As a landlord myself in Northern Virginia these 5 tips are good advise. Not everyone is cut out to be a landlord. if you want to invest in property but don't want to deal with the day to day running of your properties interview and hire a good property management company.
5 Steps To Being A Good Landlord -- And Why It Is In Your Best Interest To Do So
1) Make sure you have what it takes to be a good landlord: great communication skills, proper legal knowledge/advice, sufficient accounting and management skills, solid marketing ideas/tools, dedication and patience. And don't forget the all-important cash flow! Many a landlord has fallen when their tenant has not come through with the rent on-time.
2) Properly screen your tenants! This is not the time to take any short-cuts. Run the credit, collect and call the references, run a background check, speak to former landlords, even visit the tenant at their current home if you have any doubts about their cleanliness or tidiness. You have one chance to conduct a thorough investigation before you agree to accept a tenant. Don't blow it!
3) Have a solid, plain-language lease ready for use. Read and understand the entire lease, ask your attorney questions if you don't understand it and keep the signed copy in a safe place. Be sure to include all of the necessary and required disclosures. Know the rules and your rights. If you follow the landlord/tenancy laws to-the-letter you will have little trouble should you have to go to court.
4) "Say what you do and do what you say". Collect the rent on a schedule, follow the lease regarding any late fees, lawncare, trash removal, required city or township inspections, etc. Be attentive to any unexpected repairs that may arise. One of the worst things that any landlord can do is to allow a tenant to live with something that is in poor condition due to an unanswered repair request. Do not expect your tenant to live in a property that you yourself would be unwilling to live in. Give sufficient notice prior to entering the unit, show up for inspections when you say you will, fix things in a timely fashion, keep your property well-maintained.
5) Swing into action quickly if/when a problem arises. Some of the most successful landlords are often the toughest. Don't be hesitant to collect a late-fee when your tenant is late, do NOT delay filing an eviction notice the very first time there is a lateness or a breach of the lease. Be firm. Be consistent. Be the boss. In life, folks usually rise to the occasion when the bar is set higher. Tenants will do so, too.
All of these tips are simple, common sense recommendations that can help to provide a solid foundation for a property management business. Being a good lanlord, while important to the tenant, is even more important for you, your ability to attract the best tenants and certainly your potential to charge the highest rents possible in the marketplace. Ultimately, being a good landlord protects your asset -- your property.
For the New Jersey 'Truth in Renting' booklet, click here.
To learn how to be a good tenant, click here.
For questions regarding property management, just ask Chris - 856 628 2710, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Hooks, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Pino Agency
70 North Broadway
Pennsville, NJ 08070
856-678-4663, X211 (office)
888-936-0505 (toll free)
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