Owning a rental property can be a very profitable business that can essentially make you money while you sleep – that is if you’re making smart decisions. While many first-time landlords often learn the hard way, there are many useful tips that can make managing your rental property a whole lot easier from the get-go and may even increase the value of your home, attract more tenants, and allow you to increase the rental price. If you’re a new landlord, here are some expert tips to save yourself some headaches and effectively manage your rental property for the best experience possible.
Ditch Carpets and Install Hardwoods
It’s probably safe to say, no one likes a dirty carpet in their home, especially when it’s dirtied by strangers.
“Owning a rental property can be a very profitable business that can essentially make you money while you sleep – that is if you’re making smart decisions.”
When it comes to flooring in your rental property, hardwoods are your best option and can even increase the overall value of your home. While they can be a bit pricey initially, they’re definitely worth the investment in the long run as they last forever and always look timeless. Hardwood floors are also super durable and easy to clean, making them something many renters look for.
Opt for a Neutral Palette
While you may love a red feature wall in your living room or a pink powder room, there’s a good chance many renters won’t – and after all, you’re not going to be living there. When it comes to wall paint and furnishings in a rental property, neutral is best as it appeals to the majority of renters. Neutral colors like whites, grays, tans, and beiges are timeless and go with everything, making it an easy transition when renters move their belongings in.
Find a Good Handyman
Maintaining your property is crucial not only to keep your tenants happy but also to keep your property looking its best and prevent bigger problems down the road. Having a good handyman on speed dial is key and will most likely save you time, headache (and possibly money) from having to fix things yourself and potentially doing it incorrectly. A good property manager can also ensure that your annual maintenance is up to date and taken care of.
When it comes to a rental property, keeping it rented with tenants is ultimately going to give you a stream of income. However, you don’t want just any tenants; you want tenants who will pay rent on time, care for your property as their own, and don’t cause unnecessary headaches.
“Maintaining your property is crucial not only to keep your tenants happy but also to keep your property looking its best and prevent bigger problems down the road.”
Finding good tenants is probably one of the most challenging parts, and that’s why it’s essential to screen your tenants during the application process with a background check, credit report, rental history, and income. This will help you weed out any tenants that may cause you issues down the road. Potential tenants often come with four-legged housemates as well. Before renting your property, it may be the time to think about whether you want to allow pets or not and put a pet policy in place.
Create a Thorough Lease Agreement
Probably one of the most crucial steps in a rental property is creating a well-thought-out, thorough lease agreement. Your lease agreement is essentially a binding contract that clarifies anything and everything both the landlord and tenants can or cannot do during the lease. The lease agreement should also state the repercussions if the terms and conditions are broken. Things you may want to include in your lease agreement can involve the allowance of renovations or changes to the home, subleasing terms, pet policies, occupancy limits, a security deposit in case of damages, repairs, and maintenance, or any other necessary restrictions. When creating the lease agreement, it’s important to follow the tenant-landlord laws within the state your property is located and ensure the tenants fully understand and sign the agreement.
Always Be Professional
Your rental property can be an incredibly lucrative passive form of income. So to ensure things go smoothly, treat your rental property like a business. While it’s important to have a good rapport with your tenants, you also want them to take things seriously and not take advantage of your kindness. When it comes to communicating with tenants, always be professional, clear, and stick to your word. Keep your end of the terms of your lease agreement, ensure the property is well-maintained, and promptly make repairs or fix any issues. On that note, while it may seem like a great idea to rent to friends or family, it can very quickly become a conflict of interest. Loved ones are more likely to take advantage of you or expect discounts and freebies. To protect your relationship with your loved ones as well as your rental business, refrain from renting to those close to you.