Monday, May 24, 2010

Understanding what it takes to be a good landlord

Are you cut out to be good landlord? Many believe they may have what it takes to be an efficient landlord, but little do they know, it’s a full-time job! Owning and managing your own property can be time consuming. You may find yourself dealing with property issues, answering late night maintenance calls or even trying to hunt down a tenant for late and unpaid rent. Here are some tips to help you understand what it takes to become a landlord or property manager.

1. Find an ideal tenant. No manager enjoys or profits from keeping their property vacant for long periods of time. It is important not to rush the first prospect that tours your home into to renting it. It’s crucial to do the proper screening prior to approving a tenant. A thorough background and credit check should generate enough evidence to give you an idea of who the applicant is and whether or not they have the financial capabilities to rent. You sure don’t want a level three sex offender or someone who will be late on their rent payment. Make sure you review these reports thoroughly. Ask for other items like pay stubs and personal references that can help you in the screening process.

2. Properly prepare a lease. Once you have done the proper screening and approving, you are expected to prepare a lease. This is necessary to create and relay the leasing terms the tenant is to expect and follow. There is a written requirement for a lease contract for it to be valid. This is also beneficial for managers because if there are future discrepancies or your tenant defaults, you have hard evidence to refer to. Consider asking a local attorney or real estate company to help prepare one for you. Make sure the contact is binding in a court of law.

3. Maintenance. If swinging a hammer around is not your forte then I would suggest having a few maintenance companies on call. An emergency can arise at any time. Make sure you have these numbers handy. Most property managers have lists of frequently used vendors for maintenance purposes so services can be easily obtained, and I suggest you keep a list as well.

4. Understand your rights. Make sure you are familiar with the laws of your community. Most states have laws in place to protect both the landlord and the tenant. Make sure you understand these laws and know your right as a landlord.

As you can see managing you your own property can be an excruciating task. Make sure you consider hiring a property management company before trying to manage your property alone. It may be worth it.


Post a Comment