5 Things Every Landlord Needs to Know

Industry Observer

The job of a landlord is complex. Each day is different, presenting different opportunities, different obstacles, and working with different people. While this may sound difficult, the job of a landlord can also be incredibly rewarding and profitable.

As a potential landlord or a new landlord, there are five important things you need to know prior to managing a property. In this article, we’ll explore these five concepts in depth!

Maintenance is a Must

Landlords must be available to handle issues of maintenance for all rental properties. Whether a landlord feels qualified to tackle issues of maintenance themself or feels more comfortable hiring a qualified professional for the job, ensuring all maintenance issues are taken care of swiftly and properly is vital. All landlords should have a plan on how they will deal with issues of property maintenance. 

“Property owners must exercise care when maintaining their properties,” note injury lawyers at Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP, “Regular maintenance and cleaning are great methods for limiting the chance of someone suffering an injury. Many property owners incur liability for slip and fall accidents simply because they waited too long to address an issue on the property.”

There are Specific Laws and Compliance Required in Your State, County, and City 

One of the most important parts of being a landlord is understanding the laws and guidelines in a given area. A landlord must know all city, county, state, and federal laws and ensure they are being followed. A landlord must also be aware of current laws and codes regarding tenants and the relationship between tenant and landlord.

With new ways for tenants and landlords to lease or sublease, such as AirBnB, landlords must be especially informed and indicate property usage on all legal housing agreements. 

Being a Landlord Requires Different Tax Filings

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has strict requirements for landlords that must be understood. The IRS has specific reporting requirements for the income and expenses that come to each and every rental property.

Cash or the fair market value of property or services you receive for the use of real estate or personal property is considered taxable income. Like any business, a landlord can deduct expenses for the rental property, such as maintenance costs, from the rental income.

A Landlord Often Doesn’t Work Standard Hours

While some jobs are 9 to 5, the job of a landlord means being available at random and odd hours. Some days you may hear nothing, and other days you may need multiple services done on a home that require your coordination and supervision for hours. 

Landlords must be flexible and understand that there is a degree of uncertainty with when you may be needed or beckoned!

Being a Landlord Also Means Wearing Multiple Hats

While your title may be “landlord”, you most likely will be handling vast and varied tasks for your property. 

When dealing with tenants, you may act as a negotiator, supervisor, and debt collector. When dealing with maintenance tasks, you may be a detective, researcher, and repairman. When dealing with banks and the IRS, you may be an accountant! Being aware of the multiple roles you may need to play can help prepare you for when you encounter them.

Learning to Be The Best Landlord

Successful landlords understand the five concepts above and are willing to grow and learn as time progresses. Whether you are considering becoming a landlord or are just starting the process, knowing the five tips above can help manage expectations and guide you to being the best landlord possible. While being a landlord can be a complex job, it can also be incredibly rewarding and profitable.  

Comments (1)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Jan 02, 2021 02:16 AM