What it takes to become the “perfect landlord”
Unfortunately, many landlords face a whole host of problems when renting out properties to tenants. This can include anything from late rent payments, high tenant turnover rates, and evictions to legal issues.
With so many pitfalls, is it still really possible to become the perfect landlord?
OK, it’s a tough ask for landlords to be perfect; however, it is doable. Becoming a good landlord – one who cares and meets the demands for his or her tenants – is achievable. Building up a great relationship with tenants is the key to being a successful landlord.
To help you in this quest, here are some useful tips to follow.
1. Treat your property rental(s) like a business.
Many landlords make the mistake of not treating their property rental portfolio like a business. Some simply don’t see their business as a business, but tend to treat their investment almost like a hobby. Ask yourself these questions:
- “Has a lawyer reviewed the lease?”
- “Have I got everything documented?”
- “Have I got move-in/move-out inspections organised?”
- “Have I had potential tenants vetted?”
- “What systems do I have in place to manage maintenance requests?”
- “Am I setting aside around 10% of income for rental repairs?”
These are examples of just a few questions you should ask yourself in becoming the perfect landlord.
2. Get help
When things get a little tough, get help from the professionals. Make sure you have good working relationships with fully qualified maintenance teams, letting agents and solicitors.
Whether it’s the phone number of a plumber, a bailiff to deal with evictions, or a letting agent to advertise your property, professionals can make all the difference.
3. Screen out bad tenants
One of the golden rules of being a good landlord is making sure your tenant’s income is at least 3x the cost of the monthly rent. Letting out a property to the wrong person can lead to late rent, trashed homes and costly evictions.
It’s imperative to run a credit and background check on any potential tenant or tenants. Ask for referrals from previous landlords and always avoid tenants with past evictions. Don’t run your business on emotion; it’s an error many landlords make.
For guidance and advice, check out Fair Housing laws which can be found online.
4. Keep your tenants happy
As a landlord, nobody is saying you have to like your tenants, but do treat them with respect.
Tenants want to be treated fairly and seen as equal human beings. Just because you own a rental property doesn’t make you a better person. Keep your tenants happy, fix repairs promptly, and keep the property in good shape. You’ll see less tenant turnover and more cash flow. At the end of the day, it’s a lot cheaper to retain a tenant than having to find a new one. That said, never allow personal feelings to get in the way of a business relationship.
So, there we have it, a brief guide on what it takes to become a perfect landlord.