Contrary to what most believe, renting a property is a highly stressful job. Landlords have to attend scores of responsibilities and duties, alongside complying with the legal clauses and regulations enshrined in the rental agreement. They have to attend to all repair and maintenance needs of their tenants, ensuring their comfort and safety within the accommodation.
But, what’s the most stressful part of a landlord’s job? It varies from one property owner to another. Some find it incredibly stressful to find decent tenants, while others struggle with maintenance issues and legally binding responsibilities.
Let’s take a closer look at the stressors landlords deal with on a daily basis, and how to eliminate them effectively.
Finding Decent Tenants
A wide majority of landlords struggle to land decent and responsible tenants who comply with their requirements and rules. It’s common for tenants to lie about keeping pets, subletting, indulging in criminal activities, or falling behind on rental payments.
Many tenants have a disruptive lifestyle and unhygienic habits. For instance, they throw wild parties that cause property damage and disrupt the entire neighborhood. Or worse, lack of cleanliness and maintenance on the tenants’ part leads to pest infestation and significant property damages.
Finding decent, responsible and respectable tenants is a challenging process, particularly for newbie landlords who don’t understand the screening process. Most landlords are in a rush to pick tenants and rent out their property, which makes them less vigilant of the screening process and background checks. You can make this process easier and straightforward by setting priorities and embracing a strict screening process.
Marketing the Property
Marketing the property and attracting applicants is another significant source of stress for newbie landlords. How can you make sure your listing does justice to your property and attracts high-profile tenants?
First, you must create an excellent advertisement, packed with clear, high-definition photos and if possible, a video tour of the property. Then, add a comprehensive description outlining the amenities and neighborhood, painting a detailed picture of what your property has to offer.
Most landlords struggle with marketing because they set unrealistic listing prices. That’s always a turn-off, especially if the price isn’t align with the market rate for your property and similar homes in the neighborhood. Be sure to market your listing with a competitive rental rate.
Be sure to stay honest and provide accurate facts in your listing. You don’t want to mislead the applicants about any aspect, as you can garner negative publicity should they decide to unveil the truth. For instance, if the kitchen is shared, be sure to mention this in the listing. Likewise, if there’s no parking space, don’t add it to the amenities mentioned.
Dealing with Problematic Behaviors
Do you have a strict rule against smoking indoors? Do you prefer tenants with no pets to avoid property damages? Landlords often deal with tenants who sublet their property, keep pets, invite friends, throw lavish parties, or smoke on the premises. Then, there’s the problematic situation for tenants who consume illicit substances or indulge in criminal activities on your premises.
How does a landlord deal with problematic behaviors? It’s crucial to map out your approach long before the issues occur. You see, you need to carefully work on designing the contract, and including clauses to ensure accountability in case of violations. The contract must clearly prohibit the tenant from subletting, smoking, undertaking renovations, keeping pets and all other activities that you deem unfit for your property.
Be sure to add these details to the advertisement as well so you don’t attract applicants likely to indulge in these behaviors.
Handling Repairs & Maintenance
Addressing maintenance and repairs issues are a major stressor for landlords, as they are legally responsible for ensuring the property is safe and habitable. Attending to maintenance issues is also in the best interest of the landlord to ensure property preservation and increase market value. However, arranging these chores isn’t easy, especially when handling emergencies.
Managing maintenance issues is tough, especially when the work involves hiring a contractor to perform extensive repairs. Attending to property damages, water damages and natural disasters proves immensely challenging.
We advise landlords to maintain a list of reliable professionals, technicians, contractors and repair handlers. You will need to hire a gardener, electrician, plumber and handymen, so these professionals can attend to the job without requiring your presence. This is an excellent strategy for multi-family properties, as it will eliminate your hassle entirely.
Staging Home Inspections
Landlords often struggle to persuade their tenants to stage regular inspections. Staging inspections to examine the property is a generally tough situation, especially if the tenant isn’t amicable or supportive. Tenants who have poor hygiene and questionable cleaning habits are most likely to avoid home inspections.
Tenants who sublet and rent out rooms to other people are also likely to evade sudden visits and inspections. We advise adding home inspections as a clause to the rental agreement, reserving your legal right to visit your property in a moment’s notice.
That way, you can undertake inspections without dealing with any unpleasant emotions or disturbing behaviors.
The screening process is time-consuming, troublesome and even expensive. Most landlords are in a rush to secure a high-paying tenant, which often encourages them to skip over the screening process. That’s always a mistake. Running background checks and consulting the local police department are crucial before renting your property to a stranger.
Screening may seem challenging but once you embrace the right tools and resources, it becomes incredibly easier. Knowing everything about your tenant will serve you well to ensure a long-term relationship.
Every problem has a solution, and most problems come with multiple inventive solutions. As a newbie landlord learning the ropes of the business, these challenges can seem overwhelmingly stressful. We advise you to do your research and read through helpful resources to formulate effective strategies. Learning the ropes of the trade will help you deal with these everyday stressors with a powerful response.