Tips for the First Time Landlord

Tips for the First Time Landlord

 

Whether you have become a landlord by accident or choice, you will notice there is a plethora of laws and tasks you have on your plate. Not only do you collect rent from tenants, but you have to screen prospective tenants, keep up the property and follow specific health and living guidelines set forth by your city and county area. Though there is no magic guide that spells out a step-by-step process to being the best landlord in the country, there are a few tips you can consider to make being a landlord a little less disconcerting.

 

Always put it in Writing

No matter what you are discussing with a prospective tenant or current tenant, make sure you have it in writing. Though this seems simple enough, hundreds of landlords each year find themselves battling out a court case against tenants because they skipped this very simple step. If you want your tenant to follow a set number of rules while living on your property, put it in the Lease Agreement. If you want your tenant to have a noise curfew, put it in the Lease Agreement. Anything you want done, needs to be written down — period.

 

Get a Security Deposit

Even if the new tenant is a family friend, you need to require a security deposit. This deposit protects your property, which is essentially your investment. The security deposit should only be returned to the tenant upon vacating the property and proving that it is in the same condition as it was when initially rented.

 

Get Financial History on Your Tenant

A tenant can get great personal and professional references from anywhere, but they cannot fake their credit history. Make sure that you pull a credit report and ask for financial backing from a tenant before allowing them to rent your property. This not only ensures your tenant will pay rent, but that they are financially responsible as well.

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