6 Tips for New Landlords: Landlord Advice
A lot goes into being a good landlord. If you are new to rental real estate, a little landlord advice can help make the process of owning and managing a rental property a little bit easier. Below are 10 tips every new landlord should know.
1. Manage the property like a professional
Even if you’re a “mom and pop” real estate investor, it’s a good idea to interact with your tenants and manage your rental property as if you were a professional property management company. Communication with a tenant should be clear, cordial, and professional.
The tenant needs to know that the person managing the property (hint, that’s you) should be taken seriously. Follow through with the terms of the lease including collecting late payments, checking in on the property to ensure it’s being maintained, getting items repaired promptly after a request, and, if necessary, starting the eviction promptly if no payment is made.
2. Use property management software
In today’s tech-savvy world, you are doing yourself and the tenant a disservice by not allowing online rent payments. Collecting rent online allows the rent to be deposited straight into your bank account. You don’t have to worry about bounced checks or checks getting “lost” in the mail. Most online tenant management programs allow the tenant to pay by automatic bank-to-bank transfers (ACH) for free or charge the tenant a small processing fee for using a debit card.
With the RentGuard system, RentGuard rental solution provides a hassle free on rental collection with credit card and debit card to deduct the tenants rent money and deposit it to landlord bank account. Receipts and invoices are automatically sent via email which serves as a proof .
In a few clicks, upload your payment slip on the system and your landlord is notified automatically now. Every transaction is officially registered, receipts are also emailed to you after payments so, the system provides for some security as well. With the RentGuard system, our team will take charge of your rental property and monitor all your clients so as to never miss rental payments or late payments and also helping you to increase profits.
3. Follow the laws
As a landlord, you are expected and required to comply with fair housing laws. Unfortunately, not all landlords know the rules before renting a property. It’s imperative you understand your state’s tenant-landlord laws and follow the rules to keep yourself out of a lawsuit. Fortunately, the American Apartment Owners Association offers a map you can click on to read about those laws in your state.
4. Have a thorough, well-written lease
Your lease agreement is everything as a landlord. It is a binding contract that explains what the landlord and tenants can and cannot do and states the process for what happens if the lease is broken.
Your lease should include basic terms, clauses, and language according to your state’s tenant-landlord laws and can be drafted by a real estate attorney. Your lease should also address items like:
- Lawn maintenance: including who is responsible for maintaining the lawn and what needs to be done as a part of that maintenance.
- Parking: including where tenants can park and the number of allowable cars in the parking area.
- Pet clause.
- Pest control.
- Property use: If you’re renting a residential property, you want the unit to be used for living, not for running a business. Explicitly state what the property can and cannot be used for.
- Subletting: is subletting allowed? If so, do renters need pre-approval before they can sublet?
5. Take advantage of extra income opportunities
Some properties allow the opportunity to collect additional rental income. For example, you could collect additional rent outside of your standard lease agreement for:
- Storage sheds.
- Garage space.
- Parking space (especially in areas where parking is at a premium).
- Pets, such as a nonrefundable pet deposit or monthly pet fee (if allowed by your state).
6. Be strict with your screening process
Another great tips for Landlord is choosing a quality tenant. Screening tenants is hard. It’s likely you will receive a lot of interest from prospective tenants. Whereby If your rental is priced competitively in the market and in good condition. A well-thought-out screening process with established requirements for tenants will help weed out tenants who won’t qualify because of eviction history, low income, or other factors like owning a pet.
From there, have the tenant complete a written rental application. Confirm their rental history, and review their income. Many landlords follow the “3x rent per month rule,” which means the tenant must make at least three times the rental rate each month. Running a credit check and background check is standard in rental real estate, but it’s not the only thing that matters.
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