In all the excitement of becoming a landlord, don’t forget some important tips that are shared below. You want to make sure you keep a good history with your rental property.
Best Approach To Rent Collection
There are many requirements for a legally-binding rental agreement between landlord and tenant. You, or the property management company you hire, must name the unit, the amount that constitutes the rent and other utilities every month, the term of the rent, the name of the tenant, number of people allowed to live in the unit, as well as some language that says the tenant is renting the unit from the landlord and managed by the landlord or Real Estate LLCs. Many tenants assume they have paid the last month rent along with the first month when it is actually the security deposit that they have paid. Ensure that they understand the consequences of breaking the agreement. Even if the tenant is a relative or colleague, treat the agreement exactly as you would with a stranger. Additionally, you want to specify the means to collect the rent, whether the tenant is to pay by cash, check or credit card. Usually, rent collection is better handled through a management company. Any delay in paying the rent may incur late fees as well. All this information should be clearly specified in the signing agreement.
Hiring An Inspector
Even if your rental property is new, it is best that you hire a home inspector once every two years to ensure that everything is in working order. A quick home inspection can run anywhere from $200 to $500, but every dollar you spend now is worth it later. With a tenant in place, it is highly unlikely that you would receive an honest review of known and unknown problems with the property. It is not in their best interest what happens to your property structure-wise or maintenance-wise, but with a home inspection report, you can avoid a potential major repair in the future. Aside from the inspection, you may want to sign up for yearly HVAC or central system upkeep. Your property management company is the best source to learn the most common services landlords opt for.
Yes, we understand your concern for attention to details, but don’t make a pest of yourself. Your rental place may need typical move-out replacement such as new carpet, new blinds, thorough cleaning and much else. It is better to leave this task to the property management, rather than you personally visiting the site to review the quality of work. If the materials are left out in the open, or the renovation contractor is delaying the work, it is the management’s job to tend to such issues. On the other hand, if you think you are suffering a loss in terms of several thousand dollars for the tasks that seem inexpensive, only then you may need closer vigilance. Sometimes a bit of animosity may arise between the management company and the landlords. The management company might feel that the landlord is in the way. This shouldn’t happen if you want to maintain a good professional relationship.
If you are personally handling the rental property, and any issue that may arise as a result, it is necessary that you tend to every concern of the tenant. Things that didn’t seem important might be critical now. Keep the contact numbers of plumbers, electricians, painters, and handymen close by. Do not call or contact the tenants at odd hours.
When Things Go Wrong
Sadly, under some circumstances, you may have to deal with unruly or unrealistic tenants. A surprising number of landlords think every situation that involves minor issues should be taken to court. Not really. You can always talk to the tenants or let the management talk about the issue and solve it right there. Legally, they are liable for issues due to a breach of contract. The issue may be anything from who pays for a particular repair to what the agreement says for a month to month rent term. Identify the reason the tenant is raising the issue in the first place. Confirm the term through written notice. Make sure to give any notice as specified in the document in the proper form. Again, ensure that the issue is handled professionally at all times.