Renting a property can seem like an easy way to earn money. Landlords know that this could not be farther from the truth. If you are a new landlord, you will find our tips for new landlords useful and applicable, especially if you are just starting. It may take some time until you feel like you have got it, but we are certain you will get there.
Decide how to collect rent
It is wise to make a decision about rent collection and stick to it. You can choose to collect your rent digitally, via apps such as PayPal, Venmo, etc. This is the safest, fastest, and most efficient option. Furthermore, you can choose to collect your rent personally, or via mail. However, these options require you to visit the property even when it is far away. And mail can be late or lost.
Don’t delete photos or text conversations
Even if it seems that you have the best tenants in the world, it is wise to keep a record of every communication with them. Make sure that you take photos of the apartment at the beginning of their lease, as well. It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are a new landlord.
Get building insurance
In case of fire, flood, or any other accident, it is wise to have building insurance. On the other hand, your tenant should get tenants insurance. You can advise them to take this insurance to protect their belongings. While they don`t have to listen to you, you will appear as a knowledgeable renter that wants to protect them. These insurance options are not very expensive, yet they will keep your mind at peace.
Have a lawyer check your lease, or write one
If you are not certain how your lease should look like, it is great to seek help from a lawyer. You need your lease to be flawless. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself and ensure that you will win in case of eviction or a lawsuit. Being a new landlord you may miss out on some important features of the lease, so having it checked by a lawyer is a step in the right direction.
Decide on the rent
We already mentioned that you need to decide on how to get your rent, but you need to set the right price first. If the rent is too high, you risk the property being empty for a long time. This means you will lose money. On the other hand, if you set the price that is too low, you will be losing money every month as well. This is why you need to compare other properties and their prices to come up with a perfect price for your rent.
Make sure that your property looks great
Your property must look great before you rent it. Did you know that if you rent a place that looks fantastic, tenants are more likely to keep it that way? It does not have to be expensive at all. Fresh paint, nicely looking carpets, flowers, paintings can go a long way when you want to rent your property. Get rid of all the items that are old, broken, or not functioning at all. Imagine that you want to move into the apartment, observe it with the eyes of a tenant, and act upon that impression.
Treat renting as business
Because it is a business, no matter how small. Don`t try to become friends with your tenants, and don`t take friends to be your tenants, if possible. No matter how friendly, reliable, or trustworthy your new tenants seem to be, always treat renting as professionally as possible.
Take the security deposit before your tenant moves in
A security deposit amount can be as low as $100 if you wish, and as high as two months’ rent. This money is a great way to feel safe about your tenants living at your property. In case of any damage inflicted by the tenant, you will have money to cover the repair cost.
Do a background check before renting to a certain tenant
There is a lot that you can find out about your future tenant. Credit score and background check are a must if you want to enjoy renting your property. Some applications can help you get this information, and you can always hire a property manager to assist you.
Be ready to fix ongoing issues efficiently
Being a new landlord, you will face plenty of different situations from month to month. There might be an issue with the pipes, air-conditioner, heating system, physical damage on the property, etc. When your tenant calls you, they will expect you to come up with a solution. The solution, in this case, is to call someone to repair the issue. So, find reliable handymen, plumbers, and other important numbers that you can call at any time.
Hire a property manager
We don`t mean to say that it is impossible to be a successful new landlord. In some cases, hiring an apartment manager NYC is simply convenient. There are many disadvantages of self-managed real estate properties. You can avoid this easily by hiring a property manager. They collect rent, fix any undergoing issues, and most importantly find reliable tenants. If you live far away from your property, or you have multiple properties plus a regular job, a property manager would make your life much easier.
Get familiar with the Fair Housing Act
Even if you don’t mean to discriminate, it is possible to make such a mistake if you don’t get familiar with this act. The Fair Housing Act prohibits you from discriminating based on race, gender age, national origin, physical or mental disability, family status, or religion.
Being a new landlord is not easy. It seems like there is a lot of work and a lot to learn in a short period. But be patient and soon you will have plenty of experience, and you will be able to relax and accomplish everything you want. Good luck!