How to Be a More Effective Landlord

At a basic level, being a good landlord requires maintaining your property in good repair and fostering a positive relationship with your tenants. The happier your tenants, the longer they’ll stay, and that means fewer vacancies and more income for you. Here are some tips to make this positive outcome your reality.

1. Hire a property management company

Being a landlord takes hard work, but you can pass your landlord duties into a professional if it’s not your cup of tea. The benefits of doing so are plenty. For example, property managers ensure quality repairs are made to your property and they’ll handle all tenant communications, including screenings, lease signing, rent collection, and serving notices.

Property managers are experts when it comes to fostering great relationships with tenants, and you’ll benefit greatly from their experience and skill.

2. Disclose required information to tenants

If your state has laws on the books requiring you to make certain disclosures to tenants regarding things like asbestos and mold, don’t skip this step. Complying with your legal responsibilities is not just good protection for you, but it also makes your tenants feel like your relationship is more transparent.

By not disclosing things like mold and asbestos, your tenants may find out the hard way that it’s present in their dwelling unit and they might be really upset. Even if you aren’t legally required to disclose the information, if it’s something you can see a tenant getting mad about when they find out, tell them ahead of time.

3. Make regular rental rate evaluations

Sometimes landlords end up charging less than fair market rent because they aren’t keeping up with the data. It can go the other way, too. You might be charging rent that is too high compared to the local competition.

When you regularly assess the rental market, you’ll know if you need to raise the rent or come down a bit. If you’ve been struggling to rent a property, for example, it might be because you’re asking for too much in rent.

4. Be reasonable

Reasonable landlords have happier tenants. Don’t be petty with your lease agreements or how you interact with your tenants. For example, if a tenant wants to hang a bird feeder on their porch, it’s not worth creating an issue even if your lease says they can’t hang things from the porch. A bird feeder won’t damage your property and it’s going to help the birds in the area. If your tenant starts hanging a collection of plants and decorations, however, you may want to intervene.

5. Schedule your property inspections

Most tenants feel better when they know a property inspection is being scheduled as far in advance as possible. Knowing the time and date gives them the chance to rearrange furniture and clean up a bit to make it easier for the inspector to do their job.

While the law may say you only need to give tenants short notice, once you schedule the inspector, tell your tenant right away. You might not have much advance notice, and that’s okay as long as you don’t wait until the last minute to inform your tenant.

6. Address serious issues fast

Nothing will make your tenants dislike you more than ignoring or putting off resolving serious issues. Things like a roof leak, a broken pipe, a broken heater, or sewage backup are all considered emergency repairs and in most states, you only have 24 hours to begin moving on the repair.

If you leave your tenants without heat, hot water, running water, or a usable toilet, they’re not going to be happy. Tenants facing these situations tend to either move out, withhold rent, or file lawsuits against their landlords. Sometimes they damage the property in retaliation.

Make sure you address every issue your tenants bring up as quickly as possible.

7. Be accessible

Landlords need to be accessible to their tenants. You don’t have to be on call, but you do need to be reachable when your tenants need something. Whether you connect through email, text, or phone calls, your tenants need a direct line to report problems and ask for help.

Make decisions in your best interests

Although it’s important to make your tenants happy, never sacrifice your own best interests if possible. For example, don’t placate a tenant who is upset about a rent increase by backing off of the change. You’re going to lose money because your property taxes are going to continue increasing over time.

Know when to be accommodating and when to say no to your tenants. You became an investor to make money, and to realize that goal you need to prioritize your interests.

Home Base Project Team
Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.