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Tips for New Landlords

If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord for the first time, follow these useful tips to help you on your way.

Property management is a business

Managing a property is not a hobby. Even if your rental property is not your main job you shouldn’t treat it like a hobby or side project. This is going to mark the difference between success and failure in your real estate investment. A lot of landlords try to figure out things as they go but that will certainly get yourself in trouble and will not build your investment. Property management is a business and for it to be successful you need to develop systems and processes that will help you guide your business. It is also important to remain professional with your tenants.

 

Offer a great property for rent

What we mean by a great property is a clean, habitable home not luxurious or fancy. Perform a walkthrough of your rental property and thoroughly inspect it and determine its condition. Discover what repairs, maintenance, and major problems need to be fixed. Make sure that all fixtures work properly and make sure cabinets, closets, and storage areas are completely cleaned. Clean the floors, windows, and blinds. Shampoo the carpets to remove stains. Repaint walls with a neutral color to make the rooms seem cleaner and brighter. A great property is going to have fewer repairs over time. A nice clean property will attract a higher quality tenant who will care for the property better.

 

Attract as many tenants as possible

You want as many people interested in your property as you can. The majority of tenants search online so be sure to use as many sites as possible, like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Cozy, and Facebook Market. Don’t just rely on one marketing technique to attract tenants, put a sign in the yard. The more people you have interested in the property the more you have to choose from and there is also a higher chance of finding an incredible tenant.

 

Laws

Like any other business, you need to follow federal, state, and local laws. We highly advise you to take a course on Fair housing laws because housing discrimination is a common issue in the rental housing market. The Fair Housing Act is a law that prohibits discrimination in renting, selling, buying or financing of housing and it is quite complicated. Make sure you take the time to research and understand all laws. You need to follow all necessary laws in order to avoid lawsuits and maintain a positive reputation.

 

Screen for the best

Finding a great tenant is the most important thing to ensure a great profitable rental. Four general areas to look for are: income (3 times whatever the rent is), job stability, credit and rental history (positive reviews from previous landlords and no prior evictions).   

 

Rock solid lease

You need a good lease to protect yourself from potential accidents or liability claims. A solid lease can protect you and the property legally in case anything goes wrong.