Being first-time landlords can be a bit of a hustle, especially for those starting the business. They have to look for prospective tenants and screen them to make and follow a rental agreement and collect month’s rent payments from the new tenants. This article will provide you with all the tips you need to know as a landlord dealing with tenants.
When you are serious about creating a better experience, as most landlords do, a few expert tips and best practices are highly recommended to be followed as a better landlord or even as a responsible tenant. A safe, well-maintained rental property or apartment will provide all peace of mind and a good relationship between the landlord and a responsible tenant.
To ensure that the parties are happy and content with the laws imposed on the landlord’s rental properties, the landlord has to ensure that the property is well-maintained and secure. Other than that, a primary screening must be done to ensure that the tenants are trustworthy enough to be trusted with the rental property or apartment and they don’t cause any rental property damage. But it’s also the duty of a good tenant to follow the norms and report instantly if any issue occurs.
This article will provide you with detailed information regarding all things that you need to know. We have picked up the top five best tips to ensure that better landlords have a peaceful time with their tenants.
#1 Treat Your Rental Property Like A Business
When it comes to managing rental property, you might feel that looking after or managing it is not your responsibility. Still, you need to remember that though renting houses might not be your optimal focus, it is an extra source of income, and you need to look after it. It’s mandatory that you maintain professional terms with your tenants; your finances must be kept intact, and before you confirm the right tenant, always ensure to screen tenants.
It’s essential that you protect yourself from accidents and related liabilities; you can easily avoid that by getting yourself landlord insurance. If any unfortunate accidents occur, land insurance can easily protect you from bearing those unfortunate losses.
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the business he’s conducting is good; it implies that problems must be curbed even before they arise.
Prior to renting your property to any tenant, make sure to double-check that your rental property is worth living in and is safe. A few factors must be checked before renting out the property; we’ll be listing out some of the maintenance issues:
The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be checked, and repairs must be done regularly.
It must be ensured that all vents are clean and buildup free, such as debris, moisture, or similar things.
The pipes, both external and internal, must be checked and kept intact.
#2 Have A Written Rental Agreement
One of the finest ways to communicate your expectations properly and protect yourself from indulging in legal situations is to have a written rental agreement ready. Even though oral lease agreements are legal in some situations, they are generally valid for those contracts that are less than 12 months.
These sorts of written notices are much less effective than written documents both parties have signed. If you can’t provide a written document, it probably can lead you to trouble because it will be difficult for you to prove whether the agreement made is acceptable by both parties.
The rules and clauses must adhere to the state policies. The rental agreement that is renewed makes it easier for you to function your rental business. If the agreement is state-specific, then there are chances that the agreement will automatically comply with the state laws.
Generally, a rental agreement is very clear and brief. Before adding the agreement, the landlord must make thorough strategies about the rules he needs to include. Such as are pets allowed in the rented premise? If any additional late fees will be charged? Is there any noise restriction rule? And much more.
You can forge a strong landlord-tenant relationship when the rental application is clearly written. In case of any mishaps or accidents, the potential tenant can’t run away from his responsibilities, as is already mentioned in the legal application. Consult a legal practitioner before adding any clause to the rental agreement regarding mandatory renters insurance. It must also be noted that laws differ from state to state and are not the same throughout.
#3 Set The Right Rent Price
For determining a proper price, it’s always advisable that you research the existing market to learn more about fair rent prices and security deposits. Fixing a rent price that usually makes sense in your existing location usually means that there will be a difference in vacancies and will provide you with potential tenants that will facilitate you with profitable tenants and allow you to rent your properties easily.
After setting your rent prices, you must know how the rates might affect your finances. You need to list your fixed and estimated prices to compare the rent income to the rental expenses. When differentiating your expenses from your income, it becomes easier to fetch the exact amount that affects your monthly revenue.
As it’s baseless and has no meaning in setting the right price if your tenant fails to make payment in time. Hence remember to screen tenants.
#4 Collect Rent Payments Online
Through time and experience, it has been observed that online payments are much easier, faster, and a saver when compared to offline payments. According to research, it has been observed that most millennials pay 61 % of their bills online, and the older generation pays about 42% of their bills and other payments online. The calculation is basic; the easier the mode of payment, the more likely your tenants will pay rent in time. At times it becomes easier for the tenant to pay rent through scheduled payments so that their monthly rent is automatically deducted from their account. It becomes convenient for the tenant to enjoy online payments’ benefits. And it equally benefits the landlord as well; the monthly payments are on time.
Furthermore, collecting rent also provides clarity to both parties. Prompt information comes to the landlord once the tenant schedules the payment, and the date on which the amount is withdrawn from the tenant’s account is also initiated to the landlord. Another advantage of payments being received online is that the landlord doesn’t have to worry about the check being lost in the mail and might be time-consuming.
Other than that, it becomes risky for the tenants to pay rent via checks. The checks have a high chance of being misplaced, lost, or even worse. The bank details end up in improper hands. Whereas you need not worry when paying online, personal details are always encrypted when it comes to online transactions. There are no possibilities for an online payment to be lost during the transaction. With added convenience and safety, making transactions through online payments is considered as one of the best ways to make payments.
#5 Require A Credit And Background Check
One of the easiest ways to check the credit history and determine whether the applicant or the tenant is financially sound is through credit cards. When checking your prospective tenant’s financial background, make sure that you don’t miss the red flags: notable debt, undue payments, bankruptcy, and any prior eviction history, if any. If the tenant has a strong and stable financial position, he can make their rent payment or the minimum amount on time without fail and not miss the due date.
It is always recommended and one of the best practices that the landlord must go for such a tenant with good credit. Even though the tenant might seem otherwise perfect, if he has bad credit, it might indicate financial imprudence, and no matter how much charm or personality he has, it can’t substitute for the same. In such scenarios, he has to pay a late fee.
As we head to the article’s conclusion, you must know that all the connected steps do matter, ranging from managing your rental property or apartment business to looking and screening quality tenants and gathering the rent.
We want you to lead a top-notch rental business without sacrificing your time, finances, and peace of mind. With the right kind of tips and the best advice we have provided here, being a good landlord is not that difficult. The first aspect that must be considered is that proper screening of quality tenants is the major step that protects you against bad tenants.
If you are having a hard time with your occupants, then there are chances that you might not be following the screening process enough.
If you’re feeling uneasy about screening applicants and understanding landlord and tenant laws, reach out to a real estate lawyer to help you in your landlord journey.