What is the job description of a landlord? Being a landlord involves purchasing a property and collecting the rent, but that’s not all. In between buying a property and collecting rent, you will need to address issues that relate directly to tenants. You need to find and retain excellent tenants. Your tenants need you to be on top of the upkeep of your properties. Being a landlord can involve a lot more than you might imagine. Are you prepared?
Whether you’re purchasing a property or managing a move-out, move-in, you either need to hire someone who’s adept at property inspections or do them yourself. You’ll need to keep an eye on the property over time so that you can look for excessive wear and tear from tenants and address these concerns before they get worse. This will help you set and recoup your damage deposit, evaluate how tenants are treating a property, and keep your property in good repair.
Rental Property Management Basics: Finding Tenants
Before you collect the rent, you need to find tenants for your property. During times that may be considered a ‘landlord’s market’ you can have your pick of qualified tenants. At other times, it can be more difficult to attract desirable tenants. You might need to market, advertising to your existing tenant networks and to selected communities where you think that you’ll find the ideal tenants. You’ll need to know your neighborhood, its amenities, and how these connect with specific groups of tenants.
No matter what, you need to screen your tenants and at a minimum, incorporate a reference check and credit check into your screening process. This is an essential part of your rental property management and a way to avoid stressful situations with tenants later on.
Maintaining the Property
Property maintenance isn’t just the key to keeping a property running well, it’s also the key to good landlord-tenant relationships. Your tenants need to know that you’re there to maintain their property, both on a regular ongoing basis and as needs come up. From keeping the HVAC system in optimal condition to fixing a loose step, you need to be focused on the maintenance tasks that help your tenants feel like you care, and on the preventative maintenance that will fix small problems before they become larger ones.
As a landlord, you need to check appliances, look for leaks, examine interior and exterior structures for rot, clean gutters and the garden, and maintain security and emergency systems such as smoke alarms. With this important investment of time, your properties and your tenants will know that you care.
No matter how well you maintain a property, emergencies can happen. An emergency could involve anything from a home break-in to a flooded basement. You need to quickly get contractors in to stop whatever is damaging the home and manage the cleanup and repair.
Distance matters. It can be difficult to respond quickly during an emergency if you live far away from a property. If you’re not ready to wake up in the early morning to a call about a property problem, consider bringing in a management company that always has employees on call to handle emergencies.
If you are interested in investing in rental properties but you’re not sure whether you’re a fit for the landlord role, contact Lori Gill and Associates. We’re a rental property management company that can help you manage your role as well. Turn to us when you need a hand with your property.