05 July 2018

Landlord Success Tips

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When you’ve invested in a rental property, you want to make sure you get your investment back. Being a landlord can be tricky business, but these tips will get your business running more smoothly than ever. From lease targeting to landlord software, these simple suggestions will help you take a decent business and polish it into a thriving one. In the rental property world, each day comes with new challenges, so make sure you meet your issues with a clear head.

Stick to a Business Mindset

With any business, it’s important to stick to best business practices. If you landlord part-time, you may be tempted to wiggle your records around. Remember that your business is, in fact, a business, even if it’s on the side. Keep your receipts, payment history, and all other financial information handy and organized. Not only will you want it for taxes, it can help you make better decisions later. 

Use Lease Targeting

Since it’s easy to lose money between tenants, a good landlord trick is to try lease targeting. Lease targeting is the practice of including a clause in your lease that prevents tenants from vacating at a certain time. June 1st is the prime move-in day for apartments, so try to angle your leases around early summer, if you can.

Screen Your Tenants

When tenants are unruly, you run into all kinds of problems. Some tenants may complain about noise. Other tenants may no longer feel safe in your building and start looking elsewhere. A negligent tenant may fail to pay his or her utility bills and damage your appliances by having their electricity shut off by the city. As a landlord, it’s important to run a background check on tenants, check for past eviction history, and see their criminal record. You can do that using landlord software.

Never Discriminate

While you can screen your tenants beforehand, you’re not legally allowed to turn someone away based on sex, race, color, religion, familial status, or disability. The Fair Housing Act protects anyone in this category, and some states also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and age. Additionally, discriminating is simply the wrong thing to do.

Make Repairs ASAP

Any landlord loses money in between tenants, unless they’re lucky enough to get new tenants the day after the old ones move out. Realistically, a landlord can expect a month or two of vacant units between leases. That’s income lost, so it’s always better to retain the tenants you have. Happy tenants mean a longer lease in most cases, so respond promptly to repairs. The better you treat your tenants, the more inclined they’ll be to stay.

Inspect Before and After

Legally, you’re allowed to charge a tenant for any damages the unit suffered during their residence. It’s written right into the lease. The problem is that damages might not be apparent, and if a tenant protests, you’ll need proof that the unit has gone down in condition. Take before and after videos of a unit, making note of the damages that exist before a tenant comes in and the damages that exist after.

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