First-time Landlord Do’s and Don’ts

The decision to enter the real estate arena is as varied as the investor. Life has a way of impacting arrangements to rent, especially when finding a buyer hasn’t worked out as planned, and staying in the current residence is not feasible. If you’re seriously considering purchasing or turning your existing property into an investment property, there are several “Do’s and Don’ts” that will make being a landlord easier.

1. Do Your Homework.

There and many laws and city requirements to becoming a landlord. (see basics of landlord-tenant law on the website add link) An understanding of what has to be legally done as a landlord will keep everyone honest and ensure that both landlords and tenants understand their legal responsibilities.

2. Do An Inventory.

Take detailed notes of all the appliances and their condition. Taking photos of each appliance and writing down the model, manufacturer’s serial number, and any warranties associated with the item and store them in a handy location. This information will come in handy when the appliance needs repaired and assist the person in fixing the issue. In the event, there is a dispute about the condition of the item having specific notes with photos of the item will assist in supporting the case.

An honest assessment of the property will give confidence to the tenant that the landlord is responsible and will be fair about any damages that the residence may incur during the lease agreement. In the case of structural or foundation issues like that of a worn carpet, a detailed note of the general condition will ensure that the tenant is not falsely accused of causing damages. Taking the time to do the inspection will also point out needed repairs helping to estimate cost and rent before crafting a contract.

3. Be Available.

Availability approached thoughtfully will improve the landlord-tenant relationship and will encourage continued occupancy of the property. Set limits on when you should and can be contacted and let the tenant know how long it will take you to respond. Setting these parameters at the onset of the agreement will ensure that the tenant knows what to expect and will help prevent them from calling in the middle of the night.

4. Do Relationships.

Build relationships with a trustworthy general contractor and professionals, and here’s why. In the event of an urgent repair like a furnace blower going out in January and you are on a cruise in the Bahamas, you will want someone trusted that the tenant should call. Having these established relationships will ensure that the repairs are not frivolous, and the tenant remains comfortable.

5. Don’t Be Too Friendly.

Many suggestions by real-estate entities will warn about being overly intrusive in the effort to be liked. Tenants have an expectation of privacy while renting a property. Sending a card at Christmas and a visit once a year is sufficient to let the tenant know that you are invested and appreciate them without being intrusive.

6. Don’t Skip The Interview.

Before renting the property, ensure that there is a comprehensive screening of potential renters. (see our Tenant Screening blog post here). Failure to do a check of the individual may result in headaches later.

Being a landlord can be challenging enough, but having a plan and being proactive will make investing in real estate more profitable. Partnering with an experienced Property Management company will give you an advantage in the real estate arena.

At Blue Mountain Real Estate & Property Management, we pride ourselves on making the investment and rental process more pleasant and less expensive.

Contact us at Blue Mountain Real Estate & Property Management today. We’d love to tell you more.