Anyone can be a landlord. With that said, it takes effort and talent to be a good landlord. Whether you are a first-time rental property owner or have been a Brookfield landlord for a short time, this is the best time to set in motion refining the habits that set good landlords apart from the rest. Here are just some of the top words of advice that will help you enhance your skills and professionalism.
Treat Your Rental Property Like a Business
People become landlords in many different ways. Doesn’t matter how you become a landlord, it’s great to treat your rental management as a business. As much as any business, being a good landlord will claim an investment of both time and money. It’s imperative to protect your valuable asset – your rental property – by determining that it is safe and suitable to live in. This just means taking care of maintenance and repairs before they turn out to be crucial issues. On top of everything else, it means interacting with your tenants like a professional and understanding and following all state, federal, and local landlord-tenant laws.
Set an Accurate Rental Rate
Another essential part of being a good landlord is grasping well how to set accurate rental rates. What you do first is research and learn about the local rental market. Even though you have an ideal rental rate in mind, it’s really important to discover what other similar rentals are charging in your town and neighborhood and do the same thing. It’s also definitely beneficial to stay on top of market changes and renew your rental market assessment at least once a year.
Know Your Renter Demographics (and where to find them)
Good landlords understand who their “ideal” tenant is – and not just one who pays their rent on time (although that is important). Particularly applicable for owners of single-family rental homes taking into account that the type of rental and the location will customarily bring around the kind of tenant who desires to live there. When you do know exactly who your renter demographic is, fine-tune your advertising so that it will reach them. For many young or mid-career renter groups, this means marketing your rental online and providing quality photos, virtual tours, and online applications.
Invest in Tenant Screening
Your tenant screening process is one of the most necessary parts of being a good landlord. You should require all potential tenants to give you a written application. Very carefully check all of the information they submit by running credit and background checks, calling previous landlords and references, and simply doing a Google search on their name and location. A few landlords even check social media to get a sense of who the applicant is. It takes extra effort, but an efficient screening process can help you find a good tenant more confidently.
Create and Use a Custom Lease Agreement
As with your screening process, your lease documents should also be something you spend time preparing. A lease is a binding legal contract, and the last thing any landlord needs is to grasp too late that your lease documents have loopholes or any weaknesses that your tenant can exploit, mostly to your detriment. Take the time and effort to prepare comprehensive, customized lease documents that include all the essential lease clauses. It’s therefore pivotal to have an attorney check your documents to determine that they comply with all state and federal laws. Should a dispute befall, lease terms that violate a tenant’s rights will be unenforceable in court.
Keep Records of Everything
Another thing that all good landlords do is keep records of everything they do related to the property. As an example, it’s really important to maintain awareness of all financial transactions, including any money you spend on maintenance and repairs. Moreover, see to it to document your property’s condition both before a tenant moves in and after they move out. Photos are a great way to be aware of wear and tear or repair issues. And last but not least, keep a record of every conversation with your tenants, whether verbal or written. Offer your tenant several ways to contact you (email, for example) to help you document each exchange. Having an eye on your interactions with your tenant can be very favorable in the event of a dispute.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
Seeing all these, it takes time and effort to be a good landlord. But if you don’t have much time to spare, you can still be a good property owner by hiring a property manager to handle everything for you. At Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee, we certainly provide quality Brookfield property management services that include expense tracking, convenient online rental payments, tenant screening, quality lease documents, and much more! Contact us online today to learn more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.