Business, Decisions and Livelihoods: There are many elements that come with being a landlord. Sadly, it is not just a case of leasing out your property, taking a seat for a couple of years and only getting up to choose the next tenant.
On the contrary, being a landlord is going to be a constant part of your life, and so you have to be prepared to give it your full attention and prepare appropriately for the obstacles you may face. If you are unsure about how much attention you should give and what obstacles you may face, then below are a few points which can help you out in your journey:
Being A Landlord Is Like Running A Business
It may not seem this way at first glance, but being a landlord has the same characteristics of any business. Income, expenses, taxes. It’s pretty safe to say it will be a long-term investment, sure, but that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed success. As with any business, there are certain tactics to pick up which can help you to earn and grow.
The two most important tactics (and consequentially the most simple) should be utilised at the very beginning of the process. Choosing the right insurance and choosing the right agent. For starters, choosing the right insurance for landlords means looking at the small print and finding something that protects you in the future.
Similarly, choosing the right agent is essentially like choosing a business partner. You have to understand that the market has a variety of differing segments and specifics, so you will want to pick an agent who truly understands how the market operates and can advise you on the best ways to tackle it.
Choosing A Tenant Is Not Easy
Although it is easy to imagine landlords simply pulling names out of a hat, the decision of who will be leasing your property is not so simple. In fact, a lot of time and thought should be put into choosing an applicant. Remember, being a landlord is like any other business, but there is one crucial difference.
In a convenience store, for instance, the customer walks into your shop, buys a candy bar, pays for it and then leaves. You will likely never hear from them again. As a landlord, your customer walks into your home, likes your home, pays for it and then hangs around for a few years.
This is why the application process is so integral. You do not want to choose the wrong tenant. These people will be a part of your life for a while, and if you choose the wrong tenant and they create issues, it is going to make your life very miserable. If you are renting to students, in particular, you will want to know that they are responsible and motivated enough to maintain an income. Read every application front to back. Ask prospective tenants to write a mini- personal statement in the “additional information” box. This will give you a far greater idea of the person behind the page, which will subsequently inform your decision.
Inspection And Maintenance
It is important, before the tenant even moves in, that you perform a detailed inspection of the property. Take pictures, take notes and ensure to document its condition. In part, this is a security policy for when the tenant moves out. Even good tenants can leave the property in a worse state than when they found it, and you would be surprised how many claim the damage was there before they moved in. With photographic and documented evidence, you can prove that this isn’t the case and charge for damages appropriately.
On the other hand, it is important to set up a relationship with your tenant. You have already put your trust in them enough to make them a successful applicants, so maintain that trust and keep their own livelihood in mind. If they are having issues or if something needs to be fixed, then hear them out and try to help as much as you can.
Of course, you can avoid this in the first place by providing regular maintenance, which will help to keep the lease blemish free, but sometimes the unexpected cannot be avoided. You do not want to come off as the bad guy, as this could lead to further issues down the road. Stay level-headed, stay reasonable, and stay friendly. That’s one of the most important things when it comes to being a good landlord.