If you are going to be a landlord, strive to be the best. Anything less and you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Rockstar landlords are going to have less vacancy, less unexpected problems and more profitability. Here’s a few of my favorite tips to keep your investment a successful and happy one.
Treat It Like A Business
Because it is one! Being a landlord isn’t a hobby, it’s a job. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised. A Landlord is in charge of someone’s home. Don’t make it an afterthought. Create a system that can be followed and keeps you accountable. Make a list of contractors who you can trust and that are available in your area. Stay organized, be proactive in fixing problems, and keep a good relationship with the tenants. If one of these areas falls apart the whole thing can crumble. You are the CEO – act like it.
Create A Positive Environment
Think of your best friends. Now look at your property. Would you want them to live there? If not, you have some fixing up to do. To attract good tenants you need a handsome home. Throwing up cheap wallpaper or investing rag tag appliances isn’t giving the property the care it deserves. Get good appliances, make sure the electric and plumbing are in good condition, and fix up the outside. If you care, they will care.
Understand the Law
It’s always helpful as a landlord to not break any laws, because then you’re screwed. Fair Housing Laws exist on a federal, state and local level. You have to understand them all. “I didn’t know” wont hold up in court. Landlords get sued all the time for discriminatory practices. Often it can be for something as simple as “This may be a difficult space for you considering your disability.” Nope, that is breaking the law! The only way to avoid problems is to understand them.
Find Good Tenants
It all starts with screening. This is an important job and will often dictate how the rest of your year or 2 years will go. Make sure to run a background and credit check, verify employment status, and talk to previous landlords. Know as much as you can about the person moving in.
Finding the perfect person or persons can take a while. Don’t sit around waiting! Spread the word to your friends and on social media. The best tenants are ones connected to you in some way. Especially if you are living on the same property, you want someone who you feel comfortable being around. So be proactive and don’t settle.