Becoming a landlord is manageable. You have to have a nice property that you are willing to allow other people to live in for a fee. Being a landlord is a lot more challenging if you have never dealt with tenants and leases before. The process of finding a good property to rent is easiest as an experienced property agent should be able to guide you on what kind of properties are most popular for leasing.
Once you have the property, you have to decide if you will lease the whole house or rent it out by units or rooms. Then, you must look for tenants, screen them, and follow up on references. After you choose a tenant, you have to prepare a rental agreement that both you and your tenant are amenable to, and both of you must abide by the agreement.
Even collecting rent can take multiple forms these days. You can set up a business account for the tenants to transfer the money directly. Some people go through a renters’ agency to ensure that both sides are protected, and there are dispute resolution opportunities in place in case of conflict. As long as you do the research and take a measured approach, you will find that renting out your properties can be a steady source of income.
Managing Rental Properties Is a Business
You may be attached to your property, but you need to apply a level of professional detachment when you’re renting it out. Managing a property is a business, even if it is an extra source of income for you. Ensure that you look into federal and state laws and check on a more personal level with the local homeowners association to ensure that you can rent without too much trouble.
Leasing a property counts as a real estate investment, and different states can have different regulations regarding it for legal and taxation purposes. Homeowner associations aren’t a powerful regulatory body, but they can make the neighbourhood very unwelcome to your tenants if you do not make sure that they are amenable to renters.
Taking the time to learn about state-specific laws can also help you find out if you need to update your homeowners insurance or change it to a different type. In most states, landlords are liable for accidents that happen on their property. Landlord insurance can help you to avoid receiving an unexpected bill that may affect your income too much.
Rent a Nice Home
Good business is to offer a good service that is worth the price tag. You may have pride in your property, but you must look at it with a critical eye. Is it a place that is conducive to restful living? Does it need furniture or a paint job? Are the internal workings in good order?
Renting out a property that is not in good condition will only hurt you in the wrong term. If pipes burst due to poor maintenance, you will handle the high fees of emergency plumbers and fixing the property. Poorly built furniture will break easily with use, and you will have to replace it more often than a premium furniture set that costs premium prices. If any breakage happens in a way that harms your tenants, they can take you to court, and you could be heavily fined for renting out an unsafe property.
Therefore, you must ensure that the property is in good condition and that you have it cleaned and fixed between tenants.
Have a Plan for Fixes
If you are not a handy person, you must have a solid plan to handle any issues that your tenants may face. You could look into putting a contractor on retainer who can send out workers to fix various issues from furniture to electrical fixtures. This can cost a bit but maybe a better long-term solution than hiring handymen on an as-needed basis.
Always make sure to look into the backgrounds of contractors and handymen before confirming their availability. Having a list of handymen whose background you have checked out will be very useful in an emergency. This background check is how you can be sure that they are worth their asking price and that you will receive a good fix that will not cause problems down the line.
As you can see, preparing to become a landlord takes a bit of planning and time. These steps have to be taken care of before you can even plan to look for a tenant. If it sounds like too much work already, then you may have to look into hiring a property manager. The important thing is to remember is that you are providing a service, and good service begets good customers. Your dedication to giving your tenants a nice home is what will guarantee that they will treat your home well.