If you’re a first-time landlord, there are a number of things you should be aware of beforehand. To make sure that you’ve got the most important aspects of the job down, we’ve put together this list of 5 helpful tips for first-time landlords. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the key components of becoming a landlord.
1. Always Thoroughly Screen Potential Renters
This is an incredibly important step to follow. Even if your tenant applicant seems friendly and reliable, do a background check and make sure to look at their credit score (ideal credit score is 650 and up). However, don’t share these reports with the applicant directly. They can obtain their own copy through the Consumer Reporting Agency and if you do provide them a copy, you may be in violation with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
You should also ask your applicant for things such as a document verifying their salary, verification for their credit, and personal/professional reference letters.
2. Establish That Tenants Must Have Renters Insurance
You never know what kind of damage your tenants can cause, whether it be on purpose or accident. That’s why you should require your tenants to obtain renters insurance prior to moving in. Even with a security deposit, damages may exceed what was required by the initial deposit. In the end, it can help both parties have peace-of-mind during the tenant’s occupancy.
3. Enhance Your Property With Landscaping
Utilize the greenery around your property to make it seem more appealing. If the tenant feels as though they’re getting more bang for their buck, that’s a very good thing. I recently covered the importance of effective landscaping techniques for property owners in our rental property tips blog.
4. Learn & Understand Housing Laws
It’s important to know the local housing laws to avoid being taken advantage of and/or sued. There are many minute legal details included in some local housing laws that you’d never even think of. So, to avoid any unnecessary penalties, thoroughly research all housing laws that apply to your area and business.
5. Utilize Online Rent Payment Instead Of Checks/Money Orders
To make the rent payment process easier for yourself, utilize online payment services. Visit Zillow Rental Manager to set up a simpler way to receive rent payments online. It may seem daunting or confusing if you’re new to online rental payments but you’ll be glad that you took the time to look into it, if you choose to do so.
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