In order to be a landlord, you have to wear many hats and to be a successful landlord; you have to wear them well. A landlord essentially needs to have all of the right skills to handle any situations that could arise concerning the property, the tenants or personal rights. Add in the fact that you can’t always predict the reliability of a tenant, and you have a potential for a lot of stress and lost revenue. Here are some basic tips to consider if you are even thinking of becoming a landlord.
It Takes a Lot of Time
You may have envisioned yourself sitting back in your hammock while your rental property earns money for you with little or no effort. Not so. Being a landlord will take a lot of your time, as you will have to keep the property up to code for the tenants and maintain your side of the contract agreed upon. This means answering their calls about the air conditioner, and getting it fixed immediately, taking a look at a leaky roof during a rainstorm, in addition to anything you deal with at your own property. You will be taking care of that property, not your tenants. Make sure you have the spare time as you endeavor to make this investment.
Jack of All Trades
You will need the legal skills of an attorney to enforce and enact your rights and those of the tenant. You will need the carpentry skills of a handyman to tackle any restoration or repair. You will need diplomatic skills to deal with difficult tenants as they will only be contacting you for problems that they are having. You will need secretarial and accounting skills to keep track of rent, deposits, leases, state and federal housing codes, pest control and the million other details that can and will crop up during your tenure as landlord. Unless you can do all this yourself or hire a professional to help you, you may want to consider another way to earn extra money.
Check Potential Tenants Carefully
While you can’t interrogate them and you do have limits on how much you can know about potential tenants, you also need to investigate them thoroughly before letting them rent your property. Failure to do so could result in lost fees, ruined property or worse. Check the financial and potential criminal history of your tenants to ensure that they won’t be a risk. Additionally, trust your gut. If you have a feeling that a tenant isn’t a good choice, even though they look great on paper, go with your gut.
Making the investment on the retail market can be risky at times but the benefit is more often worth it. Many people are spending their extra money on purchasing a home to rent out to tenants as it can provide a consistent form of secondary income. Consider these factors carefully and you will know if being a landlord is right for you.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. Meghan recommends hiring a service expert, like those at Cydcom Services Ltd, to help with any repairs that are need on your properties.