Are you thinking of getting into real estate and believe that working as a landlord is the best way to go about things? If so, you’re in good company. Reports show that there are over 10 million landlords in the United States.
If you’re just getting started with being a landlord, there are a few essential tips that will make your life easier. Keep reading to learn six rental property management tips that every landlord needs to know.
1. Maintain Your Property
Sometimes it’s easy to forget property maintenance when you don’t live in a home. Your focus is on your current location, so pushing regular maintenance tasks back happens to many landlords.
However, pushing back maintenance doesn’t mean your problems just go away. Things will still break. If you leave your home alone long enough, there’s no telling what will go wrong.
Create a list of regular maintenance tasks and make sure you complete all of them. Work with your tenant to schedule a time and take care of as many items as possible during that time. Doing this will reduce the time it takes for you to keep your rental properties in shape.
2. Make Communication a Priority
Many new landlords don’t use the best communication tactics when renting out their properties. If you want your tenants to be happy, make sure you address any complaints they may have as soon as possible. Your tenants are counting on you to take care of the place they call home, and that means listening to them when something needs fixing.
If you leave your tenants hanging, you won’t be able to keep high-quality tenants. You’ll get stuck in a never-ending cycle of tenants moving out, only to be replaced by those who need to move in.
It costs time and money to find qualified tenants, so you want people to stay as long as possible. The more time your property is vacant, the more money you’re going to lose.
3. Learn Your Local Laws
Property management for new landlords can be challenging if you don’t know the local laws. Every location is different, so it is essential to take time to get familiar with your area.
The first step is to determine what the laws are for property management in your specific city or county. For example, there may be a limit on how many years a rental agreement can last, depending on your property’s location. There could also be restrictions on how often you can charge different types of fees to tenants.
Once you know your local laws, you can learn more about state and federal laws. These laws don’t change much and will apply across the board.
The last step is to learn about the rules of your specific types of rental properties. Each property type is different. The same laws that apply to home rentals might not apply if you purchase an apartment complex.
4. Create the Right Lease
The terms of your lease are legally binding, so it’s important to carefully draft the lease that meets your needs and those of your tenant. Steer clear of generic or “vanilla” leases, which might not cover everything you need. Customize the lease language to include provisions for pets, utilities, and potential problems with repairs.
Your lease should also include language that spells out the notice terms for termination of the lease, and it should state that you meet any criteria required by law in your area. Finally, make sure your lease includes how much you’ll charge for various lease violations.
Your lease is what protects you and your tenant, so make sure it is a perfect fit for your situation. In some cases, your lease might change based on the tenant and rental unit you’re working with. This can get a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re managing multiple leases, think about getting lease management software to help you manage your leases effectively. Keep all of this in mind, so you don’t run into unexpected issues and get into disputes with your tenants.
5. Build a Reliable Contractor Team
The chances are good that you don’t want to spend your entire day traveling to your rentals to handle repairs. You likely purchased your property as an investment, not as a manual labor job.
Building a team will take much of the maintenance work off your plate. Reach out to contractors in your area and send them on test jobs. Your goal is to find someone who does excellent work at a reasonable price.
Start your contractor search on Google. The map results will show you the contractors local to your area. The highest-reviewed companies will be your starting point.
If you’re having trouble finding a reliable contractor, reach out to other landlords in your area. They likely have contracted with other workers in your area. They can point you in the right direction.
6. Work With a Property Management Company
As you continue to grow your rental business, you’re going to continue spending more of your time managing things. You’ll need to take tenant calls, manage your contractors, collect rent, and make sure everything is going smoothly. While some people love the work, others will find it tiresome after some time.
If you want to save time and energy, working with property management services can take some work off your plate. They’ll handle the day-to-day operation of your rental business for you. In most cases, they’ll take a small percentage of the rent payment for their services.
Their work doesn’t only include property maintenance, either. A management company will handle tenant disputes, find new tenants, and collect payments. See more here to learn about everything else a management company has to offer.
There Are More Property Management Tips Out There
While investing in real estate can be a great way to put your money to work, managing rental property investments is more work than many people think. Make sure to learn more property management tips before you get started. The last thing you want is to encounter a problem and not know how to handle things.
If you found this post helpful and want to learn more about real estate, head back to our blog. Our latest posts will teach you how to make the most of your property.