Have you recently become a landlord? If so, congratulations! You are about to embark on the most rewarding and fulfilling journey of your life. However, with such an enormous responsibility comes plenty of challenges.
As a new landlord, there will be many things that you need to learn before you can feel confident in this role and keep your tenants happy.
This blog post will give you ten must-know tips for new landlords that we hope will help ease some of the stress associated with this transition.
1. Prepare Yourself Mentally
As a landlord, you will be faced with many tough decisions and choices. It can come as quite a shock after all of your years renting to suddenly become the one who is responsible for ensuring that other people pay their rent every month!
We have heard similar fears from dozens of new landlords ourselves. But what matters most in this situation is how you choose to handle these feelings.
2. Knowing Your Rights
Your new role as a landlord means that you are now privy to information on tenant rights. For example, did you know that in at least one state in the U.S., Wisconsin, landlords can charge tenants with “damage fees?”
These charges cover expenses related to damages done by tenants during their lease term (such as carpet cleaning or replacement).
This may be an unpleasant surprise for some of your renters who believed they were entitled to live rent-free after the damage was done – but you need to remember this!
3. Set Clear Boundaries
After getting on the ladder, you are now in a position of power. While this is undoubtedly not necessarily something to be ashamed about or embarrassed by, you need to know that your tenants will likely see things differently, especially if they have lived rent-free for some time.
You may want to set clear boundaries with your tenants early on to avoid any confusion later on down the road (such as requiring everyone who uses utilities at your property to sign a contract and pay their bills). This way, no one can claim ignorance!
4. Keep Properties in Good Condition
This means making sure that all aspects of your rentals are clean and in good working order at all times.
Keep carpets vacuumed, floors swept/mopped, windows clear & painted surfaces scrubbed down (if applicable) to avoid any complaints from renters later on down the road who may not appreciate filthiness or lack of tidiness; within their home!
5. Welcome Your Tenants Into Your Community
As a property owner, you can welcome your tenants into whichever community that may be. If local events are happening in town or fun things happening near where they live (such as holiday celebrations), invite them out and show interest!
They will appreciate knowing what is going on in their area, which could lead to new friendships.
6. Know Your Tenants
This tip is perhaps the most important one on this list. As a landlord, you must know and understand your tenants’ needs!
You will need to become familiar with their habits (do they work late at night? Do they have loud parties?) as well as who else lives in each of your properties (are there children or pets?).
If you already own multiple rentals, make sure that everyone has signed separate leases so that no two people can claim joint occupancy.
Also, keep in mind that some states don’t allow co-signers for housing contracts – if this applies to any of your renters, then it may be wise to require everyone’s financial information when signing up.
7. Utilize a Rental Agreement
While this tip is not specifically for all new landlords, it’s essential to know that having a rental agreement in place will significantly benefit you as the property owner.
Having your tenants sign an official housing contract ensures their responsibilities and rights so there can be no confusion about what they are responsible for paying every month (as well as if/when the rent should be paid).
8. Maintenance Issues
Maintaining your rental properties can be a difficult task for any landlord, especially if you are not as familiar with the property as past renters likely were.
However, it is essential to remember that it is your responsibility now. One of the most effective ways to keep tenants happy (and avoid costly damage fees) is by regularly maintaining all aspects of your property.
This means having an experienced plumber come out every year and making sure that major appliances such as ovens/stoves and washers/dryers are in good working order at all times.
9. Set The Right Rent Fee
Setting the right rent price can be challenging, but it is essential to remember that you should not overcharge for your rentals or undercharge either.
Potential renters may choose another property instead if the rent is too high.
Therefore, determining what amount of money they can afford and charging just slightly more than this shows them that you believe in offering an affordable rental option without cheapening its value!
10. Listen To Your Tenants
Listening and being attentive to their needs is essential. After all, the more satisfied they are with their living arrangement now, the less trouble you’ll eventually receive from them in the future!
For example: If any of your renters believe they aren’t receiving enough hot water every day or have recently noticed an unusual amount of condensation on windows/walls within their property, this could potentially mean one thing: a plumbing issue.
And since no renter wants to experience constant leaks throughout their house for days at a time (or hire expensive themselves), they will most likely contact you for their problem.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when becoming a landlord. There is no one right answer for everyone; it all depends on the property, your tenants, and yourself as well!
Being a new landlord can seem like quite the task, but if it’s something you’ve been considering, I hope this list provides some valuable insight to the new landlords in some way or another!