Do’s and Don’ts for How to Be a Good Landlord

 

Whether you’re renting out a single property or you have a rental empire, being a good landlord will get you a higher caliber of tenant. Here’s how to make sure that you’re the best landlord on the block.

 

Dos:

Screen your tenants

Offer to refund any screening costs if the tenant signs a lease with you.

Understand the laws

Local laws around renting can vary; you need to know yours.

Customize your lease

Offering a customized lease can go a long way with the best tenants.

Walk them through the lease

It’s a good best practice to explain what each section means and why it’s in writing.

Help tenants get adjusted

Tell them where to walk the dog or pick up groceries.

Write a welcome letter

A good welcome letter will express thanks, offer gentle rule reminders, and provide contact details.

Stock the bathrooms

Tenants forget about toilet paper and shower curtains when moving; help them out!

Offer help with address changes

Just picking up some extra forms at the post office and having them on hand can be useful.

Make repairs quickly

The people living with the leaky faucets will appreciate it!

Respect privacy

This is your tenants’ home, so be mindful of their privacy.

Be compassionate

Life throws us all curveballs, and your tenants will appreciate your understanding.

Keep electronic copies

Everyone will appreciate your organization if you ever need to find them quickly.

Offer online services

Online bill pay and communications can be real perks for your tenants.

Reward your best tenants

We all like to be rewarded, and maybe your best tenants will stick around longer.

Be a businessperson

This means protecting your reputation by behaving professionally, always.

 

Don’ts:

Make new friends
It can be hard to maintain boundaries, but this is a business relationship.

Ignore lease guidelines
If you want your tenants to behave like adults, you also must respect the lease.

Dress like a slob

Nobody expects designer labels, but you still need to maintain professionalism.

Neglect the lawn

Curb appeal matters even after the property is rented.

Vanish into thin air

Maintain contact with your tenants (especially after they’ve just settled in).

Lose your cool
Tenants will jerk your chain occasionally, but don’t blow your top.

Be wishy-washy

Try to maintain consistency with the basics: when rent is due, how quickly you’ll respond, etc.

Play hard-to-find

When your tenants need you, they really need you! Make sure they can contact you.

Respond slowly
If a tenant reaches out to you, get back to them quickly.

Dismiss concerns
Tenants see more of your property than you can, so take their concerns seriously.

Be opaque
If you know of a change coming to the area or your property, don’t hide it.

Forget to budget for maintenance

Maintaining the property is your responsibility — not your tenant’s.

Ignore your online profile

Tenants, past and current, talk about you online. Do you know what they’re saying?

Be afraid to ask for help

Nobody can do everything, so get help with repairs or finances if you need it.

Fail to establish policies

Your tenants won’t know what’s expected of them if you don’t tell them! 


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