Being a landlord comes with its fair share of responsibilities and challenges. With everything that goes into managing a property, it can be easy to forget some essential tasks. We’re here to help!
It’s never a good idea to delay fixing maintenance issues or doing seasonal preparation. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the tasks and research that every landlord should be doing (but might not be). By the end of the article, you’ll have a list of responsibilities to keep in mind so you can make sure your tenants and property are well taken care of.
Be Aware of the Current Rental Demand
Setting the cost of rent for your property is not a one-time thing. You need to adjust your prices according to market conditions. Are newer rental properties being built in your neighborhood? Are there plans for infrastructure improvements in the area? These factors can directly impact the local rental market demand.
A rental property owner needs to stay up-to-date with economic factors so you can remain flexible with your rental rates. If you set the rent higher than what’s reasonable, there will be less interest resulting in prolonged vacancy periods. But if you set it too low, you can end up losing on the potential income.
There are several ways you can ensure that you’re pricing your rental property accurately. You can get in touch with local property management companies, research online, or visit similar vacant rental spaces in your area. These strategies make it easier to remain competitive in the industry and maximize your ROI.
Create a Comprehensive Tenant Screening Procedure
Some landlords fail to conduct credit checks or learn about the tenant’s history when screening them. A solid tenant screening process helps you make informed decisions about who you rent to. You must keep the process consistent so that each potential tenant is asked the same questions and you’re not in violation of any Fair Housing laws.
Performing background checks helps you learn whether the tenant has prior eviction or bankruptcy records. You should also verify their employment history, do a credit check, and reach out to former and present landlords to find a responsible new renter.
Pay Attention to Water Leaks
Leaks can cause water damage which can turn into a major financial drain. Always make sure your tenants know when to contact you – even a small leak can turn into a bigger problem down the road.
Periodic inspections of the property can help you stay alert when it comes to leaks. If there are sudden spikes in the water bill for that property or a musty smell in a certain area, that could mean there are leaks in the property.
Get in touch with a contractor to look for the leak and to fix the problem right away, before you’re faced with mold and property damage. Places to check for leaks include:
- Water heater
- Air conditioning unit
- Near washing machines, dishwashers, and humidifiers
- Wet spots on the ceilings
Check and Maintain the Gutters
Rental units are also at risk for water damage when rainwater is diverted due to a full gutter. Draining excess water may be difficult if gutters are obstructed by leaves and dirt. If you have trees around your property, it can be easy for the gutters to be filled with leaves. You need to regularly inspect and clean the gutters.
Hiring someone to maintain the gutters is a good idea but it depends on the lease agreement. Some renters may need to keep the gutters clean if exterior maintenance is on their list of responsibilities.
Inspect and Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Landlords are responsible for delivering safe and habitable rentals to their tenants. They should fully inspect and maintain the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in their rental homes annually, ensure that the batteries are still working, and do monthly testing of the alarms.
Remain Updated with the Renters’ Contact Information
Open communication is one of the pillars of a solid landlord-tenant relationship so it’s important that you have your tenants updated contact information. You’ll need to send notices for property inspections, new policies or changes to the lease agreements, and lease renewals.
You can request the renters to complete a contact information update form to ensure that your record is accurate. You can also call or email the renters to test if you’re able to reach them. Being prepared helps avoid delays, especially during an urgent situation.
Consider Hiring a Property Management Company
While hiring property managers means paying management fees, view it as an investment. Property management companies can protect your time and reduce risks. You can let them handle marketing, rent collection, tenant conflict resolution, and property maintenance and repair. You’re also able to avoid rental scams, which saves you from financial losses.
If you’re a long-distance landlord, having a local property manager supervise your rental place is invaluable. You gain peace of mind and can focus on seeking real estate investment opportunities if you have little time to manage your rental business actively. If emergencies happen, you won’t need to travel to resolve the situation.
The best thing about having a professional manage your rental is receiving access to more resources, local expertise, and efficient rental systems. But you also need to properly select the right property management company that aligns with what you’re looking for.
As a landlord, you’re in charge of creating a safe and habitable space for your tenants. To achieve this, you need to be consistent with providing essential services, property maintenance, and inspections. Creating a successful rental business also requires being constantly attuned to the rental market demand to ensure that your rental prices are fair and accurate.
Partnering with a committed property management company makes owning a rental property easier than ever. You won’t have to worry about each and every responsibility because they will take care of it all for you! If you’re looking for a reliable property management company in the Temple area, contact Real Property Management Talent today.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.