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Checklist For New Landlords
Being a landlord is about far more than banking the rent checks. Here are some tips:
Be Ms. or Mr. Fix-It.
Sometimes, just making sure things are plugged in or turned on can save you hundreds. A clogged toilet? Give it a shot. Anything to do with gas or electricity, leave to the professionals.
Have help on speed dial.
Keep a running list of trusted plumbers, electricians and handymen for repairs that are out of your realm.
Sit down with potential tenants.
A face-to-face meeting can reveal a lot about a tenant’s character.
Follow the money.
If a potential tenant has massive debt, choose someone else.
Find a tenant with a different schedule.
A small dwelling can feel less cramped when timetables vary.
Get it in writing.
Friends as well as strangers should sign a lease that spells out such things as when the rent is due.
Use an online property management service.
Eliminate awkward requests for late rent by having it withdrawn from the tenants’ bank accounts automatically on the same day of each month.
Go with the flow.
Tenants have children, couples break up and trees drop branches — if you expect the unexpected you’ll never be too upset.
Get to know your neighbors.
Having familiar faces on either side of you can be a big asset when you need a helping hand or a watchful eye.
Keep good tenants.
Quick responses to texts or phone calls and small rent increases should do the trick.
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