Do you remember the last time you rented an apartment? If you were like most tenants, you probably ran into your fair share of issues with the home you were staying in, ranging from trouble with the dishwasher to questions about pet ownership.
Landlords across the globe struggle with the time-intensive nature of managing properties, but the job doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are four ways to make being a landlord a little easier.
- Find a Great Property
Although most landlords assume that the easiest way to streamline property ownership is finding great tenants, the job starts when you select an income property. While high-end, well-maintained homes tend to attract tenants who look out for the details and will take care of your property. Lower-end homes might attract the opposite.
Additionally, high-end properties in great parts of town tend to appreciate in value, which means you might be able to increase rental costs as the market improves. On the other hand, smaller homes in worse areas may decrease in value, leaving you wondering how to make money on your rental.
Before you purchase a rental property, do your research and talk with brokers to find a great investment. Look for a place that you would live yourself, and think about things like accessibility to shops and restaurants, proximity to schools, and pricing trends in the area.
- Screen Tenants Carefully
Every person is different, and unfortunately, everyone has a different standard of living and cleanliness. What might make you cringe might be perfectly acceptable to a stranger, which is why screening tenants carefully beforehand is crucial for making property management easy.
In addition to asking potential tenants to fill out paperwork listing their employment, prior addresses, and criminal history, ask to run their credit. Financial histories can say a lot about a person. Although landlords must indicate that they intend to run credit, these checks are completely legal. Credit checks can show a landlord whether a tenant has declared bankruptcy, been late on past rent payments, or has a history of skipping out on creditors.
After you ensure that prospective tenants are generally responsible, take the time to talk with the person to get a feel for their communication style. If you have a hard time contacting them or carrying on a conversation, it might be hard to have a casual chat about a new problem with the property or collect the rent check.
- Set a Clear List of Rules
Although you might feel silly listing do’s and don’ts for perfectly capable adults, going through rental agreements with tenants and outlining the property rules can help landlords to avoid problems.
Think carefully about what you expect from your tenants, and create a list of reasonable guidelines that meld well with your daily lifestyle. For instance, if you have pet allergies and worry about damage, make sure your tenants know that they aren’t allowed to have animals on the premises, even if they are pet-sitting for a friend or a family member.
- Team Up With a Property Management Company
Careful property selection, tenant screening, and outlined rules are all important, but unfortunately, even the most responsible tenants can be difficult to manage if you handle multiple properties or deal with a busy schedule. Fortunately, property management companies can handle the majority of the difficult work, including showing properties, checking tenant credentials, and even handling day-to-day service calls.
Team up with a property management company that offers service in your area, and talk to them about how they can help you. Ask if they can help with things like property inspections, unit walk-throughs, rent collection, and professional work orders. By working with a great team of professionals, you can make property ownership easy.
Owning income properties can be a great source of revenue, but streamlining the rental process is priceless. Let our team here at MacPherson’s Property Management, Inc. help you to keep track of your homes so that you can kick back and relax. Give our office a call today to talk about your needs.