How to Manage a Rental Property

Owning property and being a landlord can offer you many benefits; a stream of income, tax breaks and the possibility of amassing considerable wealth. But being a landlord entails a lot of responsibilities and legal rules to master. It also exposes you to potential liability, although there are a number of ways you can protect yourself. The following landlord tips can help you get on the road to landlord success.

Screen tenants. You want tenants who pay their bills on time, don’t do damage and, if you have other tenants, live harmoniously with others. Screening potential tenants will help you get a better idea of their past tenant activity and financial situation.

Make a paper trail. From the application process to the move-out walk-through, you’ll want everything in writing. Developing a library of landlord forms at the outset will save you time and hassle and will prompt you to get it in writing.

Insurance. Check with your agent to make sure you have the right kind of landlord insurance for your property and business. Check to see if there are other things you might need to safeguard as well.

Know the laws. There are laws in place to protect landlords and ones to protect tenants. While some laws are universal, others may vary depending on your location. It’s a great idea to stay on top of all of them for everyone’s protection.

Develop a team. You’re going to want to have a handful of professionals that you trust to help you manage and maintain your rental property business. Consider finding an attorney, accountant, insurance agent, banker, electrician, carpenter, etc. Make a list of those people you think you’ll need regularly and once you find one you trust, add them to your team of experts.

Plan for the unexpected. We all know that problems happen; from simple repairs to tenants not paying rent. Preparing in advance and having an idea of what to do when rental property problems arise will reduce stress and get you back on track more quickly.

These tips for landlords are just a starting point. Our Landlord Toolbox will give you even more information and support in your mission to become a successful rental property manager.

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