Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities. In addition to receiving rent payments and screening prospective tenants, a landlord must perform other duties in order to do their jobs correctly. Here are a few additional things that any person who wants to become a landlord should know before taking on this position.
It is important for a landlord to have easy access to a property that he or she plans to oversee. The location should not be located too far away and should be easy to reach by vehicle. It is especially crucial to know if the property can be reached quickly in cases of emergencies. As described on Trulia, “Living close to your property allows you to check on it periodically (after giving your tenants proper notice), take care of repairs yourself, and show the property when it’s time to list it for rent again.”
Perform Regular Inspections
A landlord should check over the property regularly to identify any maintenance issues or other problems that need to be addressed. An inspection should be performed about once every three months, although more inspections may be needed if problems are found. It is advisable to have a clause in the lease agreement that notifies the tenants of these inspections.
Have Enough Time
Landlords need to have enough time to devote to maintaining their properties and dealing with tenant issues. Being a landlord is a job, not a hobby, and it may require even more time than most other jobs. If time is a concern, landlords can hire property management companies to oversee many of the responsibilities.
Invest in an Attorney
Hiring an attorney will be worth the investment for any landlord who wants to stay compliant with state and local laws. Attorneys can also represent landlords in court if any legal disputes arise with tenants or contractors. As described by CBS News, “By having an attorney and dealing with problems promptly, landlords can save themselves thousands of dollars in lost rental income.” The attorney can additionally try to find ways to settle landlord and tenant disagreements in an amicable fashion to save everyone from having to go to court.
Make Customized Changes to the Lease
Many landlords opt for standard leases that have prewritten clauses, but landlords shouldn’t be afraid to make certain changes that will benefit their best interests. The specific number of tenants and pets that are allowed to live in the residence can be added to the lease agreement. Landlords can also make changes to the due date for rent as well as parking and utilities agreements.
Remember that “A residential lease agreement is designed to limit your potential liability, and to explicitly define the duties and responsibilities of both you and your tenants, based on the laws of your state. A solid residential lease is an important part of protecting your rental property, so you’re free to focus on increasing the return on your investment.” It becomes an essential component to your business ensure that it does its job.
Any person who wishes to become a landlord should be aware of the responsibilities that are involved. Gaining the necessary knowledge beforehand can prevent certain problems from occurring in the future.