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3 Tips for First-Time Landlords

Are you thinking about renting out a property for the first time? As a landlord there are a few important things that you need to know before you get started.

Becoming a landlord is a big financial commitment, but the potential rewards are almost always worth the work that you will need to put in. So, let us discover 3 tipsthat can help you to get your real estate rental journey off to the best possible start.

Partner with a Property Management Company

Although there are plenty of landlords out there that manage properties on their own, if you are new to the world of real estate, then hiring a property manager might be useful. Property management companies deal directly with prospects and tenants and carry out duties such as marketing your rental property, collecting rent, handling maintenance or repair issues, responding to complaints, and pursuing evictions. Above all, if you want peace of mind that your property is in safe hands, then a property manager can use their knowledge and expertise to ensure that the administrative side of your investment is taken care of.

Hiring a property management company has plenty of additional perks. For example, if you own more than one property or rental unit, or if you do not live near your rental properties, handling issues from afar is not always easy. Consequently, you might not want to deal with the hands-on aspects of managing a property, and this is where outsourcing the management of your property to a property management service can prove to be advantageous. Provided that you can find a property manager that is honest and transparent and has similar end goals and values to your own ambitions, then your chances of encountering any issues are greatly reduced.  

Always Screen Your Tenants

It might seem intuitive, but screening your tenants is vital. Finding tenants can take a lot of time. Advertising the vacancy, carrying out viewings, referencing, andeven establishing whether your prospective tenant has the legal right to rent can seem like a complex process. Moreover, as a landlord you need to make a number of checks to ensure that your potential new tenants will be able to meet their monthly rent payments. As part of the screening process, you can conduct checks for credit eligibility and employment status, and you can also ask for references from previous landlords. 

The ideal tenant for your property should be able to pay their rent on time, remain committed to keeping the property in a good condition, and should also want to stay for a medium to long term period of time. Finding the perfect tenant ensures that you can receive a constant cash flow, and low maintenance bills, without encountering any voids. Correspondingly, before you accept a tenant you should try to get a clear overview about who might be moving into your property. If you do not screen your tenants correctly, not only might you end up with a bad tenant, but there is a chance that you could get into trouble with the law if it is discoveredthat your tenant has been living in the country illegally. 

Property Maintenance is Key

At the very start of your agreement with your tenants it is important to establish a line of communication regarding maintenance of the property. Be clear about how best your tenants can reach you and state how long they can expect to wait for a response from you regarding any basic repairs or more urgent issues. Poor maintenance is one of the biggest complains that tenants have about landlords, so respond to any queries or complaints as soon as possible, and try to keep on top of any repairs or replacements.

Similarly, it can be beneficial to carry out periodical checks of the property to assess any areas that require attention. Although the property belongs to you, it is still advisable to ask your tenant for permission to enter to carry out any inspections. As a general rule, always try to give 24-48 hours of notice in writing. The frequency of any routine inspections should also be stipulated in the tenancy agreement. As a first-time landlord, planning is fundamental, and by staying on top of the general maintenance of your property, you are more likely to have an enjoyable rental experience. 

Ultimately, it is a combination of factors that will determine whether your experience as a first-time landlord is a success. Once you establish yourself as a real estate professional then you might feel more confident taking on the bulk of your newfound responsibilities. However, while you are a newcomer, you should not be afraid to reach out to a team of property management experts for support.

Investing in property can be fantastic for both your professional and financial development. For more information about investing in real estate, check out this guide that explains why property is a good investment opportunity.

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