In the property management world most tenants of rental properties are great. However, experienced landlords know the 80-20 rule which states, 80 percent of all renter issues are from 20 percent of tenants.
Being a good landlord requires plenty of learning to avoid creating even greater issues. Moreover, many landlords become burned-out dealing with the headaches of property management including high-demand, slow-pay renters. Therefore, we are sharing our top 8 property management tips for landlords and rental properties.
1. Complete Screening – Thoroughly vet prospective tenants. Scrutinize their credit history, call their references, and verify their work history. If you do not perform a thorough background check, you are only asking for trouble. Therefore, always use a written rental application and complete a screening.
2. Don’t Discriminate – The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination of certain protected classes: race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, or sex. Moreover, many localities have their own laws, sometimes adding protection for sexual orientation or gender identity. If you are rejecting an application, ensure you have documentation to prove the issue was credit, employment history, inadequate income, or other legal reason.
3. Use a Solid Lease Agreement – It does no matter if the agreement is a month-to-month or long-term, always use a written contract which identifies the rights and responsibilities of each party. Provide clear details about late payments, repair issues, and your complaint policy. This is important if you need to remove a tenant for not living up to their end of the deal.
4. Properly Handle Security Deposits – Use a fair method for handling security deposits. Document the property condition before a tenant moves into the property and when they leave, and properly document repairs to avoid disputes. Moreover, Colorado limits the time a landlord has to return a security deposit between 1 month to (with written agreement) 60 days.
5. Regularly Inspect Property – The fact is, as the owner of the property, you are likely responsible if an injury occurs because of property issue. Use a monthly smoke detector check as a reason to perform regular “health & safety inspections”. This allows you both to stay on top of needed property repairs and stay in tune with potential tenant behavior issues.
6. Handle Repairs Efficiently– Don’t create ill-will or give tenants a reason to withhold rent by ignoring repairs. You have a legal and moral obligation to maintain and repair your properties. Failing to do so can create hazards and/or legal liabilities.
7. Create Clear Policies – In addition to a well-written rental or lease agreement, have clear policies and provide a copy to your tenants. This will explain how you handle complaints and disputes. Additionally, tenants will understand their responsibilities, like not becoming an annoyance to neighbors.
8. Always Be Professional – Always maintain a professional attitude and demeanor. Never allow problems to get the better of you. If a tenant becomes an issue, have a system in place to deal with it and handle the problem quickly.
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like more property management tips for being a better Landlord and managing your rental properties, or need additional information, please contact us.