No matter what your goals are in 2020 personally or as an independent landlord, a few DIY tips and hacks can help your rental properties and business save money this year. You should always look for ways to maximize your profitability, and to get the best ROI on your property investment, you need to be sure to invest in trustworthy and reliable tenants, organization and education. Starting these habits in the first quarter of the year will allow you to look back at the end and see the progress and dollars saved. Without further ado, here are my top eight tips landlords can use to save money:
1. Screen your tenants.
This cannot be stressed enough — protecting your properties, and therefore saving money in the future, starts with finding the right tenant. You don’t want to cut corners on the screening process because it can cost you in the long run with evictions, vacancies and damage to your property. Make sure you’ve checked the applicant’s credit history, criminal background and eviction history to know who will be living in your properties.
2. Always fill out condition reports.
Filling out condition reports when a tenant moves in and moves out will ensure you know the full status of your rental property before and after their time there. Schedule walk-throughs with your new tenants and even complete the condition report with them present so there are no surprises at move-out. The reports and walk-throughs will help you back up any security deposit deductions.
3. Keep up with small maintenance.
Small maintenance tasks should be taken care of as soon as possible to maintain safety in rental properties and protect you from liability. It will also save you from things turning into more significant, more expensive problems later on. For example, fixing loose gutters, broken or falling tree branches, stains in the carpet or loose drawers are all easy fixes to help.
4. Conduct routine inspections of the property.
Conducting routine inspections of your rental property enables you to keep up on small issues or things that need to be fixed. You can also see how your tenant is treating your property and if they are violating anything in the lease. You don’t want to be overbearing, so inspections every six months are recommended.
5. Include landscaping costs in rent.
This is especially important for houses as landscaping is a part of the whole package to help fill vacancies. Don’t leave the landscaping to the tenants who might neglect the yard, but instead, build the costs for landscaping into the rent to either hire professional help or complete tasks like mowing or gardening on your own.
6. Know your tax advantages.
With tax season rolling around soon, don’t miss out on any of the deductions for landlords. When you maximize the deductions you qualify for, you can increase profits for the year and ease your tax burden. Stay educated on what you qualify for and make sure you know how to handle your taxes and rental properties properly.
7. Consider extended leases.
Extended leases are an excellent option for reducing turnover. If you screen your tenants beforehand, you will have no problem finding and keeping the perfect one for your property, and once you do, extending the lease is a great way to keep them in your rental and reduce turnover costs.
8. Utilize technology.
Technology can be your best friend as a landlord. It will keep you more organized and help streamline your rental process. Having piles of paperwork that include applications, forms and leases can cost money and be a liability if there is sensitive information on certain documents. Marketing costs, such as flyers, can also be a hassle, so moving the entire process online will save you time and money while also making your life easier.
It’s never too late or too early to adopt a saving mentality. By incorporating any or all of these tips, your landlord business will thrive in no time.