Anyone can be a landlord. Still, it takes effort and understanding to be a good landlord. Whether you are a first-time rental property owner or have been a San Gabriel landlord for a time, this is the perfect opportunity to kick off making better habits that set good landlords apart from the rest. Here are a few top suggestions that will help you grow your skills and professionalism.
Treat Your Rental Property Like a Business
People come to be landlords in widely differing ways. Heedless of how you become a landlord, it’s crucial to treat your rental management as a business. Very much like any business, being a good landlord will mandate an investment of both time and money. It’s absolutely important to protect your valuable asset – your rental property – by nailing down that it is truly safe and suitable for residential use. This involves taking care of maintenance and repairs before they prove to be bigger issues. It also clearly means interacting with your tenants like a professional and learning about and following all state, federal, and local landlord-tenant laws.
Set an Accurate Rental Rate
Another substantial part of being a good landlord is knowing how to set accurate rental rates. First of all, it’s necessary to research and learn about the local rental market. While you may have what you think is a spot-on rental rate in mind, it’s important to have an idea of what other similar rentals are charging in your town and neighborhood and imitate them. It’s in particular salient to stay on top of market changes and renew your rental market assessment at least once a year.
Know Your Renter Demographics (and where to find them)
Good landlords learn and understand who their “ideal” tenant is – and not just one who pays their rent on time (although that is important). This is even more so true for owners of single-family rental homes because the type of rental and the location will generally draw in the kind of tenant who seeks to live there. When you know and consider who your renter demographic is, tailor your advertising so that it will reach them. For certain young or mid-career renter groups, this conveys marketing your rental online and presenting quality photos, virtual tours, and online applications.
Invest in Tenant Screening
Your tenant screening process is one of the really important parts of being a good landlord. You should mandate all potential tenants to give you a written application. Meticulously check all of the information they submit by running credit and background checks, calling previous landlords and references, and simply doing a Google search on their name and location. A lot of landlords even check social media to get a clear sense of who the applicant is. It takes effort, but an ideal screening process can help you find a good tenant more confidently.
Create and Use a Custom Lease Agreement
Very much like your screening process, your lease documents should, in addition, be something you spend time preparing. A lease is a binding legal contract, and the last thing any landlord needs is to figure out too late that your lease documents have loopholes or downsides that your tenant can exploit, naturally to your detriment. Take the time and effort to prepare comprehensive, customized lease documents that include all the essential lease clauses. It’s furthermore very important to have an attorney check your documents to nail down that they comply with all state and federal laws. Should a dispute happen, lease terms that violate a tenant’s rights will be unenforceable in court.
Keep Records of Everything
Another thing that all good landlords do is keep records of everything they do related to the property. By way of illustration, it’s vital to keep informed of all financial transactions, including any money you spend on maintenance and repairs. Indeed, always remember to document your property’s condition both before a tenant moves in and after they move out. Photos are an efficient way to trace through wear and tear or repair issues. On that note, keep a record of every conversation with your tenants, whether verbal or written. Offer your tenant systems and ways to contact you (email, for example) to help you document each exchange. Staying up to date on your interactions with your tenant can be very valuable in the event of a dispute.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
As demonstrated, it takes time and effort to be a good landlord. But if you don’t have much time to spare, you can still be a good property owner by hiring a property manager to handle everything for you. At Real Property Management Fairmate, we impart quality San Gabriel property management services that include expense tracking, convenient online rental payments, tenant screening, quality lease documents, and much more! Contact us online today to learn more.
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