How to Be a Good Landlord: Rights and Responsibilities
Generally, dealing with people is hard, but dealing with people living on your property is on another level. A good mix of character and skill set can lead to a successful rental business.
There are a considerable number of people nowadays who are more in tune with their nomadic tendencies – always on the look-out for adventure and for worthwhile places to stay in without the pressures of ownership and maintenance. On the other side, the looming dilemma of traffic jams urges people to rent out places near their workplaces, together with the younger population looking forward to proximity and semi-independence while attending universities. These situations show the huge potentials and assets in terms of renting out your property.
The rental business can be rewarding if you are willing to fully invest your time, efforts, and of course, to deal with tenants coming from different cultures, backgrounds, and with their individual differences. Like any other businesses, you must make way for adjustments and be able to address setbacks – damages and repairs, late rental payments, petty quarrels, and complaints – to maintain your property and the healthy relationships with your tenants. To commit yourself to this challenging but fulfilling business, here are some important things to note to become an effective and efficient landlord.
Choose Your Tenants
Even if the tenants pay the rent, the property is still yours and that includes all the necessary upkeep and maintenance. It is best to consciously choose your tenants and find those whom you can properly discuss terms and conditions with, especially with issues on damage and repair, prior to finalizing deals and moving in.
You do not have to put your prospective renters through a rigorous interview. The basics such as their employment status, previous rental history, family size, or the extent of their willingness to pay for repairs would suffice (this would be good inclusions when you are drafting a lease contract, too.) While trusting your gut feeling may seem irrational, sometimes going by instincts and sensing one’s aura compatibility matter.
Keep a Trusted Circle of Go-To Contacts
There are no shortcuts when it comes to maintaining rental properties – spaces that provide shelter, a basic right, to people. Therefore, a reliable list of contacts can come in handy in instances needing immediate attention – leaking faucet or pipe, loose hinges, defective locks, tangled auxiliary and electrical cables, broken outlets, and creaking windows, or even quarrels that need legal action. You can’t and shouldn’t carry all the burdens by your lonesome.
You can also take advantage of the Internet and all the online real estate resources we have nowadays—it pays to learn from other people who are experiencing the same dilemmas. You can also explore websites and mobile applications that enable you to look for any kind of help in terms of these concerns.
Always check anything for repairs and schedule inspections to come up with a punch list for those areas that need to undergo retrofitting or renovating. There are certain standards that must be met before renting out your property (especially for those who rent out rooms or boarding houses), to ensure that you will not be putting your tenants or your permits at risk. Regularly have your electrical and gas equipment checked by trusted technicians, as well as your fire alarm’s batteries. Your water systems should also be inspected, like the electrical systems, to avoid unnecessary surcharges and further property damages; which can be a pain in the neck for you and your tenants.
Installing CCTV systems in your property can also ensure safety, especially when it comes to identifying strangers unusually frequenting the area or even perpetrators during untoward incidents.
Take Your Business Seriously
Some landlords fail to see their rental business as a business; instead, some who rent out their space while being employed full-time see the former as a simple side hustle. This results to slacking off in maintenance or ensuring rental payments. However, as a business owner, you must constantly remind yourself that what is at stake in this venture is your hard-earned money. You must organize, audit, and do inventories. If you want to allot less time on doing the legwork but be assured that everything is monitored, you can explore enabling technologies that can aid you in monitoring, analyzing, and recording.
Shifting perspectives on what a landlord needs to know will ensure you far greater success in your rental business. You should also find time to learn about the latest trends and updates on rules and regulations that you can also incorporate in your own policies legally.
Draw the Lines, Know Boundaries
Respect begets respect. Make sure to keep a healthy distance once your tenants finally move in. There are times that you may be tempted to drop by unannounced; but, while doing inspections is certainly your right as a landlord, limit it during business hours. To make it more amenable to both parties, give your tenants a few days’ notices before checking up on them. Do not be that creeper of a landlord who shows up on wee hours. This is not just intrusive, it is also outright annoying. Remember that everyone values their privacy and of course, their time.
On the other hand, there are some renters that might be a little too friendly toward you. This is perfectly okay but be clear about your landlord-tenant dynamics while being open to conversations and suggestions.
A Little Compassion Will Not Hurt the Business
While you have all the right to be stern with your policies, you must still know when to let your heart rule over your head in certain situations; after all, you are dealing with people, not just figures or statistics. These people, like you, also experience bumps on the road and rough patches.
One of the responsibilities of a landlord is to sometimes heed your tenants’ suggestions and listen to their concerns. If they need your help on something, do come up with solutions. If they have a good track record and they ask for an extension for their payment deadline, cut them some slack. In these situations, even the simplest acts of kindness matter the most in pressing circumstances and can get you the kind of business relationship that is ideal and stress-free.