Buying a piece of property and fixing it up is an admirable project. So is renting out the space to potential tenants. Before you think you’ve gotten yourself a trouble-free moneymaker, consider the following five things nobody tells you about being a landlord. You’ll need to prepare for a flurry of issues that can crop up over the years, which can cost you time, money, and patience. Don’t despair! Every issue has a solution.
This one should be a no-brainer. If you don’t have tenants, you don’t have funds to pay for property upkeep and more. A vacant property may appear less attractive to potential applicants. From another angle, high tenant turnover can affect your income as you look for and screen tenants, pay for background checks, and help them get settled. Have a plan in place for times when your building has vacancies.
Whether you operate a single-tenant property or manage multiple units, you need to provide mailboxes that are safe and secure and follow United States Postal Service regulations. Once installed, they become the property of the USPS, and you are not allowed to access tenants’ mail. Everyone in the United States is entitled to receive their mail, so landlords need to know USPS mailbox requirements for their residents.
Entering an Apartment Without Notice
You may own the place, but that doesn’t mean you can enter a person’s rented home whenever you like. Most jurisdictions require the landlord to alert the tenant to the need to enter the domicile, usually with a 24-hour notice, between normal business hours, and with good reason. Reasons include a need to make repairs, do required inspections, and show the property. If the request is reasonable, the tenant can’t refuse. A polite request is the best way to handle the situation.
Following Insurance Requirements
Insurance can protect you against occasional issues that crop up with property ownership and tenancy. Talk to your insurer about coverage for potential damage, legal fees, and healthcare issues in the event of accidents, disasters, or tenant issues.
Wearing Many Hats
Another thing nobody tells you about being a landlord is pretty important: You can’t sit back and let the rent roll in. Unless you hire a building manager and other staff members to maintain and oversee the property, you’ll be the one making repairs, mowing the lawn, collecting rent, keeping records of all payments, and dealing with troublesome tenants. Be sure it’s a job, or rather jobs, you want before committing!