7 Mistakes to Avoid as a Landlord
Whether you are a new landlord or you are well-seasoned in the industry, there are some things that you may be doing that could potentially cause you some strife. And, let’s face it – no one wants that. To save yourself any hassle and frustration, you will want to avoid making these 7 mistakes.
1. Discrimination and lack of knowledge of the law.
Know the law. Discriminating against potential tenants can leave you in a world of trouble with the Fair Housing Act. You cannot refuse to rent to anyone based on race, religion, gender, marital status, or disability. Learn the law.
2. Assuming you won’t have a vacancy.
Never assume you will always have a tenant. Even if your vacancy is only a month, you will have them. And sometimes, depending on the market and other factors, vacancies can last a while. Be sure you are financially prepared for when this happens.
3. Overestimating your rental rate.
Thinking you can dump a bunch of money into your rental and still get a rental rate that will cover what was spent may leave you struggling to find a tenant. Just because you think your rental as a lot of perks and bonuses does not mean you will find someone to rent it for an increased rate.
4. Not screening tenants properly.
Placing your rental into the hands of strangers can either be a good thing or a terrible one – depending on how well you screen your tenants. If you don’t take the time to check credit, criminal background, rental history, employment records, and references, you may find that you put your investment into the hands of someone who may destroy it. Don’t take that chance.
5. Avoiding proper maintenance.
By not taking care of your appliances and other repairs as needed, you may find that you will end up with more costly repairs in the long run. In fact, you may even have to replace them altogether. Repair everything properly and schedule routine maintenance to keep the rental home in top shape.
6. Doing it all alone.
You can do everything alone or you can use a property management company to help with all that having a rental company entails. Call in the professionals to see that your rental is handled in the most effective and efficient way possible – throughout the entire process.
7. Not treating it as a business.
Fixing up a home can be a bit of a hobby. Small DIY home remodeling and such. But, investing in property rentals needs to be treated like a business if you want to succeed at it. Open business accounts, keep detailed accounting records, and do not get too laxed with your tenants.
Don’t make these common mistakes as a landlord. Do things right from the start and you will find being a landlord can be a profitable and enjoyable experience.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner atALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at www.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube,Bigger Pockets andREI Club andLinkedIn.