Becoming a new landlord can be an exciting new venture, as well as an extremely lucrative one. Follow these guidelines to not only ensure less work and headache on your part but keep happy tenants who are likely to recommend you to others. From pets and lease agreements to finding the perfect tenant fit for your property – Just a few simple tips can make all the difference. More money does not have to mean more problems!
5 Tips for New Landlords
1. Burning Down the House
Renter’s insurance is a must-have requirement for your new tenants/renters. In the case of an unpredictable event such as; fire, flood, burglary, or any other situation that causes loss of the tenants’ property, renters’ insurance can cover the cost of belongings or even living expenses. Often, a renter will assume that you, the landlord has the policy to cover such loss, and might try to hold you financially responsible. Requiring renter’s insurance can save many a headache, as well as protect you from unwanted extra expenses.
2. Get Yourself a Dog-gone Pet Clause!
Many landlords have a strict no pet policy for their properties, to avoid damage or disturbances to neighboring tenants. Depending on the area, and the functionality of the property, however, allowing pets can broaden your pool of renters, and generate a different environment for the area. Plus, who doesn’t love furry friends?
If you do decide to allow pets, it is wise to include a pet clause within the lease agreement. This clause or addendum can allow you to clarify any amount of “pet rent” that will be added, as well as give you room to warn or evict your tenant in case of a negative situation. It can also be helpful to communicate any extra charges that you can expect your tenant to pay in case of damages to the property.
3. Know how to Pick em’
Running a credit check is a no-brainer for landlords looking for the best choice of Renter. Often, tenant screening reports for landlords, consist of a soft inquiry into finding out if the potential renter has any prior evictions, bankruptcies, or simply if their credit score meets whatever guidelines you see fit for your property. Running these checks keeps the renting market competitive and allows you as the landlord to make a more educated decision of who you feel would make the most responsible tenant.
Depending on how high end or competitive your property is, might help you determine just how deep you want to dig into the credit of those interested. Most places charge a non-refundable application fee to cover the costs of these checks, so you don’t have to pay for them out of pocket!
4. Don’t Be Camera Shy
Taking before and after photos of your property is an easy way to avoid discrepancies between you and the tenant when it comes time to return their security deposit. If there are any damages or changes to the property during the move out/ in a period, pictures are a great tool to provide evidence of the condition before and after. They are also helpful when listing your property! Hiring a professional real estate photographer can get you all the amazing angles to help your space look fresher, bigger, and more desirable. Work it.
5. Old School does Not Always Rule
Remember signing the lease for your first apartment? A Harry Potter novel size stack of papers later and you’re done! Well, what happens when page 438 containing the clause about extra tenants goes missing? It’s always a good idea to keep electronic copies of any documents you have your new renters sign. The lease agreement, repairs, credit information, pay stubs. Scan those bad boys into your computer and stay organized! That way you can always easily access information or answer any questions your renter might have. Work smarter not harder!
Becoming a new landlord can feel overwhelming with all the documentation and potential maintenance. These 5 tips should help you become the next Landlord Pro, and help you maintain awesome tenants, as well as keep your properties in great condition! Congratulations on your new journey, and happy renting!
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This is a collaborative post from Purple Camel Media.