Managing your rental property may not be your primary job, but it is still a business and a source of extra income. It’s important to remain professional with your tenants, keep your finances intact, and perform a thorough tenant screening prior to renter move in.
In order to conduct good business, you need to comply with federal, state, and local laws. It’s important to make sure your business follows all necessary laws in order to maintain a positive reputation and avoid potential legal problems. Real estate and rental investments often come with regulations, so be sure to take the time to conduct research and understand all federal and state specific laws before plunging in.
It’s also important to protect yourself from potential accidents or liability claims: one way to do so is by purchasing landlord insurance. If an unfortunate situation arises, like a pipe bursts or theft occurs, landlord insurance can protect you from bearing the loss. This means you won’t have to pay thousands of dollars if a tenant should sue you.
Conducting good business also means preventing problems before they happen. The best way to avoid problems is to keep your unit and building in good condition.
Before renting to tenants, double check that your rental property is a safe place to live. It’s worthwhile to spend money to make sure everything is up-to-code and all utilities work. For example:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Make sure all vents are free of buildup (debris, moisture, etc.)
- Check internal and external pipes for combustion
Once you have tenants living in your unit, you should have a plan as to how you will fix dangerous problems immediately. For example, how will you fix the furnace if it breaks, or help a tenant who locks himself out? The best way to prepare for problems like these is to have a plumber, locksmith, and contractor on call.
Being professional, keeping your finances in mind, following your city and state’s laws, protecting yourself from liability, and preventing tenant problems are the best ways to manage a good rental property business.