You’ve just invested in a great rental property, you are now a landlord! No one wants to be a bad landlord so we thought we would offer some tips to help you be the kind of landlord tenant’s love.
- Screen prospective clients
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to agree to rent to the first person who is interested if they don’t seem like a good tenant. You may be better off waiting until a reliable tenant comes along. It may be a good idea to interview potential renters and check references. If needed, you can also do a background/credit check on potential renters. Make sure to decide what types of tenants you want to avoid (party animals, pets, late payers).
- Do a walk through with the tenant
Once you pick a tenant before they move in, do a walkthrough of the house/apartment with them. Make sure to establish any issues or defects to the property upon move-in so the renter is more comfortable knowing they won’t be blamed for damage that was already there before they move in.
- Make your expectations known before the move in date
Let your future tenant know the ground rules up front so there are no issues down the road. Make sure they know when you expect the rent to be paid, how you expect the residence to be maintained as well as any other requests (such as quiet hours or limits on guests). Establish what the consequences are for breaking these ground rules, and how severe they will be for specific infractions.
- Stay on top of repairs
Don’t be the landlord that never repairs anything. Do your best to prevent problems before they happen. Make sure to take care of basic maintenance on boilers, appliances, and sidewalks/driveways to avoid costly issues. If you aren’t able to be there in a timely fashion or don’t want to be the one called at 3 AM when a pipe burst, hire a property manager.
- Be Courteous
The best type of landlord is one who responds to requests and is easy to deal with. A little bit of courtesy goes a long way with a tenant. Select a mode of communication that works best for you and your tenants, whether it is phone, email, or text message, and respond to calls/messages in a timely fashion.
- Be calm when handling disputes
If there is an issue with a tenant, remain calm and try and take the time to talk it out with them. If the dispute is only getting worse by trying to talk it out, it may be time to get other parties involved.
Mistakes to Avoid as a Landlord
As a landlord, most likely you’re going to need to take out a mortgage on the property you will be renting out. You will need to make many of the same considerations that you would if you were taking out the mortgage on a property for yourself. Here are a few mortgage mistakes to avoid:
- Not putting enough money down: Just like when purchasing a home for yourself, it is recommended to put at least 20% down on the rental property you are looking to purchase.
- Forgetting there are costs other than your mortgage associated with rentals: Remember, there are other costs associated with homeownership, rental or personal. You will have the expense of your mortgage, repairs, and more.
- You want to be able to charge enough to cover your mortgage and your expenses, all while being able to make an income on top of that. If your mortgage is higher than or equal to the amount you are charging for rent each month, you will be losing money constantly on being a landlord.
At Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan, we are here to help you with any questions in the purchase of a rental property. We invite you to call our commercial loan department for commercial properties or residential properties with more than 4 rental units. If you are interested in a residential property with less than 4 rental units, please call our residential loan department. Both departments can be reached at 845-895-2051.