Being a landlord involves a lot of moving parts. There are several steps you must be aware of, from finding tenants, interviewing them, and collecting rent to making regular property maintenance. The Property Maintenance Dos and Don’ts have been created to ease these challenges.
One aspect of being a landlord, for example, is keeping the property in livable condition. This involves staying on top of property upkeep anytime something breaks or needs to be repaired quickly. You raise your liabilities if you fail to provide a livable unit to your tenants.
This is why delegating some of these obligations to a property manager who is familiar with state and local legislation makes good business sense. However, if you want to work as a property manager, you should be aware of some property management advice. (Click here to see all Northern Michigan Waterfront Lifestyle Homes for Sale)
If you’re a first-time landlord, especially if you’re new to property management, you should familiarize yourself with your legal requirements. A competent property manager is familiar with the local legal system and can assist you in navigating it without breaking any rules. They will also assist you in learning about the Tenancy Act.
You’ll also need to thoroughly screen tenants, examine their references, and double-check their paperwork (including any lease work and the terms and conditions).
Don’t try to handle everything on your own.
Property management will consume all of your free time unless you have no other obligations. Trying to accomplish everything oneself may seem reasonable in the short term, but it will eventually backfire. Your tenants will continually call you to complain and to alert you to situations such as a broken faucet or a malfunctioning HVAC system.
The lease agreement is a legally binding contract that must be followed by both the landlord and the tenant. This implies that it must be highly thorough, with no opportunity for error. The lease should clearly state the rules of accommodations, policies, and dispute resolution methods.
You can always find generic lease agreements online, but working with a property manager to modify the lease to match your needs is strongly recommended.
Don’t: Make friends with the landlord.
You should treat your tenants with professionalism and courtesy, but it does not imply you should become their friends. This is because befriending a tenant might backfire if they begin to ask for favors from you, such as not raising their rent or forgiving the fee for a month.
You have a lot of information on your tenant thanks to all of the background checks you did. At all times, this information must be kept private. You must first obtain the tenant’s permission before releasing any new information about them. This usually entails having them sign a document.
Knowing your tenant’s personal information can be dangerous. For example, their lender or bank may contact you to check their address. If the tenant has not notified you about the call and you are unable to contact them, you should not give the caller any information that is not publicly available.
You could face legal consequences if you reveal sensitive information.
The Property Maintenance Dos and Don’ts
Don’t: Put your name on the property.
You want to keep the rental unit’s finances distinct from your own. Instead, form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation to limit your liability. This does not absolve you of local and state laws.
Whether you want to manage your own properties or hire a property management company, the following property management recommendations are simple to follow and will help you ease into investment properties and maximize your return on investment.