Becoming a landlord of rental property can be very rewarding if everything goes according to plan. But many people jump headfirst into the business without knowing what it means to be a landlord. There are bills to pay, leases to get, and preparing your building for all the people you’re going to be taking in. It’s a lot to consider and that’s why many landlords eventually end up giving up on the business altogether.
But if you have your heart set on being in control of the rental property, then you’ll need these successful tips on your side to have the best experience being a landlord. After all, no one wants to end up being on the news for being a terrible landlord.
- Place Terms in the Lease about Renters’ Insurance
Renters’ insurance is meant to protect your tenants and their personal belongings so that if any damage occurs, and to also cover the costs of damage to the property itself. It can take a lot of time and money to maintain the property every time a tenant comes and goes, so a tenant having renters’ insurance on their side will mean less money out of pocket for you to pay for any repairs that need to be made. You can learn more here on what else is covered by renters’ insurance.
- Maintaining Lines of Communication
Don’t let a problem get worse over time by keeping your mouth shut. By addressing a problem soon after it occurs, it will establish a line of trust between you and the tenant so that there is no hostility or tension. Provide tenants with plenty of advance notice when changes are being made to leases and explain what is happening in clear language so that tenants can understand. The main reason so many landlord-tenant relationships break down is from a lack of communication.
- Review Leases with Tenants Before Signing
Many tenants are quick to sign the lease, believing that all the terms of contracts are the same. However, by sitting down with tenants and going over all the details of the lease, they’ll not only better understand what they’re signing but they’ll also know what to expect when the unimaginable happens. There will be fewer arguments about being “surprised” by the terms of the lease and will be more willing to comply with the terms of the lease. In the end, you’ll have a much more rewarding experience as a landlord.
- Have a Property Manager
You don’t have to take on the task of maintaining your property all by yourself. By hiring a property manager, you can lessen the burden on your shoulders. They can collect rent for you, be in charge of repairs if something happens, and provide a fountain of other benefits that you may never have thought possible. This is a very good option for those who don’t exactly what to interact with every single tenant on a daily basis and serve as a middle man to keep the landlord-tenant relationship running smoothly.
- Being Approachable
This again goes back to establishing communication between yourself and your tenants. If your tenants think that you’re unapproachable, then they’re not going to bring problems to you until they become too big for them to handle. Many tenants keep these problems to themselves because they don’t want to annoy or bother their landlords, which doesn’t help anyone at all in a problematic situation. Be supportive of your tenants and let them know that you are there for their concerns. No one is going to thrive if simple problems can’t be discussed openly.
- Tenants are People but they’re also Clients
Keeping a good dialogue going with your tenants is key to the nature of the relationship but it’s also important to remember that they are clients. You are trusting them with an important asset that you own and you want to ensure that it is being taken care of properly. Tenants can be very nice but they are not your friends. Provide them with amicable and professional courtesy in conversation and discussing any problems that may arise, and they are more likely to treat you in kind. Take care of their concerns so that they can take care of your property.
- Establish a Good Vetting Process
You can’t just let anyone and everyone into your rental property. You need to have a system in place that controls who does and doesn’t qualify to rent your apartment. Thorough background checks with a tenant’s previous landlord(s) is a great place to start but be sure to take every recommendation with a grain of salt. There are two sides to every story and you don’t want one biased opinion to sway you to make the wrong decision. Having these guidelines in place will prevent nightmare tenants from being your problem
- Being Courteous
Sometimes, it’s just the little things that can make a landlord-tenant relationship thrive. Invest some money into making move-in packages for your new tenants so that they feel more at home. Consider sending them small gift cards for the holiday season so that they have a little more money to spend on gifts. Just showing that you care about their well-being is a great way to establish a great relationship and will increase your tenant retention. Think of it as increasing the loyalty of your “customers” by showing them they’re appreciated. Because an empty apartment isn’t going to make you any money when angry tenants leave.
Establishing yourself as a trustworthy landlord will mean a lot in the long run and it doesn’t take a lot. Just don’t let yourself become a pushover with your clients either; letting them get away with things will give you no recourse when they break the terms of the lease. Practice the old adage “treat how you would like to be treated” and you should have no problems running your rental property like a well-oiled machine.