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One of the benefits of owning an investment property is that you can outsource the maintenance professionals that you know and trust. This comes with having a solid understanding of all the different systems in your home, such as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. It is also important to have a good relationship with a local handyman in case you need to call on them for help. Having a pre-established relationship can possibly save you some money and better response time.
It is vital to stay on top of property inspections. This includes preventative maintenance (such as changing air filters and checking smoke detectors) and also routine walk throughs during your tenants stay. Not only will this reassure your tenants, but it will also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
Another important tip for new investment property owners is having a solid lease agreement in place, understanding your rights and responsibilities as a landlord and being prepared for repairs and maintenance issues. It is also important to be aware of the different laws and regulations that apply to rental properties in your area and include it into the lease. Clearly stating your expectations in the rental agreement before the tenant moves in can prove useful later on when referencing specific verbiage.
A criminal background check will show you if a potential tenant has been convicted of any crimes in the past. This could include anything from DUIs to drug charges. It's important to know this information before renting to someone, as it could mean they are more likely to cause property damage or violate lease agreements.
Of course, one of the most important aspects of being a successful investment property owner is collecting rent payments from your tenants on time. There are a few different ways to do this, but one of the simplest and most effective methods is to set up automatic payment withdrawals from your tenant’s bank account. There are plenty of third party companies that help make this user-to-user transaction possible like: Zelle and PayPal. Overall, it's important to just keep all financial records organized and sorted in a monthly or biannual fashion.
Some states require you to change the lock on your door between tenants. It can be important to choose a cost effective and reliable product. You can use more technological options like digital smart locks, keypad locks, or lock boxes. These allow you to generate temporary codes for tenants and are easily changeable when the next person moves in. There are also traditional re-keyable locks that you can purchase from a hardware store. Whichever you choose, make sure it is something that will be easy for you to manage and change as needed.
Once you've got a better understanding of what tenant screening consists of, it's time to consider how you'll go about performing this task yourself. To that end, we've compiled a few pointers to make the process smoother. Read them over so you have a clearer understanding of what needs to be done.
During the leasing process in acquiring a tenant it is very important to have quality photos in your listing. This is the first impression people will have of your property. Pictures should be in landscape view and be adequately lit so you can see everything in the photo. In addition, make sure to include photos of any special features or amenities.
There are companies out there that offer tenant screening as a service. This can be a great option if you want to make sure everything is done properly and by the book. These services will typically conduct credit checks, criminal background checks, and eviction history searches for you.
One of the most important things to remember as an investment property owner is that you are now in the business of providing housing for tenants. This means that it is important to develop a good working relationship with your tenants. One way to do this is to be responsive to their needs and concerns. If there is an issue with the property, make sure to address it in a timely manner, tenant satisfaction should be one of your top priorities.
As an investment property owner, it is important to stay on top of your finances. It is also a good idea to set up a separate bank account for your rental property, so you can easily see where your money is going each month. In addition, make sure to keep track of all your expenses, so you can properly report them come tax season.
It's every landlord's worst nightmare, so it is crucial to include verbiage in the rental agreement about late fees and repercussions. Establish your expectations when it comes to payments with the tenant early on. Go over utility responsibilities and any financial reports they might want access to.
Do some research before listing your property to see how much other people in your area are listing their rentals for. Most of these services require you to pay so be prepared for that. Don't be afraid to adjust your listing price either, the market is always moving and you never know whose attention your listing will catch.
The rental industry is a very complex market so it is ok to do some research beforehand about all these various topics. All of the tips mentioned above is just the surface level knowledge of what every landlord should understand before their first rental, but there is also much more to discover.
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