Are you a new landlord? Managing a rental property can be a great investment strategy, but there are some things you should know about the rental business before you jump in. In this post, we’ll cover some tips that every new landlord should know.
Establish a Screening Process
First things first: You need to ensure your rental units are occupied by reliable tenants. A screening process with a credit screening and background check can weed out individuals who might not be the most stable renters.
Require a Written Rental Agreement
A written rental agreement communicates the expectations of each party and establishes the basis for your rental contract. It should include the cost of rent, but it should also address any rules governing late payments, requirements related to pets and houseguests, maintenance protocols, and damage repairs.
A written agreement can be extremely valuable if you ever find yourself faced with litigation.
Keep Written Records
Keeping written records can help to establish missed or late payments, as well as proving that you have provided maintenance on time.
Require Renter’s Insurance
By requiring your tenants to purchase renter’s insurance, you can avoid a lawsuit if a tenant’s belongings are damaged.
Establish a Pet Policy
Landlords can largely make their own rules regarding pets. Some landlords prohibit pets entirely, while others allow pets provided that the tenant pays a pet deposit.
Additionally, some landlords place restrictions on the size and breed of dogs (e.g., pit bulls). Establishing and enforcing this policy can save you from property damage and other kinds of hassles.
Hire a Property Manager
Hiring a property manager can help you to avoid the stress of collecting payments, scheduling repairs, screening tenants, and the other burdens that often come along with managing a rental property.
This can be ideal if you manage property that’s geographically distant from where you live, but it can even be helpful for local property owners that want the benefit of an investment property without the day-to-day hassle of management.
Baltimore Property Management
Reliable Property Management provides reliable management services throughout the Baltimore area. If you’re interested in the many benefits that property management services can provide, contact the team at Reliable Property Management today.