants to feel safe in their own houses so make sure you provide the type of environment that allows this. Look for security details in your area, see if it has video cameras, if the neighbors describe it as generally safe, or if they have a neighborhood watch.
In the same fashion, check if the location is clean and well-maintained. Observe if the streets are free of trash or anything else that may cause displeasure.
Hire a property manager
For many property owners, handling the day-to-day rental management can be overwhelming, especially if you have just started dabbling in this industry. Fortunately, there is a real estate professional who does nothing but handles most aspects of management and tending to tenants.
A property manager can take many responsibilities on behalf of any property’s landlord to make owning rental units that much easier. Hiring a property manager is a decision you can’t go wrong with. They offer efficient management, expertise and experience, and legal compliance, which can greatly benefit your business.
Becoming a landlord for the first time is exciting, but it can be nerve-racking if you don’t know what to do or where to begin. By following these tips, you can ensure smooth sailing through owning a rental unit.
Working with a property manager can give you the opportunity to leverage their knowledge and skills, which can result in you saving time, reducing stress, and making data-driven decisions about your property.
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