• When screening potential tenants, consider interviewing, checking references and credit scores, and verifying employment.
• Set clear expectations in writing by creating a comprehensive lease agreement that outlines rental terms and conditions.
• Keep up with maintenance and repairs by setting up a maintenance routine and responding quickly to any repairs requested by the tenant.
• Hire a property manager to help with tenant screening, repairs, rent collection, and more.
As a property owner, managing your tenants is a challenging task. There are plenty of things to consider, from selecting the right renters to keeping up with maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, if you don’t do it right, it can lead to headaches. Here are some tips to help you manage your tenants the right way.
Screen Your Tenants Carefully
Choosing the wrong tenant can be one of the biggest mistakes you make as a property owner. To avoid this, always screen your potential tenants carefully. To do this, you can do the following:
This is one of the most important ways to get to know potential tenants, so take the time to ask questions and interact with them. Meet with them in person and ask questions to learn more about their lifestyle, financial situation, and history as a tenant.
Check References & Credit Score
Verify former landlords’ references and credit scores. A credit score of 620 or above is generally considered a safe bet. However, you should still check for criminal records, especially if renting out to families with children.
Employment verification is one of the best ways to ensure tenants can pay their rent on time. Get proof that they have a steady job and income to guarantee you won’t be stuck with deadbeat tenants.
Set Clear Expectations from Day One
Ensure all expectations are set from day one, so there won’t be any confusion later. Lay out all rules in writing so that both parties understand them clearly, such as when rent is due, how often rent should be paid in advance, when quiet hours start at night, etc. The more clear-cut these expectations are from the beginning, the less likely it is that issues will arise further down the road. Here are ways to navigate this:
Create a Comprehensive Lease Agreement
As the property owner, it’s your responsibility to create an ironclad lease agreement that covers all costs and expectations. Draft a thorough document outlining rental terms and conditions, such as length of tenancy, rent amount, security deposit amount, late fees charges, maintenance policies, etc. Be sure to include all necessary information to protect both parties.
Enforce Your Rules
It’s important to enforce your rules consistently and fairly for all tenants. This will demonstrate that you are serious about upholding your agreements, making tenants less likely to break the rules or push back against them.
Create a Rental Agreement
Creating a clear and comprehensive rental agreement is vital when managing your tenants. This document should clearly outline the rental terms, including rent amounts, security deposits, expectations around tenant behavior, repair responsibilities, and more. Ensuring both parties sign this agreement is the best way to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings later on.
Keep Up With Maintenance and Repairs
Don’t forget about regular maintenance and repairs! This should go without saying, but unfortunately, many property owners overlook this important step in managing their tenants properly. Here are some tips on how to keep up with these regularly:
Set Up a Maintenance Routine
Developing and sticking to a maintenance routine is key for successful tenant management. Make sure all necessary repairs are done on time and create a schedule for any regular maintenance tasks. This will help keep your property in good condition so it can be rented out again.
Respond Quickly to Repairs
Don’t procrastinate when it comes to repairs. If a tenant informs you of an issue, take care of it immediately. This will show that you take your role seriously and are willing to keep your tenants safe and comfortable.
Hire a Property Manager
If keeping up with all the tasks involved in managing tenants is hard, consider hiring a property manager. This can help alleviate some of the stress and responsibility of being a landlord. Here are the property management services they can offer:
- Tenant screening
- Rental property maintenance and repairs
- Collecting rent payments
- Dispute resolution
- Lease negotiations
Since they will be overseeing your rental property, also screen them carefully to ensure they’re qualified and trustworthy. The services of a property manager are invaluable, so use them to help you manage your tenants the right way.
Managing your tenants doesn’t have to be a hassle. Resources are always available for you if you need help with tenant issues. By following these tips, you can ensure that your tenants are happy and that your rental property is always in great condition.