Managing Property: Best Practices for New Landlords

Managing Property: Best Practices for New Landlords
  • Opening Intro -

    Being a landlord requires a diverse set of skills to manage the variety of duties needed to keep properties occupied, in good condition and with well-organized records.

    Small details can mean a lot when managing a property.

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A number of practices will help to keep your property management easier and better organized.

Careful Screening

The Internet allows landlords to check credit and background information more easily. When considering income and the ability to pay the rent, most landlords prefer that the monthly income be at least three times the cost of the rent. Other factors to consider include long-term job stability, sense of cleanliness, attitude of responsibility and lack of drug problem or criminal background. Many landlords also assess how much stress the potential tenant is likely to cause them; that is, whether the applicant has an abrasive or aggressive personality that will come to the fore when difficulties arise.

Clear Contract Terms

A good landlord will ensure that the contract given to a new tenant to sign will include the most recent changes to rental law. The landlord should also go over key parts of the contract in person with the new tenant, including security deposit specifications, damage to the property, pet regulations and other features that are often involved in conflicts. The new tenant should get a copy of the contract, as well as receipts for any deposits or fees.

Property Management Programs

There are a multitude of programs that make it easier for landlords to track rent dates, repair schedules and a number of other variables. These programs can keep all your necessary information in the same place, making organization much more simple. You can also schedule reminders to keep you updated on what you must do to keep up on your obligations as a landlord.

Take Photos

Landlords have learned the value of taking photos of the property before a tenant moves in, after the tenant moves out or in the event of any damage that occurs during the term of the lease. Cell phones make the task of taking these informative photos easier to do in most circumstances. Photos should be kept on record in the event that any conflicts about security deposits or responsibility for repairs arise.

Responsive Repairs

Inevitably, the landlord will be called upon to handle problems with the property that they are legally responsible for, such as plumbing and HVAC problems or more significant damage from storms or other events. Getting repairs done quickly can go a long way toward keeping landlord-tenant relations on an even keel. It is often helpful for the landlord to have repair skills for faster repairs and to save money.

Flexibility on Furnishings

Many rental properties provide full or partial furnishings for the tenants. Providing quality furniture from a reputable places such as the Crowley Furniture Store will help to prevent tenant complaints. Solid dining sets, living room sets and recliners can make tenants feel more at home and invested in maintaining their rental property.

When you become a landlord, you are responsible for keeping your properties well-maintained in order to meet legal requirements for housing conditions. For your own sake, use best practices when finding tenants, maintaining a professional relationship and creating your own financial policies and record-keeping habits.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Information Source: Crowley Furniture Store

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