Have you ever thought about renting your home? Before you get started, there are several very important things you need to consider before making the transition to becoming a landlord. Know the essentials you need to have in place before renting your property as well as tips we recommend to help make the experience a successful and lucrative one.
Complete Advanced Screenings Your Tenants
First and foremost, you have to make sure you are protected and well informed when it comes to renting your home. It’s always wise to know who will be renting your home in advance. Remember, even though you may not be living at the property, you need to protect your investment and avoid any potential damage!
Thoroughly screen each and every prospective tenant! Make sure they have a stable income, job stability, a good credit score, and rental history. It’s also a good idea to ask for a reference from a previous landlord. It’s safe to assume that anyone who has had positive previous rental experiences and no prior evictions, will likely take care of your property.
Set Clear Expectations
The tenant-landlord relationship can sometimes be tricky to manage, especially if you’re new to the landlord game. But if you have a clear set of rules in advance of your tenants moving in, things should be a walk in the park. Layout clear boundaries and rules, solid lease agreement, let them know what an emergency is, what the expectations are, and the clause for late rental payments.
Develop a Firm Payment Method
Make sure that you have set rules and regulations for when payments are accepted and how payments are due. Create a list of rules that are clear, understandable. Be firm, but fair. Then, follow the rules and guidelines you put in place for the lease. Try not to bend these rules too often or be too lenient with tenants! After all, renting your property is a business at the end of the day.
Obtain Landlord Insurance
As long as you find the right tenants and the right property, things should be pretty smooth sailing. But it’s also important to protect yourself and your property when renting.
It’s wise to do thorough research and compare landlord insurance so you make sure you are receiving the best options for protection. Look to an insurance broker who has established an exceptional reputation within the landlord insurance market. You also want to think about your specific niche area so you get the best coverage and personalised attention.
Set Aside Reserve Money for Unexpected Fixes
What if something were to suddenly break or if something needed to be fixed rather quickly? A short list of examples includes: the refrigerator, the washer or dryer, the dishwasher, and the list goes on. Make sure you have reserved funds for unexpected fixes so that your tenants are always in good hands.
Consider Hiring a Property Manager
As the landlord, tenants will often turn to you when there are any issues with the property or rent. Sometimes it can be hard to juggle the responsibilities that come with renting your property with all of the personal responsibilities you already carry.
It may be time to get some help to handle all of the details of renting out your buy-to-let, especially if you have multiple properties. Consider outsourcing any tasks you struggle to manage (whether that be the marketing component or negotiating, to name a few examples).
A property manager could help with spreading the word about your property, managing internal and external communications, and many other tasks. Your property manager would be hands-on and the one in charge of communicating directly with your tenants. This will leave you with more free time to handle other tasks and take a much-needed break.
Hire a Professional Photographer for Marketing Your Property
A good way to attract tenants to your property is to make sure your buy-to-let is in good shape. To showcase your properties amenities, consider hiring a professional photographer. This will also help you with material for marketing purposes. You will then have plenty of great photos to choose from to help advertise your property. Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to one selling platform. Take advantage of social media, flyers, and any other appropriate platform.
No one said being a landlord was easy. It’s a skill you will develop over time, so be patient with yourself. As long as you set clear rules and ensure your tenants follow them, you will be on track to becoming a great landlord. It’s also important to know your responsibilities and rights, make sure you have appropriate cover, be professional, be organized, and lastly: be firm, but fair.