As a new year approaches, it is time to review leasing policies and strategies to maximize the profitability of your rental business.
Here are some landlord resolutions to consider:
1. Send delinquent rent files out for collection. Don’t allow tenants to get away with not paying rent. With Rent Recovery Service’s flat fee option, for a nominal fee landlords can send collection letters from a bona fide collection agency, and keep whatever money comes in.
2. Make sure to get emergency contact information from your tenants. If your rental application doesn’t provide for at least three personal references or emergency contacts, modify it going forward. This information becomes crucial for collecting delinquent rent money, should the need arise. And, it’s also useful if there’s an emergency.
3. Punch up your lease to make sure you can evict in the event of crime. Standard lease language may not give you all you need to get bad tenants out quickly — before they drive out the good ones.
4. Review your occupancy policies to avoid a discrimination suit. Protecting families with children is the latest mandate from HUD, so use best efforts to accommodate big families in small spaces.
5. Take advantage of all of the screening options AAOA has to offer, like the Nationwide Eviction and Nationwide Criminal reports, and the SSN Fraud report, to make 2013 the year of no bad tenants.
6. Go smoke-free and save on clean-up costs, reduce risks of fire, and attract quality tenants who are willing to pay more for non-smoking units.
7. Regularly maintain appliances to squeeze out every bit of life, and reduce the chance of emergency repairs which eat up the maintenance budget.
8. Participate in a Crime Free Multi-Housing Certification in your area. This training can reduce risks of liability and property damage, lower insurance rates, and attract good tenants.
9. Take some decent photos of your rental property after the next vacancy to use in your online ads.
10. Watch your reputation online and respond to any negative feedback that might scare away prospective renters. Set up Google Alerts with your name and the property name or address so you’ll know when someone out there posts information about you.
With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.