Owning your apartment and earning passive income through it is a common dream many have. However, many fail to realize that being a landlord in itself also entails a set of responsibilities you need to accomplish. Here are six of the most important responsibilities a landlord has and why you should consider them before becoming a landlord.
Ensure a Warranty of Habitability
One of the first things a prospective tenant will look at in a rental is its habitability. Is it safe to live in, is it comfortable, are there no pests, and is it in a peaceful and quiet neighborhood? These questions are what tenants generally think about, and so should the landlord.
In between tenants, a landlord should maintain a unit and inspect the entire place for possible upkeep and repairs. For example, broken windows must be fixed as it poses a safety hazard. Deep cleaning is also on the list, so hiring a carpet cleaning service and other cleaning assistance services is needed.
Attracting Potential Renters and Tenants
Of course, having your own property isn’t enough. You won’t have tenants if people don’t know you’re renting your property in the first place. Part of a landlord’s responsibility is to ensure that your property has potential clients always. Vacancies should always be advertised on all potential real estate listings you can put on.
Make your listing thorough and descriptive, with detailed photos. This will attract tenants, especially ones looking for a specific property. Ensure your property is always clean and ready for viewing to increase the chances of closing a deal as soon as possible.
Screening and Choosing Your Tenants
In a perfect world, you won’t have to screen your tenants. But in reality, you can’t just accept anyone you come across. Inevitably, there will be good tenants, and there will be bad ones as well. While there isn’t exactly the best way to screen potential tenants, there are ways that help guarantee that you get reliable ones.
Matters like race or skin color, religion, gender or sex, or national origin shouldn’t be something that affects your decisions. Instead, look at their credit history. This will determine whether they will be able to meet your payment dates consistently. Another matter to look at is their rental history. If possible, consider talking to their previous landlords to see whether they have problem behaviors or not.
Maintenance, Repairs, and Renovations
One of the most important aspects of being a landlord is keeping your property habitable and safe for use. Of course, this responsibility includes repairing any broken parts of the property, maintaining the cleanliness and safety, and updating any equipment or facilities that need updating (like laundry, elevators, etc.).
This is perhaps the most difficult part of being a landlord: being involved in manual matters like going around, doing routine maintenance to ensure that the property is in good shape. Whenever repairs, renovation, or upgrades are needed, a landlord must always be available to address them- which means that you need to have access to a network of reliable and dependable plumbers, electricians, and other kinds of handymen.
Keep Common Areas Safe
Renting your property also includes keeping your property safe. It’s not just about handing the keys to your tenant and then calling it a day- no, it’s about providing a safe place for your tenants to reside in.
Your first order of business is to always change locks whenever a tenant moves out. This guarantees that the next tenant won’t have to worry about someone gaining access to their unit. Don’t allow unsupervised outsides to roam around your property, too, as this might raise suspicions of robbery or theft. Keeping the standard fare of safety detection devices like a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detectors, and motion sensors up and working is also part of a landlord’s job.
More importantly, if your property is a multi-unit property, make sure that the tenants are safe with the others renting. This is why screening potential tenants is important, as you don’t want problems to arise when inadvertently allowing those with malicious intent to reside in your property.
Managing and Maintaining Finances
According to your locale’s regulations, keeping the tenant’s security deposit is also a part of the legal responsibilities of a landlord. Different locations often have different rules and regulations, so finding out which one applies to your area is important.
Besides this, managing your property’s budget to make sure there’s enough for repairs, upgrades, and renovation is also crucial. The money you earn shouldn’t just go straight to your coffers but should also be put back into keeping the property in good shape, both to satisfy current tenants and attract newer ones in the future.