Being a landlord can be extremely rewarding and profitable too! However, it’s also a huge responsibility. Luckily, we’ve spoken with many industry professionals in this space and compiled a list of tips that landlords, (whether it’s your first property or your hundredth) should know to be the best landlord they can be.
1. Find the right tenants through tenant-screening in order to minimize vacancies.
The most important piece of advice we can give is, screen your tenants! This will ensure that you are able to choose great tenants who will always pay their rent on time and will keep your property in good condition. There are many services you can take advantage of to do this, including, ApplyConnect.com.
Here is a guide for good credit scores to look out for so you can ensure you are recruiting financially responsible tenants:
- Excellent: –750 and above
- Good: –700-749
- Fair: — 650-699
- Poor: — 600-649
- Bad: Anything below 600
2. Keep the needs of your tenants in mind.
Happy tenants = a happy landlord! Tenants are more likely to keep the property tidy, pay their rent on time, and keep you in the loop about issues with the rental if you are approachable and make an effort to think of their needs. So be consistent and available whenever you can.
Now, it is important to keep a professional relationship with your tenants but there are many little things you can do as a landlord to show tenants that you care. For example:
- Answer maintenance requests promptly and thoroughly—you don’t want to allow your tenants to live with a problem that you wouldn’t want to live with. Plus fixing an initial problem could save A LOT of time and money down the road.
- Reward good behavior: Some landlords that we have spoken to give small gifts to their tenants or reduce the rent amount for one month if it is paid before a certain time. If neither of those is an option for you, then just make sure your tenants know that you appreciate them so they will be more likely to stick around.
3. Collect rent online!
Collecting rent is your main priority as a landlord and thus it is essential that you are able to collect it in an efficient way. The best way to ensure that you always receive rent payments on time is to collect rent online!
PayRent.com is free to Landlords and can only make your life easier by saving you time and money. Plus they offer great tools such as requiring full payments from tenants and allowing them to pay via credit card.
4. Be organized and stick to the policies you put in place!
One of the best tips we have heard from landlords is that it is important to stay organized! You want to make sure you keep everything in a secure location and have a system for collecting rent, filing maintenance requests, etc. It’s important to keep track of your revenue and finances for the property/properties you own for tax purposes as well!
5. Know your legal rights.
This property is ultimately your responsibility to maintain so you want to make sure to put your expectations in writing so your tenants know exactly what to expect when they move in.
In addition, know the laws of you state. Tenants are often just as savvy as you are, and if there is something that you are doing that violates their rights, they will be sure to let you know.
6. Hire a reliable maintenance staff to prepare for seasonal/general upkeep.
Having a reliable maintenance team is essential to keeping your property well-maintained. You can’t be everywhere at once and having a great maintenance staff can help serve as extra eyes and ears around your property. Plus they can assist you with grueling tasks such as winterizing your property and checking in on problems that you may not have time to deal with.
Make sure to take pictures when tenants move in or out so you can keep up on the condition of your property as well.
7. You’re never too old or too young to start!
Even though being a landlord is a daunting task that requires organization and time, anyone can do it with the right mindset. Plus, there are many availabilities when it comes to renting property. You can rent out vacation homes so you only have to worry about one season a year, rent storage units so there aren’t as many regulations to pay attention to or rent out property in a college town so you never have to worry about the possibility of vacant units.
With all of the services and right tools available, your landlord experience will be a piece of cake.