Property investment is one of the well-known investments in the market nowadays. As an independent landlord, multifamily owner, or property manager, you might ask how to manage your property correctly. Managing your property will help you gain long-term benefits.
This article will give you tips on properly managing your property, specifically as an independent landlord, multifamily owner, and property manager.
Repairing the property will allow you to make it more presentable and secure for your tenants. You can install locks and other security systems to ensure that the people who access your property are only your tenants or their expected visitors.
Since tenants are looking for a perfect place to rest after their long day at work, a presentable apartment will give them the impression of an ideal home. This will also give them a sense of safety and security, giving them fewer worries about what will happen as they fall asleep in their rooms.
Aside from installing security systems, your repair can also include different amenities that you and your tenants can enjoy. Providing your tenants with the amenities they need in their daily routines can help you attract more active tenants and offer them the service they are looking for. Alongside repair is the maintenance of your property. Make sure that you can maintain your property, from the amenities to the corners of your property. Are there any cracks visible in the façade of your building? Is the door working properly? Is the security system up to date? Do your property need repaint or not? Are there any busted lightbulbs on your property? Are there occurring problems in your electric circuits? These simple questions can help you identify which part of your property will need maintenance and repair.
When buying a property, you might want to consider the location of your chosen property before buying it. Is it close to a school or offices in your city? Acquiring a property accessible to schools, parks, and offices, is the most sought apartment since these provide convenience to your tenants. Allowing them to quickly go to school or work and visit a park during their free day to unwind and relax.
2. Set Expectations
Upon repairing your property, set expectations. What are the things that you expect your tenants to do? What are the responsibilities you hope them to have? Will you allow pets inside your apartment? Would you allow visitors? If so, how many will be the maximum visitors of each tenant?
Setting your expectations to your tenants will help them identify their responsibility as a tenant on your property. It will also provide them the knowledge of what they should and should not do as they stay on your property. These agreements will also help your tenants understand why these rules are in your agreement or contract.
3. Screening your tenants
After setting your expectations for your tenants, the next thing to do is screen the tenants applying for your room or apartment rentals.
Screening your tenants will allow you to have responsible tenants under your building. You won’t have to worry about late payments and others with responsible tenants within your facility. Part of screening your tenants can include their minimum income, source of income, number of references required, past rental history, minimum credit score, and many more. You can ask for all your needed information to ensure that they can pay their monthly rent on time and the expenses not included in the rent fee.
It is also essential to call your tenants’ references to ensure that they can comply with the rules you’ve set. Having a one-on-one interview or conversation with them can also help you know them even better.
4. Reviewing and updating your Lease
It is a must to review and keep your Lease updated as you check your Lease; some factors must be updated or revised, such as the rental fee, the requirements of your tenants before renting a room in your building, etc.
Reviewing your lease will give you a deeper understanding of the agreement between you and your tenants. Your contract should contain the tenant’s minimum length of stay, the inclusions and exclusions of their rental fee, tenants’ duties and responsibilities while staying in your building, etc. The Lease should articulately contain these data to avoid confusion and further problems with your landlord-tenant relationship.
5. Rent Collection
Your most prominent duty is to collect your tenants’ rent as the landlord!
Every landlord uses a different method of rent collection. Some prefer getting checks dropped off or mailed to them; others opt to use electronic rent collection services and electronic wallets that provide convenience and ensure they get paid on time.
There are pros and cons to each method, but it’s always your decision which type is the most suitable for you. If you choose to use an online processing method for rent collection, keep in mind that there will be an additional fee involved, and it is ideal for working this fee into your rental price.
6. Raising rental fee
Due to increasing costs in your area, you may have to raise your rent. Raising the rent while you already have tenants in a property may seem impossible, but it may be necessary if they are long-term tenants who are planning to stay for many years.
To adequately address this issue with your tenants, you can have a private conversation with them where you can disclose the possibility of a rent increase and work with them to see if they will continue to stay in the property at the new rate or not.
7. Late fees
You should strictly enforce late fees for all late rental payments as a landlord. You should explain the late fee to your tenants so they won’t be surprised why you asked for an additional fee once they sent a late rental payment. Enforcing late fees will ensure that your tenant’s rental costs will be on time.
You must also articulately explain what will happen if their rental payment is regularly late. If one of your tenants is regularly late with their rental payments, talk to them and be sure that they are aware of the possibility of eviction when they continue to pay you late.
Tenants will come up with every excuse that causes their late payments, and it’s okay to be sympathetic to them and what they are going through. But when a tenant begins to pay their rent late regularly, it’s a sign that they may no longer be able to afford to stay on your property. Your late fee policy should be included and explained in the Lease that they signed. When giving them notice of late rental payment and fees, have the relevant section of the rental contract for their reference.
It might be hard for you to evict one of your tenants, but you cannot avoid situations where you must evict one of them due to specific reasons. New landlords might have no idea what to do in this type of situation; researching local laws regarding eviction is a must to ensure that you are following the proper procedure.
You must file for eviction and go through the court process. It might take time to get a ruling and proper eviction proceeding, but you must be patient to avoid further problems. Give your tenant notice before filing for eviction in court so that they are adequately aware that you are making a move about their eviction. Any attempt to evict the tenant without the proper proceeding, such as changing the locks or other personal action, can be considered a criminal offense.
Here are some of the steps you can do to save yourself from the trouble:
- Provide an official notice that includes how long they must fix the problem breaking their rental agreement.
- File for eviction with the court if the notice terms are not met.
- Do not accept any payment if you file for removal, as it can nullify the eviction process.
- Read local laws to be sure you don’t violate any rules.
- Hire a lawyer if the laws are confusing for you.
- Wait for the court ruling and the local sheriff to perform the actual eviction.
Being an independent landlord, multifamily owner, or property manager might be challenging due to the various aspects you must investigate to manage your property effectively. With this article, we hope that you have gathered enough information on effective and proper property management to save you from any types of trouble that you might encounter along the way.
About the author:
Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns both apartment complexes and mobile home communities and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.