Not everyone that ends up being a landlord set out to become one. People often become accidental landlords because of a life event such as moving for a job and having difficulty selling a house. According to a 2013 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, more than 3 million owner-occupied homes were converted to rental properties between 2007 and 2011. More and more people are becoming landlords but may not know how to perform in the role. Here are a few things to consider:
Offer a Good Property
If you are renting a property to a tenant, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned and is as safe as possible. Make sure the apartment is up to code, with the proper number of fire alarms and emergency escape paths.
Before you let the tenant occupy the property, take pictures throughout. These may come in handy if you need proof that the tenant damaged something and needs to replace it. It is also a good idea to have tenants sign a “move in” document agreeing to the state of the property. With this agreement, any subsequent damage will be their responsibility.
Price It Right
Consider your rental price point carefully. You will want to research the area and price your home in line with comparables. You also want to ensure your rental price can cover the expenses associated with the property. Consider turnover, too. It may be more beneficial financially to set your rent slightly lower but maintain a consistent renter as opposed to the property standing periodically vacant.
Find The Right Tenant
One of the most important things you can do is select the right tenant for your space. Particularly if your need for a tenant is temporary or unexpected, find one who will not damage the property and who will pay the rent on time. Meet applicants in person and really talk with them. If something does not seem right, do a little more research.
Screening an applicant goes beyond simply talking with the tenant. Talk with others to get a better picture of the potential tenant. While personal references are nice, anyone can get a friend to say something nice. Instead, talk with former landlords and employers who will be able to help you determine if the tenant is reliable and a good choice.
There are other tools that can help you find the right tenants. Consider conducting a background check to find reliable, honest tenants. Checkpoint Screening offers a wide range of background screening services including credit checks, criminal history checks, and application verifications. Use Checkpoint’s many screening services to find the best tenant for your property