If you’ve been in the real estate business for long, you know that the work has only begun when the contract is signed. It’s an exciting moment to rent out a property, however the work doesn’t end there. Long after the contract is signed and the moving truck has left the property, you – as the landlord – still have work to do.
For example, if you leave a property for too long without checking in, you will regret it later. And if you don’t have a pre-established healthy relationship with your tenant, you will want to begin building one. Keeping a sharp eye on your properties will go a long way in ensuring your success as a real estate investor.
Here are three rules that you must follow when
renting out property:
1. Inspect all of your properties every single month.
Believe me – you don’t want too much time to pass without stopping in to see how your properties are holding up. If you wait too long, you may be asking for trouble.
Let your tenants know in writing that you will be visiting once a month. It’s a great idea to have them sign a part of the contract that allows you to inspect filters, as well as heating and cooling units on the same day each month.
If you stay up to date with this procedure, not only will you be keeping track of the property, but your tenants will know that you are invested in their living arrangements. This helps with communication, because you definitely want your tenants to let you know when and if something is broken.
Speaking of things being broken…
2. Make all necessary repairs as soon as possible.
You don’t live in the property, so it can be easy to let things break without fixing them. Out-of-sight means out-of-mind, right? And in addition to forgetting about the repairs, repairs can be costly and time-consuming.
But it’s essential to keep up with repairs – absolutely essential!
For one thing, fast high-quality repairs translate into happy tenants. If you have happy tenants, they will likely leave a positive review and stay in the property longer. Not only that, but making necessary repairs helps your property itself. After a tenant moves out, you will have less headache and faster turn-over.
So, even when keeping up with necessary repairs feels tedious and frustrating, know that you are making your job easier in the future – and you are already making progress with the next point.
3. Establish and maintain proper boundaries.
It is of the utmost importance to establish and maintain proper boundaries in your relationship to tenants. This is first and foremost a professional relationship, so it’s important to make sure all are tenants are being treated fairly and similarly.
Here are a few suggestions for boundaries with your tenants:
- Charge for any and all tenant damages – anything that the tenant does that costs money to repair, such as a spill on the carpet or a broken light fixture. Tenant damage should be part of the rent due, or it should come out of their security deposit. If the fees are not paid, then rent is not paid. That allows for eviction if necessary.
- Put in place a policy that protects against excessive use of utilities. Any time that the tenant’s usage of the provided utilities becomes excessive and exceeds x-amount per month, then the tenant is responsible for payment above this amount. Again, this should be considered additional rent due.
- If your contract outlines certain fees and responsibilities, follow through fairly with all tenants. Fines should be delivered with enough notice before rent is due, and should always be given through paper documentation. Never let a relationship with a tenant influence how you fine them for breaks, overages, or other issues.
Consider the above rules and ask yourself how well you are following them. Remember, all three of these rules are for your success and betterment, so it’s a good idea to begin implementing them as soon as possible.
Do you agree with the rules above? Would you add any rules to the list? Share with me in the comments!