3 Tips for Managing Rental Properties | Owning an investment property comes with many responsibilities. Many rental property owners find it challenging to manage their properties because of their many moving parts. Thankfully, knowing the nitty-gritty of the business can help you become a successful landlord. On that note, here are three helpful tips to get started.
- Inspect the properties regularly.
As a rental property owner, you must prioritize maintenance to prevent the depreciation of the property. Conducting routine inspections on your properties whenever a new tenant moves in or a renter packs out, will help you properly maintain them and stay ahead of any issues that may arise. You’ll also be sure that all the amenities are intact and in top working condition. If not, try to fix any damages or facilities that are not working optimally as soon as you can.
One important maintenance issue to look out for is ventilation. There’s no denying the benefits of proper ventilation in a living space. A good landlord must provide an efficient cooling and heating system for his tenants. For example, if your property is in a cold climate, the warm air from the heater will ensure the indoor environment stays warm and comfortable.
If the HVAC system or furnace fails, get an HVAC technician to inspect and repair it immediately. More so, installing a mechanical ventilator can help outdoor air come in and get rid of airborne contaminants. This will help improve the indoor air quality and give you peace of mind knowing that occupants will be breathing only fresh air.
- Have a detailed rental agreement.
One rule of the landlord’s guide to managing rental properties is to make sure your tenants sign lease agreements. First, as a homeowner, you have to decide on the details of the lease agreement. Work with a legal practitioner to ensure your lease meets all the legal requirements and contains all the essential information.
Your lease agreement should, amongst other things, clearly state how much the monthly rent is, costs of maintenance, duration of the lease, and rent renegotiation. Additionally, it should stipulate the due dates of rent collection, length of the grace period, penalties for late payments, and eviction process of a bad tenant.
Consider asking your potential tenant to pay security deposits to cover the costs of damages when they move out. If the property is satisfactory upon moving out, you may be required to return the security deposit to the tenant. Ask your lawyer to provide you with a comprehensive explanation of the legal regulations regarding security deposits to mitigate getting on the wrong side of the law. Being transparent and straightforward with the occupants of your properties will help foster a cordial landlord-tenant relationship.
- Contract a property manager.
Managing more rental properties than you can handle can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the time or live far away from the locations. More so, some landlords struggle to keep up with the amount of tax, legal liability, and complicated property regulations. If you have no prior experience managing a rental property, contracting a property manager seems like the best way to go.
So that you know; not all property managers are equal. While some may look out for your best interest, many others may not have your best interests at heart. That’s why you must be careful and thoughtful when screening your options. Try to keep an eye out for a reputable, reliable, and trustworthy property manager.
If you have a colleague, friend, or family member who owns rental properties, don’t hesitate to ask for word-of-mouth referrals. Get them to refer managers who know how to care for properties and increase rental income. Consider searching online for a property management company with positive customer reviews.
When looking to contract a property manager, make sure you factor in the contracting costs. Most managers charge relatively standard fees. Requesting for a detailed breakdown of management fees is the only way to avoid disagreements in the long run.