Anyone can be a landlord. Still, it takes major effort and adeptness to be a good landlord. Whether you are a first-time rental property owner or have been a Capitol Hill landlord for a long time, this is the ideal time to start improving the habits that set good landlords apart from the rest. Here are a few top instructions that will help you enhance your skills and professionalism.
Treat Your Rental Property Like a Business
People become landlords in numerous ways. It makes no difference how you become a landlord, it’s very important to treat your rental management as a business. Just as with any business, being a good landlord will warrant an investment of both time and money. It’s significant to protect your valuable asset – your rental property – by being certain that it is safe and usable. This conveys taking care of maintenance and repairs before they grow to be grave problems. It, in like manner, supposes interacting with your tenants like a professional and comprehending and following all state, federal, and local landlord-tenant laws.
Set an Accurate Rental Rate
Another basic part of being a good landlord is figuring out how to set accurate rental rates. First, you’ll have to research and learn about the local rental market. Notwithstanding that you may have a good rental rate in mind, it’s really important to grasp well what other similar rentals are charging in your town and neighborhood and make yours comparable with theirs. It’s equally important to stay on top of market changes and renew your rental market assessment at least once a year.
Know Your Renter Demographics (and where to find them)
Good landlords are aware of who their “ideal” tenant is – and not just one who pays their rent on time (although that is important). This is even more so applicable for owners of single-family rental homes for the reason that the type of rental and the location will mostly bring in the kind of tenant who longs to live there. When you understand who your renter demographic is, design your advertising so that it will reach them. For numerous young or mid-career renter groups, this just means marketing your rental online and giving quality photos, virtual tours, and online applications.
Invest in Tenant Screening
Your tenant screening process is one of the salient parts of being a good landlord. You should always ask all potential tenants to give you a written application. Seriously check all of the information they submit by running credit and background checks, calling previous landlords and references, and simply doing a Google search on their name and location. Many landlords even check social media to get a sense of who the applicant is. It takes effort, but an excellent screening process can help you find a good tenant more confidently.
Create and Use a Custom Lease Agreement
Just as with your screening process, your lease documents should certainly also be something you spend time preparing. A lease is a binding legal contract, and the last thing any landlord needs is to see too late that your lease documents have loopholes or errors that your tenant can exploit, frequently to your detriment. Take the time and effort to prepare comprehensive, customized lease documents that include all the essential lease clauses. It’s also imperative to have an attorney check your documents to be certain that they comply with all state and federal laws. Should a dispute occur, lease terms that violate a tenant’s rights will be unenforceable in court.
Keep Records of Everything
Another thing that all good landlords do is keep records of everything they do related to the property. For a case in point, it’s relevant to stay informed of all financial transactions, including any money you spend on maintenance and repairs. So, make it a point to document your property’s condition both before a tenant moves in and after they move out. Photos are a practical and useful way to keep track of wear and tear or repair issues. One last point, keep a record of every conversation with your tenants, whether verbal or written. Offer your tenant several means to contact you (email, for example) to help you document each exchange. Keeping an eye on your interactions with your tenant can be very useful in the event of a dispute.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
As you can certainly see, it takes time and effort to be a good landlord. But if you don’t have much time to spare, you can still be a good property owner by hiring a property manager to handle everything for you. At Real Property Management DC Metro, we deliver quality Capitol Hill property management services that include expense tracking, convenient online rental payments, tenant screening, quality lease documents, and much more! Contact us online today to learn more.
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