There are some problems that most property owners will have from time to time when investing in rental property. Sometimes you will need to evict a tenant, vacancies can occur and sometimes the rents will be late. Having good management skills will help keep these to a minimum.
Below are some guidelines you can use to help alleviate some of the most frequent problems associated with property management.
1. Getting a high quality tenant should be the top priority to forestall some headaches down the road. Screen your tenants. Have prospective tenants fill out a rental application. The rental application will have information about their occupation, how long employed, income, vehicles, personal references and previous landlords. If they do not want to complete a rental application, then they are probably not the type of renter you are looking for.
2. It is a good idea to obtain a credit report on the applicant also. This will tell you about their monthly debt, late payments, history of non-payment and unpaid debts.
3. Document all transactions and agreements such as the rental/lease agreement, logs of payments received, security deposits and all repairs done to the property.
4. Payment methods need to be set up that will make it easy for the tenants to pay. The monthly rent can be drawn from their bank account automatically, which is the best method to use if possible. If they will be mailing their payments in, you should have a P.O. box as this will shield your personal address and will also be a business expense.
5. Have a high late payment fee to encourage timely monthly payments. Always enforce the late payment fee. Don’t accept their payment if they do not include the late fee. This will discourage them from setting a pattern of being late.
6. Having several repair people that can make repairs quickly and professionally will make the management of your properties much more efficient. You don’t have to keep them on retainer but try to build long term relationships that will be beneficial to both you and them.
These guidelines can help you in developing good property management skills that both you and your tenants will benefit from. If you start out right you will have a smoother road ahead and avoid some of the pitfalls that some landlords face when dealing with rental property.