There is a significant misconception that renting out property is easy money. In reality, being a landlord is serious business. As a landlord, you are responsible for the upkeep of your building and your tenants. Without taking necessary measures ahead of time, you could easily find yourself facing a lawsuit.
This is a guest post in collaboration with Alycia Coloma.
To avoid these pitfalls, here are five tips for a stress-free landlord experience.
1. Clarify your terms when renting out property
If you have specific expectations for your property and how renters should behave, spell out these terms. Never give away the keys without first outlining what you expect from potential tenants.
You can clarify your terms in a written contract that requires signage. If you are against loud music, doing laundry after late-night hours, or have specific pet policies, these are things to include in your contract. Leave nothing unsaid so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Be accommodating and friendly
Most of the time, keeping your distance from your renters is the ideal approach to being a good landlord. Your tenants want to feel that, although they’re renting, they’re home sweet home. If you are constantly showing up, they will feel bothered and uncomfortable with the arrangement.
Keep your distance but remain present when it comes to addressing any concerns your tenants have. Answer your phone or be sure your rental agent does, so that all tenant concerns are addressed. Be friendly around the holidays and send your tenants a gift to show your gratitude for their interest in your property.
3. Be flexible with penalties when renting out property
Renting is the alternative to buying a house. As a landlord, you should realise then that if your tenants fall short on rent, it may very well be because they lack the necessary funds.
Tenants are subject to pay late fee penalties but try to be flexible in how these terms are met. If times are tough, give your tenant the ability to pay in smaller chunks so that both of you can manage the issue effectively.
It’s unrealistic to expect someone to fork out money that they don’t have. Giving tenants time to repay you without being a pushover is essential to avoid lease term breaches and maintain good standing with your tenants.
4. Run background checks
Before you agree to rent to anyone, have them complete a TransUnion rental screening so that you can review their financial history. You may be a good judge of character or get along well with a potential renter, but knowing who they are on paper will provide you with additional insight into how they’ll handle rent.
It’s good to have trust and give people chances, but knowing what you are getting yourself into will provide you the ability to prepare against risks ahead of time.
5. Never ignore essentials when renting out property
Tenants will think negatively of you if you avoid the essential responsibilities of being a landlord. Issues like failed heat or air conditioning, leaks, and bug infestations are things that landlords must address. Failure to do so could result in rent payment refusal by tenants, lawsuits, and the issue of having squatters.
You need to fulfil your end of the bargain and ensure that you provide a liveable, guest-ready environment for your tenants. You should also make sure to update your place every now and then to ensure that its furnishings stay modern. Consider using spring cleaning tips for fresh ideas.
The bottom line
Being a stress-free landlord comes down to the give and take that makes up the renter-landlord relationship. If you do your part as the landlord, your renters will likely follow through as well.
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