Hiring a property management company to handle the process of screening tenants and keeping the property in top shape is a wise step for any property owner.
What should a first-time landlord know?
With a property management company, property owners take the risk off their shoulders and are guaranteed the highest possible income from their property. They also don’t have to worry about bad tenants, damages to their property, or unpaid rents.
No matter how experienced and professional your property management company is, first-time landlords need to know a few details regarding the renting process, housing law, and the property owner’s responsibilities. Below you will find a first-time landlord checklist to save you time, effort, and money. So, what should a first-time landlord know?
1. Decide the rent
Your property manager will help you establish the rent that you can get from your house.
Rent depends on various factors, including location, size of the house, parking and extras, renovations on the property, length of the lease, and many more. A property manager will know all about your area and how much similar houses to yours are being rented for.
However, as a landlord, you should have a broad number in your mind regarding the rent you wish to get from your property. You need to keep in mind taxation, repairs, or any mortgage taken on the house and make sure that the rent covers all these costs and leaves you some profit.
2. How to screen your tenants
A professional property management business has vast experience in screening tenants.
Your property manager will screen the prospective tenants and ask them the right questions to filter the right tenants for your property.
As a landlord, you can do some screening of your own, such as asking for their income, whether they have pets or whether they are smoking. These are details that you need to determine before deciding to rent your house.
3. What does the rent cover?
As a landlord, you will need to decide what the rent covers.
Does it cover garden maintenance, water, or garbage pick-up? Does the rent include parking space or is it extra? These are small but important details that need to be decided beforehand.
4. What are the housing laws?
Most property management companies know all about federal, state, and local housing laws. However, having a broad image of what you are expected to do can be helpful. You may need to check your local housing law and legal provisions such as housing safety code, security deposits, health codes, and anti-discrimination policy.
5. Should you allow pets?
This is an important issue that you need to decide before letting your house.
Many tenants appreciate a landlord who allows pets. However, you may want to ask for a larger deposit in case of damages to the property.
In any case, this is a decision to be made by the landlord. You might limit pets to two in your property or put limits on the size of the pets.
An increasing number of people have pets; allowing pets on your property could increase the potential pool of prospective tenants but you should be protected from the risks and possible damage.
6. Improvements and renovations
It’s a good idea to decide what sort of improvement and renovations you are willing to undertake to make your property more appealing to tenants. Your property management company will tell you which renovations tenants expect and which ones are unnecessary.
Generally speaking, a clean, fresh, and recently painted house is always appreciated. Natural light, a fenced yard, and a parking space are also welcome. Before deciding on the extent of the renovations you will undertake, you need to make sure they will pay for themselves, otherwise you will be eating into your profits.
7. Preparing the lease
Your property management company will prepare the lease with all the conditions and rules.
The rental agreement covers everything about the rental: the amount of rent, the duration of the lease, the landlord’s responsibilities as well the tenants’ ones, the provisions regarding pets, and many other important aspects.
Being aware of what is expected of you is good: you will not be taken by surprise in case of something happening in your property and everyone will know exactly what each party should expect.
A property management company is here to make sure that your property is properly rented and taken care of.
The property manager will ensure that you are getting the money you deserve out of your investment.
With a property management company, you will be safe in knowing that your house is always rented and that your investment is paying off. Having a broad image of what renting entails can give you a heads-up about what to expect and how to organize your property and finances.