Stars And Stripes Real Estate Blog

Lessons for a First-Time Landlord

Uncle Sam - Thursday, August 15, 2019

Some people work for years to own rental properties while others find they’ve become landlords because of getting transferred with their job or a host of other reasons. Regardless of how you found yourself with a rental property, there are some things every new landlord should know. When you follow these guidelines, you’ll be better equipped to make money, ease your worry, and protect your investment.


Know the Law


Laws regarding renting can vary from city to city and state to state. However, there are federal laws all landlords must abide by. Before you consider renting your property out, make sure you know what the laws are so you can protect yourself and prevent potential lawsuits.


Screen the Tenants


As much as you’d like to rely on your gut instinct, this is one time you want some information to back up any feelings you might have about a potential renter. Always do a credit check to make sure they pay their bills on time. Also, do an employment check to ensure they are still employed. If they are renting a property that’s near you, take a few minutes to drive by and see what the place looks like. If they have overturned garbage cans, broken windows, or toys scattered about the yard, it’s a pretty good indication of what you can expect to see at your property if you rent to them.


Start Off on the Right Foot


Good property management includes having a solid contract in place before opening your property to renters. A good contract will cover all the necessary details and will be an important backup in case you need to go to court. Establish what you expect from the renter and what they can expect from you. For example, if you give the impression that paying rent is simply expected you may not get it on time. Give clear expectations as far as the due date, how late you will accept a payment without penalty, and how much of a late fee you charge if the payment isn’t on time. Regardless of how much you may like the renter, this is a business transaction and needs to be treated as such.


Do Not Allow Cats


While you might want to consider not allowing any pets, cats tend to do the most damage. This is because of how a cat’s body processes water. Cats typically drink less frequently than other animals which results in a higher concentrated urine, leading to the strong smell. As a result of the strong concentration, the smell of cat urine can permeate a home and cause thousands of dollars of damage – especially when the urine soaks beneath carpet into the sub-flooring.


See for Yourself


It’s reasonable to require an inspection of your property at least once per year. This can help you make sure your property is being taken care of and that everything is in good working order. Yearly inspections can alert you of items that may need to be replaced in the future.


Being a Landlord Isn’t for Everyone


If you’re interested in renting your property without the hassle of being a landlord, consider using Stars & Stripes Homes, Inc. They are up-to-date and knowledgeable about the market and can help you earn top dollar for your rental. Increase your ROI and allow you more time to do the things you’d rather be doing by letting dedicated professionals do the dirty work.


 

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