Being a landlord is not always easy. Renting out a property comes with its difficulties, and this can affect the smooth management of your asset. If you do not screen your tenants well you may experience rent collection issues which directly impacts your revenue. Tenants might damage the property and refuse to foot the repair costs when necessary. If you appoint a property manager without conducting appropriate due diligence, you may end up losing value on your investment due to their slack performance. Lack of regular inspections might cause small damages to grow into significant problems that cost you dearly. Here are a few tips to help you ease your journey as you start your life as a landlord.
Property Visits and Floor Plans
Visiting your rental property is essential to keep it in excellent condition. When a new tenant moves, in you need to visit the property on moving day to ensure it goes smoothly. You should also schedule regular visits to check on the condition of the property in regards to cleanliness and safety. Be on the lookout for damage to the property during such visits to effect proper maintenance. Anything that you note during these visits warranting further scrutiny calls for your extra time and attention.
Note down any specific items that you need to document including taking photos or videos when necessary. You should keep a log of all these particulars for future reference. These particulars and more will go towards informing your floor plan of the property. It is necessary to create one as it is the best way to display the configuration of your property to any tenant (both current and potential). When advertising your property, a floor plan will help you screen inquiries to get better prospects. You will save time and costs related to tenant vetting and interviews.
Maintenance and Gas Certificates
Keeping your property in excellent occupational shape is necessary for you as a landlord. Regular inspections will ensure that you are on top of the different aspects of your property that call for maintenance from time to time. When inspecting check the roof for any loose or missing shingles, mold, piled up debris, etc. to prevent moisture collection in the roof which can lead to hefty repair costs down the road.
Check the gutters to find out if they are draining the water as required. Confirm that the downspouts are carrying the water away from the foundation to prevent cracks from forming in it. Assess the state of the windows frames for any cracks. Inspect the siding to check on its paint. Any peeling or blistering near the roof on the siding indicates a ventilation or moisture issue that you need to resolve.
Make sure the HVAC system is functioning properly and that your gas certificates are up to code. While having your gas certificates renewed annually is a legal requirement, it will protect both the tenant and you in case of any issues down the road. Remember to confirm the validity of the license for the gas safe engineer you hire to carry out the check.
Rent Collection, Rental Agreement, and Guarantee
Prompt and stress-free rent collection is the goal for every landlord. Draft a rental agreement with a tenant to lay out all the stipulations governing their stay. Working without an agreement exposes you to many legal risks. Ensure that it is a written one. Screen tenants well to avoid rent collection problems. Automate your collection to cut costs and make it efficient. List consequences for late rent and send reminders in advance. Consult an attorney to understand your legal obligations as a landlord to protect yourself better. Get rental guarantee to protect against no rent or late payments and any significant and unexpected repair costs.
Renting property can be complex, but there are ways to mitigate the problems for you. Assess the property portfolio you have at the end of every year and compare what you achieved against the goals you set out at the beginning. Scrutinize the variation between the projected and actual objectives to identify areas that need improving. Find out what valuable lessons you learned during the year and how they can help you attain your future rental targets to keep growing your portfolio.