|Steven Taylor of Taylor Equities - What a First Time Landlord Needs to Know|
Being a landlord can be a profitable and rewarding experience. As a landlord, you can build your wealth, utilize second properties you may already own, and run your own business. But, managing a property also requires extensive time and effort. Regardless if you are just leasing an extra property to a friend or family member, or running an entire apartment complex on your own, you need to be prepared. If you’re a first time landlord, take the time to thoroughly research the industry and you will be set up for success.
Here are five tips that first time landlords should keep in mind before renting out a property.
1. Examine your rental price range.
If you’re like most first time landlords, you’ve likely invested substantially into your property. You are also likely going to be dependent on the income the rent generates monthly in order to keep up with the mortgage. While your instinct may be to raise rents to increase your profits, you must first consider the rental market of your region. If you live in a popular area, you may be facing strong competition. As a first time landlord, you’ll want to ensure that your building is enticing to potential renters, while also keeping your expenses in mind.
2. Set clear expectations with tenants.
This may sound obvious, but you must make collecting rent on time a priority. Your property is your business, and without your primary source of revenue – rent – it will fail. Be clear about your expectations when your tenants move in so there isn’t any confusion on policy. Let your residents know the rental due date, as well as how many days the grace period is for payments that are late. If rent is paid beyond the grace period, it is important to enforce penalty payments. Be sure to screen all potential tenants before they move in. By checking their rental history, asking for references from past landlords, and running their credit, you can help ensure that you rent your units to responsible residents.
3. Prepare yourself for vacancies.
If you have loss-of-income insurance, you may be protected from vacancies during a disaster or other external damage to your property. But if you have vacant units simply due to low demand or high rents, you’ll be out of luck. Always have money saved that can be used to pay the mortgage on your property during times without tenants. If this is a frequent issue, it may be time to consider lowering the rent.
4. Become a master at record-keeping.
Owning a rental property can be helpful when tax season comes around. But to enjoy the tax benefits that come with being a landlord, you will need to have detailed expense records in order to defend your write-offs. These records will benefit you in other arenas as well – when you know where your money is going, you can accurately assess how your business is doing. Keeping detailed records of the conditions of your property, including damages, alterations, and other changing wear and tear, will help you in the long run. The key is to create good record-keeping systems, whether you track expenses and notes on your own, or use and online tracking program.
5. As a First Time Landlord, get help when you need it.
If you are overwhelmed by the work required to be a landlord, you may want to consider hiring a property manager. A property manager can take many responsibilities off your plate. Many first time landlords hire a property manager as they grow their portfolio and begin renting multiple properties. You should consider the cut to your profits, but also consider the time and energy you will save. If you can afford a property manager, you may be able to focus your time on other streams of income or expanding. – Steven Taylor, Taylor Equities
Article originally appeared https://steventaylorlandlord.com/what-a-first-time-landlord-needs-to-know/