Taking the plunge into a rental or income property can be intimidating — once you purchase it and complete any needed renovations, you’re essentially open for business and inviting people to live within your walls. This is a big responsibility, one that can come with unforeseen issues that need some clever navigation. Here are a few tips for your new rental property:
DO consider a property management company
There is a lot involved in screening tenants, checking credit, making repairs, and in general keeping up with your property. If your budget allows, consider hiring a firm that will take care of these tasks so you can focus on the larger ones.
DON’T forget to do the math
Your rental fees should cover mortgage payments plus about 10% to handle any emergency repairs that need to be made. Research your area and make sure these payments are within the median rental rates to double-check your decision to purchase.
DO visit your properties
It’s important for property owners to frequently visit and survey the property and surrounding neighborhood. This will alert you to changing conditions or repair needs before they become larger issues and give you a sense of how the area is evolving.
DON’T neglect tenants
If a paying tenant needs attention, make sure you get back to them quickly and fix the issue within a reasonable amount of time. Fast responses can make your tenants happy and more likely to stay, lowering your property’s turnover and solidifying your income source.
DO respect privacy
Yes, the property is yours, but your tenants are paying for it according to their lease. It’s not your place to snoop around, look in windows, or show up at random times. Unless your tenants give you reason (i.e., not paying, neighbor complaints, frequent repair requests, etc.), let them be.
While rules are needed to keep up your property’s integrity, don’t be an overbearing landlord. The goal is to make money, and you can’t do this if your tenants are constantly moving out. Consider easing up on the rules or offering exceptions to exemplary tenants.
DON’T assume everything is OK
Check in after a repair has been completed or a recent service has been done to make sure your tenants are happy with the result. This will not only give you peace of mind and valuable feedback, it will make the tenant feel appreciated.
DO understand the laws
Owning and renting a property comes with many pitfalls, the most unfortunate of which is a tenant who needs to be evicted. Make sure you know your local laws and have a firm to call if and when you need help.
The experts at Scafidi Juliano can help you better understand your responsibilities and rights as a new property manager or landlord. Our agents are here to help you make the best decisions to keep your property profitable. Let’s get started today!