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So you want to be a landlord . . .

Owning rental properties can be very rewarding. It’s a great way to benefit from long-term passive income, and it’s a perfect addition to your investment portfolio.

However, being a landlord requires knowledge, hard work, and wide-ranging set of skills. From keeping properties well-maintained to setting rental prices and finding the right tenants, your job as a landlord won’t be easy.

Maybe you have multiple properties, or you’re moving and considering renting out your current home instead of selling. Here are our best tips and tricks to being a landlord.

Ready to get started? Check out these blog posts for your first look at being a landlord.

What’s first?

One of the first things to do as a landlord is getting your property ready to rent.

It’s the Make-Ready process. Check your property for needed repairs. You might also need a fresh coat of paint—inside and out.

Don’t forget a thorough cleaning (including carpets), new locks, and any other updates that might make your property more appealing to quality tenants.

When preparing your property for rent, it’s a good time to think about upgrades. Don’t go overboard—but it’s worth considering affordable improvements to help increase the rental price of the property.

Some upgrades can also help your home work better for disabled tenants in need of reasonable accommodations.

After you get the home in rental-ready condition, you need to set the rent price. Use rental market research plus your home’s value to guide your rental price. The right rental price helps your property rent quickly. The wrong rental price turns tenants off and keeps your property empty while you lose money.

Ready to prepare your rental property and set the rent? These resources can help.

Market your property like a pro!

When your rental property is ready, and you’ve set your rental price, it’s time to market your property.

Your property listing is the “face” of your property. It’s what gets you in the door (so to speak) with the right tenants who want to get in the door of your property.

It’s important for property listings to look professional. You want to attract the best quality tenants. To do that, you need a high-quality property listing. Make sure your listing includes professional photos and all of the right details to highlight the best qualities of your property.

Know your target renters and craft your listing to speak to them. Millennials? Baby Boomers? Young Family? Single Professionals? Retirees? Be sure your listing includes any special accommodations or features that cater to specific types of tenants.

Check out some additional tips on creating your property listing for high visibility and for your target market.

Now you’re ready for tenants.

The only thing worse than having no tenants is having bad tenants.

As a landlord, it’s critical to find the right tenants for your properties. You need renters who pay rent on time and take good care of your property. As you receive applications, put each potential tenant through a thorough screening process.

Check current and past employment, financial history, and criminal history for each applicant. Watch out for prior evictions, references you can’t reach, or any criminal behavior. Learn as much as you can within the laws of tenant screening.

Before signing the lease, be sure your potential tenants understand the details of your lease agreement. If multiple people are living in the home, list every tenant on the contract.

Use these resources to learn more about how to screen for the right tenants in your rental properties.

Maintain for success!

Your property is rented. Congrats! Your job is not done.

Being a landlord is a year-round commitment. Tenants need attention. Homes need maintenance and repair.

Throughout the year, perform inspections on your properties. Look for weather-related damage or any signs of wear-and-tear. Perform seasonal inspections and maintenance to keep your properties safe for tenants.

When tenants move out or move in, make sure you inspect your properties for damage. Keeping up with good maintenance on your properties helps prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Check out these blog posts for more information about property inspections and seasonal maintenance.

Know the laws like an expert.

Being a landlord might not be your “day job.” However, you’ll need to know laws and best practices like you’re a professional property manager.

From tenants’ rights in Florida to reasonable accommodation, making home repairs, and how to collect rent–being a landlord requires a wide-range of knowledge.

If that feels overwhelming, you don’t have to do it on your own. Working with a property management company gives you a professional who already knows the rental property business.

It doesn’t hurt to look into finding the right partner to help with the details and the daily tasks of being a landlord. Letting your passive income be “passive” is part of the appeal when investing in rental properties.

If you are looking for more about tenants’ rights or what a property management company can do for you? Check out these resources.

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