Most people think that being a landlord is such an amazingly glamorous job because landlords own all sorts of properties like apartments, commercial spaces, buildings, and houses then just collect rent from those assets every month. What could be so hard about that, right? In everyone’s mind, they think it’s one of the easiest jobs in the world. No one really takes a closer look to see what kind of hard work the job entails? It goes beyond the glitz of owning property and it definitely entails so much more than collecting rent.
There’s so much work involved in being a landlord than collecting rent. In between, building or purchasing/flipping the property and collecting what’s due, there are a lot of managing going on. Landlords have to manage contractors, tenants, inspectors, and even property managers. That’s a lot of relationship-building going on right there!
So you own a property and you’re seriously considering renting it out. Right now, you’re probably asking yourself: are you ready to take on the responsibility of being a landlord? Do you know what the job entails, what is needed of you? Can you commit to being available to address tenant’s concerns for a huge chunk of your time? Do you have what it takes to be a landlord?
Find out by asking yourself if you can do these things:
It’s very important for landlords to be able to conduct regular inspections of their property, not only during a tenant’s stay, but even through vacancies, repairs, and even maintenance jobs. It is your right to make property inspections. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords have the right to enter the premises to view its “condition and state of repair”. Conduct the inspections at a reasonable time of the day and give your tenants at least a 24-hour notice. Make sure that your tenants understand this and don’t forget to include an inspection clause in your lease agreement.
During the tenancy, you should know which things to look out for in an inspection in order to ensure that your property is being well maintained and that your tenant is complying with the tenancy agreements.
Here’s a general checklist of issues to keep an eye out for:
- Repairs and maintenance issues:
- Cracks on the wall
- Holes on the roof
- Overgrowth of trees and shrubs
- Yards and lawns
- Wear and tear
- Tenant’s living conditions – make sure that tenants understand that common areas are to be kept free of their personal effects and that cleanliness is maintained throughout the premises and inside their homes.
- Signs of illegal activities – your tenants could be extra diligent in paying the rent and never miss a due date, but don’t assume they are good renters if they pay on time. They could be hiding dubious activities, so be extra vigilant.
Rental Property Management Basics: Finding Tenants
If you’re lucky, you can chance upon a season called “landlord’s market” wherein you can have your pick of desirable and most qualified tenants. However, during the lean months, it’s very hard to find the perfect tenant for your vacant property. Yu would have to do some marketing. That’s a different skill set altogether. You’re going to have to do some research around the neighborhood and find out what unique offerings you can use to market your vacant property. You would have to advertise and learn how to tap into and connect with an audience that is bigger than your existing network. You also have to do the interviews, applications, reference checks, on-boarding, and move in facilitation.
Finding a perfect tenant means building a good relationship from the beginning and seeing it through the duration of the tenancy. It is best to establish a solid working relationship early so that you can avoid headaches later on.
Maintaining the Property
This is actually the biggest part of the job and is the foundation of a good tenant-landlord relationship. Your tenants need to know that you are invested in maintaining the property and in keeping it running well. They will follow your lead and take care of the property like their own if they know that you are serious in not letting it fall into disarray.
It’s not just about fixing the broken roof shingles or repairing an HVAC system, it’s about showing your tenants that you care about their welfare and living conditions. Your tenants will also appreciate preventative maintenance so you should definitely incorporate that into your inspection routine.
You can be the most careful, most proactive, most diligent landlord – but that won’t guarantee that accidents won’t happen. They can range from break-ins to flooding. In these cases, you will need the help of law enforcement, health care, or contractors, depending on the emergency. These emergencies can occur at any time of the day…or night. So as a landlord, you have to be prepared to address these emergencies 24/7.
If you live away from your property or you are not ready to wake up and drive to your property for emergencies, you can enlist the help of a property management company. They can immediately go to your property location to address emergencies, issues, and accidents. They know reliable contractors who can help. They can make calls to the relevant people on your behalf.
Dependable property management companies like Davis Property Management can help you in your role as a landlord. They can be a great asset to you, especially if there are certain parts of being a landlord that you are not sure you can do. It is best to delegate them to professionals who can help take some responsibilities off your list. This way, you can focus on doing what you do best and concentrate on bringing in more business. Being the service-oriented team players they are, these property managers can only enhance your role as a landlord. Call us today to learn about how we can help you grow and manage your rental property business.