Being a landlord offers tremendous rewards and here at ApplyConnect, our goal is to help you be your best. It is important to be prepared for what today’s renters expect and the laws that are in place to dictate what is expected of you as a landlord.
Here are seven easy ways to help you be a great landlord.1) Protect Yourself and Your Property
Do your research. This includes understanding applicable state and local laws to make sure you’re in compliance. This is a good time to become familiar with the Fair Housing Act. Also inform your insurance company that the property will be used for rental purposes and check coverage limits. Additionally, joining a local apartment association will provide helpful landlord resources, including keeping you informed of legal requirements. Visit the National Apartment Association’s website to find your local affiliate.
2) Prepare the Property
Fixing any major repair issues and sprucing up the vacancy can help attract applicants, make them feel more at home and eager to move in. Looking at the outside of your property from a renter’s point of view can give you some good insight into what you can do to improve the curb appeal. Don’t forget that the little details can make a big difference. For example, purchasing and installing USB wall outlets from your local home improvement store is an easy and affordable way to impress your renters and score bonus points for being a great landlord.
3) Screen the Renters
The simple fact is that being a great landlord is much easier when you have renters who pay on time. By eliminating the stress about late rental payments or a possible criminal history that went undetected, makes it easier for landlords to have a positive working relationship with their renters. Take the time to conduct a comprehensive renter background check to ensure you know who you are renting to. This mitigates undesirable problems down the road and frees you up to be an outstanding landlord.
4) Welcome the Renters
When your new renters move in, welcoming them to the neighborhood is a gesture that will help break the ice and make them feel more at home. If they are from out of the area, preparing a welcome package that includes information such as things to do and places to visit is a simple way to make a lasting great impression. The happier your new renter is during the stressful times (i.e. the move-in) the more likely they are to want to stay in your property, and speak highly of their experience to their friends and family.
5) Maintain Open Communication
Maintaining an open dialogue with renters is important. Email and texting are fast and effective ways to communicate with your renters. Sometimes unfortunate circumstances crop up and a rent payment might be a couple days late or the renters may need to reach out to you regarding a maintenance problem. Having a trusting and respectful relationship will help make these moments go much smoother and could even save your property from additional damages. If you need to enter the premises for any particular reason, adequate notice should always be given – at least 24 hours is recommended. It is a great idea to leave a written note upon exit as well to provide the renters with additional peace of mind. When you have open communication with your residents, it’s also easier to address concerns such as water conservation, particularly for those impacted by the ongoing drought in the Western U.S.
6) Make Timely Repairs
Should a maintenance problem occur – whether it is a leaky faucet or a broken water heater, all repairs should be made as soon as possible. Should you or any repair persons need to visit the property, coordinate closely with the renter and make sure that there are no children at home by themselves, or animals to be concerned with when you enter. For these reasons in particular, it is important to provide a timeline that you expect to have maintenance issues resolved if the matter is unable to be fixed after the first visit.
7) Online Rental Payments
Offer an incentive to your renters to easily pay their rent online – an ideal solution for busy renters. Often times, the only check tenants write each month is for rent – with online rental payment services such as ClearNow, their bank account automatically debits on a selected day, twice per month or biweekly. Funds are direct deposited into your account and the positive rental history can be reported to Experian RentBureau which helps build renters’ credit. Tenants do not need a computer to use the service and the online portal allows you to track income and expenses.
Following these helpful tips for landlords will not only help protect your properties and investments, but help you make the most out of your landlord experience.