Tips for a New Landlord
Being a landlord can be tricky. There are many laws to follow, finances to manage and the to-do list is never ending; but if you handle your rental properties like a well-run business, being a landlord can be a rewarding investment. Whether you rent out residential dwellings or commercial properties, these landlord tips and tricks can be helpful for someone just getting started.
What does a first-time landlord need to know?
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Know the Law; Follow the Law.
Study up on local, state, and federal laws, and make sure your property is always in compliance with building codes. Plenty of online resources, such as www.landlordology.com, are available to help you understand the legal side of renting out your property.
You’ll need to spend a lot of time gathering important documents and creating forms such as rental applications, leases, disclosures, etc. Do not cut corners on documentation. A lot of paperwork can be processed online, but keep copies on an external hard drive you regularly back up. Also, make extra copies of any paper files and store them in a safe place should you ever need them.
Rent to Tenants Cautiously.
A property is only as good as its tenants. Responsible tenants will take care of your property like it’s their own. Evicting tenants takes time and money, which will cut into your profits. Choosing tenants wisely may prevent several headaches down the road.
Make Rent A Priority.
As your only source of revenue, landlords must receive consistent and on-time rent payments to be successful. Make it convenient for your tenants to pay you, such as offering online payment options. Sometimes it’s necessary to give some grace to a quality tenant, but be firm that communication from them is a must. If necessary, charge a late payment fee.
Have the Right Insurance Coverage.
You need insurance to protect you from financial loss should your business or property experience damage. For commercial property owners, consider coverages such as lessors risk insurance or commercial general liability insurance. If you’re a residential landlord, you may need a rental dwellings insurance policy that includes protection for property and liability but not for contents.
Our Alfa® agents can explain our coverages and limitations and guide you in choosing the best coverage. Contact your local agent today for a free quote on your rental properties, and feel secure knowing your business is protected.