How to Be a Successful Landlord

By Mark Heppard

landlord helpWhen you invest in rental property, your objective is usually to make a profit.

To be a good property manager, there are several important things that you need to do, and guidelines that you should adhere to in order to be successful.

It is critical that you always check references. While this can be time consuming and will cost you some money, it can save you tremendous amounts of time and financial strain in the long run. Despite what you feel as your “gut instinct” when you first meet someone, always confirm the facts. A reference check can give you a significant information about a potential tenant before you enter into a rental arrangement.

Any arrangement that you have with a tenant should be in writing. Never fail to cover this step. This will not only protect your rights, but also the rights of the tenant. You should have everything covered, from a code of conduct to a formal application to any applicable addendums to the lease.

Having a secure property that is kept in good repair and kept clean is important. All landscaping, trees, bushes, etc. should be adequately trimmed. This will not only make the property more attractive to potential tenants, but it will be safer and more secure-which can get you better insurance liability rates and also be an incentive to higher quality tenants as it will be safer.

Hiring a property manager may be a consideration. Be sure to carefully interview any potential candidates, as this will be an important job. You should require a highly responsible and professional person to cover the duties for you.

Be sure that your insurance coverage is adequate. You can be found personally liable if there is an incident, and your own home and other assets will be at risk if you do not have proper coverage.

Never put off repairs for too long. Part of investing in rental property involves having to pay for routine maintenance and repairs. Allowing your property to enter into a state of disrepair is irresponsible as well as dangerous. Your property will suffer, you will be less able to attract quality tenants, and you may leave the property susceptible to further repair problems if the situation worsens (e.g., water leaks, electrical hazards, etc.)

Know all related regulations for your area before you rent your property. Review the Fair Housing Administration Act, and follow their precise regulations to the letter in order to prevent housing discrimination. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to clarify or help you obtain the proper paperwork and forms that you may need.

Lastly, never violate the privacy of your tenants. Follow all state and local regulations regarding how much notice you must provide to your tenants before you enter their residence. Although you own the property, there are specific laws and regulations you must follow regarding this activity, to avoid any potential legal problems as a landlord or property manager.

J. Mark Heppard is a licensed real estate broker and owns a property management company based in Michigan. Mutual Property Management is dedicated to offering excellent service to their tenants and property owners. Visit the website to claim your free property management updates, information, and resources at
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