Nowadays, there are many different investment opportunities. You may find that investing in real estate property and turning it into an income generating rental business is an avenue you want to explore. Or maybe you want to turn an old home you've moved out of into a rental property, which you can learn how to do here.
While this is exciting, it's also a challenging path to take. It's important to gain as much knowledge before embarking on this journey so you know what to expect. You might feel overwhelmed in the beginning but eventually, it'll start to become routinely.
Strive to learn more about the industry and then apply it well. This will prevent you from making costly errors that will impact your investment.
Here are great tips you can follow as a first-time landlord:
1. Obtain Knowledge on Landlord-Tenant Laws
Always be on the right side of the law by following state laws, regulations and policies. For instance, you must:
- Constantly be updated so you know how much security deposit to collect
- Learn how many days are needed to send a notice to a tenant who violates the conditions of the leasing agreement
- Understand how to handle the eviction process
When you're knowledgeable about the Landlord-Tenant Laws, you avoid lawsuits and paying hefty penalties. You can also consult a lawyer to make sure you are interpreting the laws properly.
2. Be Organized, Especially with Bookkeeping
When managing a rental property, you'll have a lot of paperwork to handle such as billing statements, expense receipts, rental payment receipts, leasing agreements and more. You must organize and file them well.
You should also record records when you pay vendors and contractors and when you buy materials for your rental property. This will prevent bookkeeping confusion later on when conducting your accounting and computing for your business taxes.
When you have a paper trail and digital copies, it's easy to procure proof if any given event. For example, in court, you might be requested to submit certain documents that will help your case. This will be easy if you have a system already in place.
3. Conduct Proper Tenant Screening
Performing a detailed tenant screening is one of the most crucial roles you can have as a landlord. Don't skip this step, and never solely rely on your gut instinct or first impression of an applicant.
You never really know someone unless you hold a historical record that can inform you of his behavioral pattern. For example, some prospects can seem friendly and engaging but later they can turn out to be violent and cause property damages.
This is why scrutinizing credit reports and asking for employment documents where you can check the salary is crucial. It will reassure you that the applicant is financially responsible. You can also ask for previous landlord references. This will help you know the applicant's trustworthiness.
4. Firmly Enforce your Leasing Conditions
Stick to your conditions on the signed lease. If you start being lenient, a renter might take advantage and not keep up with his responsibilities. Be professional and firm. If a tenant needs to pay for late dues, or repair for property damage, then collect his money.
As long as you remain respectful, there's no need to be intimidated. Think about the operational and overhead costs you have to pay. You are running a business and it's best to be frank when dealing with tenants. Otherwise, you'll find it hard to make your renters adhere to the policies you set out.
5. Document Property Before a Tenant Moves In
Take pictures and videos of your rental property before the tenant moves in. This will make returning a security deposit hasstle-free as both you and the tenant will have proof of the condition of the property prior to move-in. If there are damages to compute, assessment is quicker.
Tenant negligence is a common landlord-tenant conflict. Being able to acquire proof means avoiding problems and stressful situations in the future.
6. Practice Seasonal Property Maintenance
Regular maintenance ensures your property's value increases each year. One of the best ways to keep your rental unit attractive is performing seasonal property maintenance. If your property has a garden, keeping up with the landscaping enhances the curb appeal. Constantly mow the lawn, trim trees and clean up dried fallen leaves on roofs and gutters. This will prevent water damage that can be expensive to repair.
If your property is located in a state that experiences cold winters, you need to invest in snow removal and salting procedures. This will prevent accidents and minimize roof problems.
7. Hire a Property Manager
Managing your first rental property is a lot of work. Some first-time landlords seek to gain peace of mind by letting a professional manager handle a full range of services.
At InterWest Properties, we take care of marketing, tenant screening, property maintenance and rent collection for you. This means you won't need to worry about those tasks and you'll have more time on your hands.
If you want to save time, lessen your stress and build your confidence by learning from professional property managers, hire our services today.
Mistakes can be expensive and hiring a property management company can be convenient for you as a first-time landlord.
If you're looking for dedicated property managers in Portland and Vancouver, you can call InterWest Properties, Inc. at (503) 256 2323. We are trusted experts when it comes to property management. Our goal is to help property owners like you succeed in your property rental business.