If you’re new to the landlord game, it can seem like a lot of work. From finding tenants who want to live in your property to dealing with any issues that come up, being a landlord can be a tough gig. But I’ve learned through trial and error how to manage my rentals without losing my mind – and hopefully these eight tips will help you too!
1. Create a Budget
Before you sign a lease, it’s important to create a budget for your rental property. This will help you anticipate any additional costs and make sure that your monthly income can cover those expenses.
Include all costs. Your budget should include all expenses associated with owning and managing the property: mortgage payments; insurance premiums; taxes (including federal, state, county and city); utilities (gas/electricity/water); maintenance costs such as lawn care or pest control; repairs; advertising for new tenants if needed; etcetera.
Include contingency funds for unexpected events like major repairs or emergency situations like burst pipes during winter months when pipes tend to freeze more easily than at other times of year.
2. Screen Tenants
Screening tenants is one of the most important steps in the renting process. It’s also a task that can be very time-consuming, so it’s important to do everything you can to speed up this step and make sure you’re making good decisions about who you let into your property.
Here are some tips for screening tenants:
- Check their credit score and rental history. You don’t want someone who has a bad credit score or has been late on payments in the past renting from you because they’ll likely cause problems with paying rent or damage to your property. If they have bad marks against them already, ask them why (this will give insight into how responsible they are).
- Ask for references from previous landlords and employers and call them! Make sure these people know exactly what kind of person they’re referring before giving out contact information; otherwise, there may be awkwardness later when calls come in asking questions about things like criminal records that aren’t really relevant anymore since those things happened years ago but could still potentially affect whether or not someone gets approved by certain types of landlords/apartments because some companies won’t rent based solely off personal experiences without first checking out references first anyway.
3. Create a Legal Lease Agreement
It should include:
- The names and addresses of you (the landlord), your tenant(s) and any other person who will be living in the property.
- A description of the property, including its address, size and type (apartment or house).
- The amount of rent and when it’s due each month. If you require payment by direct debit from a bank account, this should be included too.
You might also want to include details about any bills that are included in or excluded from the monthly rate; for example whether council tax or water rates are included in rent payments or paid separately by tenants through their own accounts with local authorities or utility companies respectively. You may also wish to specify whether there is any cost associated with heating fuel such as oil/gas/electricity etc., especially if this isn’t provided as part of standard tenancy agreements elsewhere within similar properties within your area due to geographical differences.
4. Prepare for Emergencies
The first step to making sure that your rental is in good shape is creating a maintenance schedule. This will help you keep track of when things need to be done, and who’s responsible for doing them. You should also make sure that you have contact information for all of your tenants’ emergency contacts, as well as the contact information for any contractors or service providers that are on call if something breaks down unexpectedly.
Finally, create an emergency supply kit with some basic tools (screwdriver set, hammer) and supplies (duct tape).
5. Get the right insurance cover
Renting out your home or investment property is a great way to create an additional income stream. But there are risks involved, so it’s important to get the right insurance cover in place before you sign any tenancy agreements or hand over keys.
6. Find Help When You Need It
If you’re a first-time landlord, it’s important to know that there are many areas of your rental that need attention. You may not be able to handle everything on your own and even if you do have experience, there are still things that can go wrong with even the best-maintained units.
Find and hire a property manager: A good property manager will help manage tenant relations and keep an eye on things that need fixing around the house (like leaks or broken appliances). They’ll also ensure all legal requirements are being met by tenants and landlords alike.
Find and hire a property inspector: Another person who can take some of the weight off your shoulders is an inspector who will come out at regular intervals (usually once per year) to check over everything from plumbing fixtures to electrical wiring in order to make sure everything is up-to-code and safe for occupants’ use every time they visit their homes away from home.
Find and hire quantity surveyor Gold Coast: A quantity surveyor is an expert in construction and building who can provide you with advice on how to make improvements. When it comes to repairs, they can determine what needs to be done, how much it will cost and how long it will take to complete the job. They will also advise on insurance requirements, which is vital for any landlord.
Hire handymen/electricians/plumbers/painters etc.: If something goes wrong with one aspect of the home, for example, plumbing – you may not have enough knowledge about how this system works in order for yourself alone fix whatever problem has arisen from using these services; so instead call upon someone else who knows what needs doing in order get things back running smoothly again.
7. Create a Maintenance Schedule
- Keep a log of when you need to do maintenance.
- Make sure to include minor and major maintenance in this schedule, as well as how often it needs to be done.
- Create a plan for how you will perform the work yourself or hire someone else to do it, including costs associated with either option.
- Share the schedule with all tenants before they move in so they know what’s expected of them and when they should expect it from their landlord.
8. Manage Utilities and Utilities Payments
Managing utilities and paying the bills are important tasks for landlords. You’ll need to make sure you know how the meter works, when bills are due and have enough money to pay them. If this is not something you want to deal with yourself, consider hiring a property manager who can take care of these tasks for you.
We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful and are ready to take on the challenge of being a landlord.
I’m Willy Beamen, contributor for Bizzmarkblog with 15 years of experience from Sydney, Australia. My work is mostly focused on helping small business owners and local startups to get off the ground and expand.