You’ve recently purchased a home that is tenant-occupied, and you are super excited about your investment property. There is no better way to grow equity than with rental properties—particularly residential properties in California, which rent quickly and generate income during both economic upturns and upheaval. But, perhaps you have never been a landlord before and your only experience with landlords was when you rented your first apartment when you were in college. So, how do you know whether you are a successful landlord? And, if you’ve never been a landlord before, how can you become a successful landlord?
3 Tips for Becoming a Successful Landlord
As a landlord of a rental property (a home, a condo, an apartment building, or a multi-unit dwelling), you have two major goals in mind: protection of property and collection of rent. To that end, we’ve created a list of 3 top tips for becoming a successful landlord.
- Create an airtight state-compliant lease with all appropriate ancillary documents. A good lease is one of the most important aspects of your role as a landlord. This is not just some random lease that you buy at the office superstore or download online. It should contain all the local and state ordinances and touch on every aspect of both your role as a landlord and the responsibilities of the tenant. This includes but is not limited to who pays for utilities, whether pets are permitted, and who changes the batteries on smoke detectors, among other things. The California Association of Realtors® lease and rental agreement which we use at Broadpoint Properties is drafted by 11 attorneys and is updated as much as 4 times a year in order to address changing federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
- Respond quickly to maintenance requests. It is absolutely essential that you respond to maintenance requests the same day—within a reasonable time period if possible. There are certain requests that—if not addressed in a timely manner—can result in damage to your property and/or problems with your tenant. For example, if you only have one bathroom and the toilet becomes clogged, this must be addressed immediately. Or, if you have a leak under the kitchen sink, if the tenant is not diligent about placing a bucket and emptying it, you will have damage to your kitchen cabinets. At Broadpoint Properties, we have an online tenant portal available 24/7 to handle all maintenance requests and we respond to the urgent ones within the hour, with many repairs occurring the same day.
- Properly screen all applicants. There is a knack for screening tenants and it does NOT always involve putting in the very first tenant that makes an application. Taking the time to be sure that the tenants have the proper income, good credit history, positive relationships with previous landlords, and a positive background check will go a very long way towards a long-term relationship that ultimately saves the landlord time and money. As an aside, the knack to mastering this also includes being 100% certain that there are no violations of Fair Housing Laws. At Broadpoint Properties, we partner with a well-known tenant screening company that has never done us wrong. In fact, knock on wood, we have never had to evict a tenant that was screened by us with our screening partner.
There is so much involved in becoming a successful landlord. But, if you start by following these three steps, it will go a long way towards making your investment a big success! Any questions or need help with property management? Don’t hesitate to contact the North County, San Diego team at Broadpoint Properties.