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Tips for Residential Landlords

If you have a home that you rent out, right now might not be the greatest time to be a landlord. Sometimes it can be a nightmare. Today we are going to give you six tips to make being a landlord a little easier.

  1. Rent during peak rental season.

Understand the time of year most tenants are looking to rent. The more applicants you have higher quality of applicant you are likely to get. Typically, it’s May through August for residential properties because people are out of school and they are making transitions. Many families do not want to move during the school year. So, optimize your vacancy cycle.

  1. Set aside 10% of income for repairs.

Many landlords get caught off guard because they do not have the money for repairs and they want to skimp on the repairs. You not only have legal responsibilities has a landlord to make repairs, it is also in your best interest to keep your tenant happy by making necessary repairs.

  1. Thoroughly screen tenants.

Treat your rental property like a business. Look for people with a stable income of at least three times the monthly rent. Run a credit check and background check. Make sure they do not have any recent evictions — that’s never a good sign. Also a good referral from a previous landlord is helpful.

  1. Do move-in and move-out inspections.

Property condition and security deposit disputes are at the center of most tenant disputes. So, it is important to document this. Have the tenant document and sign off on any damages before they move in. Because if the condition of the property ends up in court, you are going to need photos and documents to support your position. You can also shoot a video or take pictures of the property before move in and after the tenant vacates the property to help document any damages.

  1. Get landlord insurance.

The biggest protection a landlord has is to be covered by insurance. This protects the dwelling, detached structures, and personal property used to service the rental. It also covers you if someone is injured on your rental property.  Make sure you have the right type of insurance for your property.

  1. Have an enforceable lease.

Make sure you have an air-tight lease that includes favorable landlord terms. Terms should include the length of the lease, who will live there, when rent is due, late payment penalties, pet policy, maintenance responsibilities and the basis for eviction.  Have your lease reviewed by an attorney before signing it.

Residential landlords, if you have any questions contact Adam Buck.