Most of the time we overestimate our knowledge of new things because we have a friend or someone we know who appears to cope well with the task. Sadly, being a new landlord is more complex than you think. In this blog post, we provide tips to ease the burden of being a new landlord.
There are legal procedures and general guidelines for approaching matters as a new landlord. You certainly don’t want to mess things up and become drained by the stress that comes with legal matters and demeanors from tenants. How do you find your footing without glitches as a new landlord?
Tip 1: Pay Your Dues to the Law
Spend as much time as possible learning about what is obtainable in the law as a landlord and for tenants. Know the gray areas and check with the state or local department where your property is located for housing and landlord-tenant laws. These laws usually address things like rent, eviction procedures, tenant rights, landlord/tenant obligations, and security procedures.
Acquaint yourself with local/state laws and federal laws regulating landlords, and landlord-tenant relationships. For example, in federal law, you can be sued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for discussing tenants’ credit reports and background information with third parties.
Tip 2: Being a Landlord is Strictly Business
The best way to reduce bottlenecks and possible lawsuits is to keep your relationship professional with tenants. Discuss things professionally and supply signed documents for every agreement you have with your tenant. Play your part as a landlord and property manager and leave no room for tenants to point accusing fingers at you. Hire an accountant to settle taxes and analyze what funds are accessible to you.
Also, keep the security deposit as specified by the law, and set clear terms as to what is refundable in specific scenarios. Most importantly, document all important conversations you and your tenants have agreed on. When you handle your property professionally your tenants will take you seriously.
Tip 3: Set Standards for Your Tenants
Setting standards precedes screening potential tenants. The essence of your standard is to recruit the best tenant that would pay on time. How do you achieve this? Credit reports, background information, history with their past landlords, and certain personal standards would help you sieve through many people and choose the right tenants.
For example, some people only accept tenants who work in certain industries and earn two times their rent. Whatever your screening process and standard are, be realistic and give a chance to potential tenants who deserve it. Also, an important part of your standard is a firm lease agreement that stipulates your expectations of the tenants and their responsibility. You can have an estate attorney make a lease agreement that includes minute details like parking areas, maintenance of lawn, pets, subletting, and property alterations.
Add to all these tips an efficient service delivery for your tenants. Show up and do not slack on your responsibility to tenants and the property. This way you can make sure that the integrity of your agreement is not undermined.
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