It can be very exciting when you have reached the decision to rent out a property because you’re probably envisioning all those profits that are about to roll in. However, it’s not all gravy, and there are a number of complications that are impacting property rentals, and which require you to stay abreast of all the latest changes. Here are some Tips for First-Time Landlords which they+ should keep in mind as you prepare yourself for entering the wonderful world of property rentals. Tips for First-Time Landlords
Do some research
You’ll be doing yourself a big favor by keeping abreast of all the local regulations and fair housing statutes which affect your specific type of property. There are a number of different laws which are routinely enacted by city, county, and state, and if you run afoul of any of these laws, it can be serious trouble for you. For instance, some laws have recently been enacted in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in the area of tenant evictions. At present, all tenant evictions are considered void unless a particular tenant is regarded as a threat to community safety. You should also bone up on all the fair housing laws which might apply to your type of residence because they will affect the kind of screening and acceptance process that you can legally use.
Have an understanding with tenants about maintenance
It’s no exaggeration to say that the way you handle maintenance could be a deal-breaker with some tenants. Start by giving tenants a clear understanding of how you want maintenance issues to be handled, and how they should be communicated to you. Once any maintenance or repair is underway, keep your tenants informed so they can be aware of progress. You should also establish a list of contractors that you can go to for specific types of maintenance issues. Our general construction and maintenance services provide complete remodels as well as general maintenance including Framing, Decking, Drywall, Painting, Plumbing, Electrical, Bath and Kitchen Remodels, Flooring, Rent Ready Renovations and more. This is one of the Tips for First-Time Landlords.
When you become a property owner and a landlord, it’s crucial that you stay as organized as possible. That means organizing all your own property documents as well as handling rent collection from tenants, application screening, and preparation of leases. Think about whether or not you will accept online payments, or whether you will require tenants to deliver rent money in person. It’s a good idea to have a knowledgeable attorney review your lease content to make sure there’s nothing that violates local laws and regulations.
Stick to documented rental criteria
When it comes to screening applicants, make sure that you adhere to a set of criteria that will make your life a lot easier, and which comply with all local regulations. In the state of California, landlords must comply with a Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to discriminate against certain classes of individuals. Your screening process should review the credit status, income, and rental references of any applicant, and you can run credit and background checks using an online company. Establish your own requirements for income, and whether or not you will accept co-signers. When you’ve established a set of rental criteria for screening applicants, stick to them religiously and make sure you apply the same standards to all. Tips for First-Time Landlords
Don’t show units while occupied
Many landlords will want to get properties on the market as quickly as they can, but you should avoid showing a unit while it is still occupied by the previous tenant. First of all, you’ll have to coordinate a good time with the current tenant, and its best if they’re not home. That might be a little difficult these days because more people are actually working from home. Secondly, the unit will obviously still have all the belongings of the previous tenant, and that makes it more difficult for potential new tenant to see themselves living there. It also prevents a clear visualization of the actual size and dimensions of the place. The truth is, it’s never as easy to rent an occupied unit as it is to rent a vacant one, so you’re better off just waiting until the current tenant moves out, before trying to show an apartment.