If you are among several homeowners who have decided to rent out your home and make a profit out of your property, you deserve a commendation. You may have thought of ways to make the best use of your property and arrived with this choice. Of course, being a rental property owner effectively turns you into a landlord, and with it comes various responsibilities and managing and maintaining the rental property.
Being a landlord is no easy task, but if you have decided to push through with having a rental property, it means you have taken the responsibilities into account. Managing a rental property can be stressful, especially if you have just gotten started, but with some helpful tips and advice, you can get things under control in no time. Read on for some tips on stress-free ways of taking care of your rental properties.
Being a landlord exposes you to a new set of paperwork such as lease agreement, co-signer agreement, rental inspection report, notice to enter, lease non-renewal notice, eviction notice, past-due rent notice, lease renewal letter, and rental application form. As such, you need to get your paperwork organized and have the relevant ones covered and prepared just in case. It can be stressful to handle the paperwork, but it is an indispensable responsibility that could keep you away from legal trouble. The good news is technology can help organize your documents and other tasks more efficiently. There are various types of software for residential property management available on the internet that are worth checking. While not all have the same features, do some research and create a list of tasks you want to automate and make more efficient, such as rent collection, upcoming renewal alerts, uncollected rent notifications, or even online rental applications. Being organized with your paperwork and tasks as a landlord helps take a substantial load off your shoulders and gives you more time to focus on other essential concerns.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Managing and maintaining a rental property is not a task that you can do at the sidelines or in the background. It is more hands-on than you might expect. Rental property maintenance is essential in keeping your rental pad, home, or apartment in excellent condition and attractive for prospective tenants. That said, a landlord/landlady must have a regular schedule of inspections on the rental units he or she has. There are four types of inspections that landlords must conduct to help keep their properties in excellent shape.
- Routine Inspection – Landlords must conduct this inspection at least every quarter. Prior notification must be given to the tenants before entering the property. Arrangements for routine inspections are usually included in the terms of the lease agreement. It helps the landlord identify maintenance issues or for tenants to discuss any problems with the rented property.
- Drive-by Inspection – Landlords can routinely stop by their properties and do a quick ocular inspection of the outside condition and perimeter to spot issues like damaged fences or faded paint jobs.
- Move-in Inspection – This inspection is usually done by the landlord along with the tenant for the latter to spot concerns and for the former to document the property’s condition when it was turned over.
- Move-out Inspection – This inspection is conducted when the tenant moves out. It is not only for spotting damages the tenant may have caused but also for identifying maintenance issues and regular wear-and-tear repairs that need addressing before the property is rented out again.
Promptly Address Maintenance Issues
A good landlord should stay on top of the maintenance tasks they have concerning their rental properties. Maintenance is not just about fixing broken or malfunctioning parts or utilities of the unit. It is also about keeping it in tiptop shape to prevent breakdowns in the future. Maintenance checks must be scheduled regularly – weekly, monthly, or annually – depending on how frequently a utility is used. Leaks are the primary concern of most landlords, and these should be checked following severe rainstorms or heavy snowmelt. Other maintenance items that must be on a landlord’s checklist are the following:
- Clean gutters
- Trim trees or clear potential threats to your property’s power lines or structures
- Check the condition of fire extinguishers
- Check the conditions of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Clean or replace air filters frequently
- Tighten locks, handles, knobs, faucets, etc.
- Re-caulk moisture-prone areas to prevent leaks and molds
- Check for pests quarterly or monthly, depending on the tenant’s report
The given list can be expanded or customized based on the type, location, and other conditions of your property. A well-maintained rental property can save you from the stress of costly repairs and ensures a comfortable and safe living environment for tenants.