There are many investors who become excited with the prospect of a passive stream of income after becoming a landlord. It is only later that they realize that being a landlord is not fun and they have to be responsible to their property as well as tenants in order to become a successful landlord. Here is a checklist for you to be fully prepared when starting your journey as a landlord.
Know the tenants
All renters do homework about various properties and landlords before finalizing their home. If they can compare the rental property with other options, you too have a right to know whether you will feel comfortable with your tenants or not. It is called tenant referencing where you can get basic information about employment and other things about your future tenants. References from previous landlords can help you a lot in this regard. If you do not like what you know about an applicant, you can disallow him to live in your property though you have to say no very politely.
Know the risks involved in this profession
You expect your tenants to remain well behaved and take good care of your rental property. You also want them to pay the rent on time and follow the house laws. However, not all tenants are good quality tenants and you realize this only later when you face such tenants. Property damage is one of the most common phenomenons experienced by landlords around the country. It is therefore to remain prepared and get a landlord insurance to have total peace of mind.
Ensure safety of property and tenants
One thing that most tenants are very sensitive about is their safety. In any case, you are legally obliged to provide safe rental to your tenants. Not only should the structure be safe but also the electrical systems, fixtures, and the appliances. Tenants feel safe only when they know that the property is under surveillance all the time. Then you need to ensure safety through fire alarms and smoke detectors. Tenants must be informed about necessary steps they need to take in case of fire or a natural disaster. Even a few isolated cases of theft or break ins can make your property infamous and you will find it difficult to attract tenants.
You are responsible for the upkeep and repairs
It is not that you are free from your obligations once you have handed over a comfortable home to your tenants. Usage and wear and tear with passage of time are common in this business. You should be prepared to receive complaint calls from harried tenants in the middle of the night if you do not have a property management company looking after the affairs of your property and tenants. You also need to carry out routine inspections of your property to see if your tenants are taking its care or not. Then there is maintenance that can take up a lot of time, effort, and money.
New tenant moves in only when the unit is rent ready
You will experience tenant turnovers frequently despite your best efforts to ensure tenants live for a long time in your property. These tenant turnovers can be a cash killer in two ways. You lose rental income for as long as the unit remains vacant. You also need to make it rent ready after a tenant moves out. Clean the unit and undertake all necessary repairs. You must make sure that all fixtures and appliances are working properly. Finally, you must ensure supply of amenities keep your tenants happy and satisfied.