If a rental property has fallen into your lap, this can be a great resource for supplemental income, but this won’t come without some work on your end. Here are 5 tips for accidental landlords who may have new rental properties but haven’t been in the role of ‘landlord’ before.
1. Vetting Your Tenants
If you are renting out a property for the first time, it is important to vet your potential tenants and not go off of interviews alone. Credit and reference checks are both recommended.
2. Don’t Let Repairs Fall Behind
In order to keep your property and tenants safe, make sure to stay on top of building inspections and emergency repairs needed. This will keep your property in good condition and you out legal trouble if a tenant hurts themselves on your property due to unchecked damages.
3. Keeping a Paper Trail
When holding initial and final walk-throughs, make sure you have a checklist and take photos of any damages that are apparent. File this away with lease agreements so that you have a paper trail if tenants contest not receiving their full final deposit on move out because of damages.
4. Keeping Up on Rent Collection
Making sure your tenants understand when and how to get rent checks to you is important. Be sure to be consistent and follow up with any renters that are past due in order to maintain on-time rent coming in.
5. Communication is Key
While you may have fallen into being a landlord, this isn’t something that should be handled passively. Be sure to be available to your tenants in case of emergency or if any issues arise. If you are available, this will ensure that any day-to-day annoyances don’t turn into major issues down the line.
One way to protect yourself as a landlord as well as your tenants is to utilize property management software to take away some of the guesswork for you. Record keeping and background checks can be run through software and can be a great resource for accident landlords.