It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that being a landlord is hard work. Even if you have the world’s best tenants, you have a lot of responsibilities and issues to manage. Unfortunately, sometimes you have nightmare tenants that make being a landlord even more difficult. For the most part, the majority of renters are pretty decent people, which makes your job easier. If you have renters who understand the importance of being a good tenant, it’s now up to you to take on the responsibility of learning to be a great landlord. If you want to succeed as a landlord, you need to keep your tenants happy and everything running smoothly.
Screen your tenants
The first step you should take to being a great landlord is making sure you choose the right tenants. When a property becomes available, have a prospective tenant fill out an application, then make sure you do your research. Require referrals from previous landlords, check their credit score, and verify they make three times the monthly rent. Consider doing a quick background check and Google search on the person to look for any red flags.
Help them settle in
When you finally accept a tenant, make sure you help them settle in. There are various steps you should take as your renter begins to move into the apartment. Either offer to help them move in or suggest a company that can help them with moving. Consider creating a care package with a gift card to a local restaurant, contact information for local services, and a welcome note. Finally, make sure the rules of the apartment are clear so you’re all on the same page.
Handle maintenance requests on time
As a landlord, part of your job is managing maintenance requests. If a tenant puts in a request, handle it as soon as possible, even on the weekends. Tenants appreciate when maintenance is handled promptly and it makes them happier and more likely to continue renting from you. If you absolutely cannot handle a request within 24 hours, make sure you communicate this fact to your tenant.
Allow electronic rent payments
Most people prefer being able to pay their bills online and it helps reduce paper waste. Look into allowing your tenants to pay rent online each month. You won’t have to worry about mailing out bills every month and they’ll be more likely to make payments early and on time by setting up an automatic payment.
Have apartment inspections
Conducting inspections after a tenant moves out is pretty run of the mill, but it’s also important to do multiple inspections of an apartment while someone is living there. First, when a tenant moves in, have them do their own inspection and document it with a signed form, notes, and pictures. That way, you protect yourself (and them) if anything goes amiss down the line. Remember to also do periodic inspections while your tenant is in the apartment. Schedule an inspection around three times a year when they know you’ll be entering the apartment. You can make sure they’re following rules and also look out for any issues that a tenant might not spot, but someone who’s familiar with real estate can identify and take care of before a larger issue arises.