“First Time Landlord Advice to Be Successful” written by Mike Marko
Many people think that being a landlord is one of the easiest jobs. They assume that the landlord only picks a tenant and collects rent every month.
To be fair, those things are part of being a landlord. But if people look into the details, a landlord has a lot of other things to do.
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to take care of the property. Also, they need to make sure that the tenant is happy on their rented property.
Those things may involve any number of tasks, from consulting with property inspectors to contractors and even lawyers. It can be overwhelming for a first time landlord, frankly.
Fortunately for you, I’m here to help.
I’ll talk about first time landlord advice in this blog post. This will help a first time landlord achieve success in managing their property rental business.
Quick First Time Landlord Advice
Keep in mind that there’s no shortcut to success. There is useful first time landlord advice but if it’s not done properly, it won’t help.
So when taking first time landlord advice, be sure to take it seriously.
The success of the rental property depends on the landlord. If the landlord does the job properly, it’s more likely that their rental property business will attract and keep more tenants.
In short, landlords have a lot on their shoulders. Fortunately, there are ways to make that burden more manageable.
As I said earlier, I’ll give you first time landlord advice that can assist you with your new business. So, if you’re ready for that, let’s get started.
Study the Landlord’s Job
Study your profession, to begin with. This is a vital piece of first time landlord advice because it can prepare you for so many of the things you’ll face.
Like I said earlier, a landlord isn’t only responsible for choosing tenants and collecting rent. Landlords also need to take care of the property.
They should also attend to their tenants’ needs. It’s their responsibility to help them fix issues that arise on their rented property.
That’s why studying the job is an important piece of first time landlord advice. It can give a first time landlord a better sense of the duties that come with a property rental business.
A rental property business with a reputation of having an irresponsible landlord will have a hard time getting tenants.
That’s because most tenants want to have a reliable landlord. They often avoid having a landlord who would only bring problems to them.
That’s why you should be sure to study what the job entails even before you start renting out property. This can be the key to success and that’s the reason it’s in this article on first time landlord advice.
Get Help from Professionals
Many first time landlord advice blog posts include tips on getting help from professionals. This article on first time landlord advice is no exception.
First time landlords should get help from professionals like rental lawyers or real estate agents. They can help you understand how the rental property business works.
Rental lawyers can give legal first time landlord advice because they know rental laws. Due to that, I’d say they’re essential partners or helpers when setting up a rental property.
Every landlord should avoid violating rental laws. That’s one piece of vital first time landlord advice.
That’s because violation of the law could result in several problems. Particularly, landlords could face legal consequences.
If problems lead to court appearances, landlords are also generally at a disadvantage. Often, judges favor tenants more than landlords… particularly in cases where eviction is a possible remedy.
Tenants are fighting for their homes, which most judges view as more important than what most landlords are fighting for (profits). Also, most rental laws are created to protect tenants on their rented property.
Other than that, violating rental laws can also give a rental business a bad image or reputation. This can affect profits because most tenants will avoid a rental business with a bad reputation.
With that said, always get help form rental lawyers when anything remotely law-related comes up for your rental property. They can give you first time landlord advice you will need.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents can also give first time landlord advice. Particularly, they can help landlords make more money from the rental property.
Many real estate agents can give ideas on how to improve or acquire the best rental properties.
They can give useful notes or insights on the properties that will be profitable. That’s because real estate agents have knowledge of the real estate industry or market.
That’s the reason real estate agents can also give useful first time landlord advice.
Know the Rental Laws
First time landlord advice also includes knowing the rental laws.
There are rental lawyers you can consult, yes. However, it’s still important for landlords to be familiar with the rental laws.
Knowing what to do and what not to do can help a landlord manage a rental property business properly… even in situations when their rental lawyers aren’t available to provide legal advice in a pinch.
Rental laws state how landlords should manage their rental properties. Also, they govern how both landlords and tenants should behave inside the rental properties.
There are many rental laws landlords have to be familiar with. Some laws are for choosing tenants, collecting rent, or evicting renters.
Since this blog post is about first time landlord advice, here are some examples of rental laws particularly useful to first time landlords:
- According to most rental laws, landlords can’t dictate how the security deposit will be used. Instead, they will follow the rental law regarding the handling of the tenant’s security deposit.
- The rental law for an area also usually states how the landlord should return the security deposit to the tenant.
- Most rental laws also affect the landlord’s right to enter the rented property. Usually, landlords can’t enter a rented property without notice. The landlord can only enter a rented property if they have a valid reason. They must also serve a notice that tells the tenant that they’re going to enter the rented property.
In short, if you want some first time landlord advice, always check rental laws in your area before acting.
Study How to Find the Right Tenants
Landlords need to know how to find the right tenants. This is another vital piece of first time landlord advice that can contribute in achieving success.
Like I said earlier, there are laws and rules that landlords must follow. Each state has its rental laws and all of them govern how landlords choose tenants.
Landlords have the right to choose their preferred tenants. However, they must treat tenants equally.
According to the rental laws, landlords are not allowed to pick tenants based on discriminatory reasons.
Aside from that, rental laws also prohibit landlords from asking certain questions when interviewing tenants like “Are you gay” or “Are you disabled”.
This is because asking those types of questions is discriminatory.
Since we’re talking about first time landlord advice, future and new landlords can check Fair Housing Laws. This will give them an idea of what is considered to be discriminatory behavior.
Other than that, Fair Housing Laws state that the landlord’s decision on a rental application shouldn’t be based on the following:
- Race or color,
- National origin,
- Familial status, and
Make Use of Tenant Screening
Other useful first time landlord advice includes the use of tenant screening.
The tenant screening process can help in choosing the best tenants. It will check the background and credit history of the applying tenant.
Conducting a tenant screening process will give landlords an idea if the applying tenant is a good renter.
A good renter doesn’t have negative or alarming items in their background or credit check. That means that they are committed to their responsibilities.
With that said, it’s best to pick tenants without late payments on their credit history. They should have no alarming amount of debt too.
Having a clean credit report means that the applying tenant can pay their full rent on time. That’s always desirable to a landlord.
The opposite is true if the applicant has lots of bad items on their credit report. It just means that they are not committed to their financial responsibilities.
It’s more likely that the applicant with bad credit will often fail to pay their rent. So it’s an important piece of first time landlord advice to avoid potential tenants with red flags on their credit report.
In addition to that, landlords should also pick tenants with a good rental history. The applicant’s rental history shows how they behave on their rented properties.
Having a tenant with a good rental history will benefit the rental property business. The tenant won’t be likely do any sort of damage to the premises.
Also, tenants with a good rental history wouldn’t cause any problems for their neighbors.
Just keep in mind that landlords can’t just draw up a credit report for their potential tenants. The potential tenant must fill and sign a rental application first.
The rental application must inform the tenant that the landlord will use their information for tenant screening. That’s another bit of first time landlord advice to remember.
Make Specific Rental Agreements
Useful first time landlord advice also includes making specific rental agreements. That’s because rental and lease agreements are important to every tenancy.
Most landlords provide rental agreements because it states how both parties should act during the tenancy.
The rental agreement gives details about the rental property, tenants, rent, and terms and clauses for tenancy. Also, it states the landlord’s and the tenant’s obligations.
The rental agreement is created before the tenant moves into the rented property. It will contain terms and clauses that both parties have agreed on before the actual start of the tenancy.
For example, say both parties have agreed that the pets are allowed inside the premises. The landlord will include this in the rental agreement.
Other than that, even terms about the use of the amenities and utilities are listed in the agreement.
That’s why the rental agreement governs how both parties should act during the tenancy. It can help to prevent any arguments or mix-ups between the landlord and the tenant.
Learn How to Evict and Remove Tenants
Here’s another bit of first time landlord advice — don’t forget to study how to remove or evict tenants properly.
Not all tenancies end properly, even if most landlords wish they did. Sometimes, landlords have to end a tenancy before its actual end date.
Eviction usually happens when the tenant fails to follow the terms and clauses in their rental agreement.
On the other hand, lease breaks happen if there are circumstances that require either of the party to end the tenancy suddenly.
If there’s a case of lease break or eviction, landlords can’t just remove a tenant. There’s a correct process of ending a tenancy and removing a tenant from their rental property.
It’s best to contact a rental lawyer to ensure that you follow the recommended process.
The eviction will be filed at a courthouse. Several documents will be presented to the judge.
After reviewing all the documents and possible angles for the eviction, the judge will then decide if the tenant can stay or leave their rented property.
Final Thoughts on First Time Landlord Advice
In this blog post, I talked about first time landlord advice.
Being a landlord is a tough job. This is more than just picking tenants and collecting rent.
Landlords are required to tend to tenants’ needs while managing their rental property business, after all. They also have to abide by the statutes of the law when it comes to rental properties, contracts, and the like.
So to be successful in this industry, it’s best to follow first time landlord advice like the ones we talked about in this blog post.
Study the industry and the tasks of being a landlord. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, always get help from professionals.
Rental lawyers and real estate agents can help you with anything regarding a rental property business, for example. That’s why part of my first time landlord advice is to work with such consultants.
Here are some more pieces of first time landlord advice I provided above:
- Learn about the rental laws.
- Study the way experienced landlords find the right tenants.
- Learn how to do tenant screening.
- Discover how to make specific and sensible rental agreements.
- Learn how to evict and remove tenants properly.
If you have more questions about first time landlord advice, leave them in the comments below.
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