Owning a rental property is great as you have a chance to get a good return on investment. However, you have to do it right. This will determine if you’ll succeed or not. Your goal is to get the maximum profit possible while ensuring that your tenants are happy. Being a landlord is challenging. From finding tenants, collecting rent to resolving issues, it can be a daunting ask for a rental property owner. Here, we will share some property management tips and tricks you should be aware of as the property owner.

Property Management Tips

1. Find Tenants Online

A majority of tenants search on the internet for their next apartment. So the most effective way of finding tenants is creating an online rental listing. Tell tenants all the things they need to know. That includes the rent price, location, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and amenities (if any). It’s a good idea to upload clear photos as tenants would likely become more interested if they can visualize the place. A rental listing that announces your requirements and highlights your property’s best features is the best way to find quality tenants.

2. Screen Tenants

Exert effort to find the right renter for your property. By doing so, you can keep turnover low and also protect your cash flow. If possible, ask references of previous landlords to determine if the would-be renter pays on time and of good moral character. You can prevent potential issues if you screen applicants thoroughly. However, don’t discriminate against race, gender, or religion. Treat everyone fairly.

3. Know the Law

As a property owner, you should be familiar with your state’s real estate and rental laws. Some of the things to know are: acceptable reasons to terminate a lease, maintenance repairs, settling disputes, eviction notices, among others. Also, don’t hire unlicensed contractors for electrical work/plumbing that might be illegal in your state and hold you liable with insurance companies if an accident occurs.

4. Have a Rock Solid Lease

If it is not in writing, then most probably it does not count. Your success in this business partly depends on how strong and fair your lease is. If you do not have one, it’s time to change. Even in cases of monthly arrangements, that should be on paper. Some tenants may try to look for loopholes in the lease. If you don’t have a rock solid lease, you might lose if there is a dispute.

5. Create Consistent Procedures

Establish clear and consistent procedures for various issues, from handling maintenance requests to tenant disputes. Renters should know what to do when something breaks or when they wish to raise a complaint. Make sure to keep communication lines open to tenants.

6. Make Rent Payments Easy

One aspect that can help your property rental business is allowing tenants to pay rent online. If possible and allowed in your state, make it a requirement in the lease. Many states allow this, except California, which requires property owners to allow one other payment method. Use a trusted online rent payment company. Some of your possible options include Cozy and Appfolio.

7. Inspect Your Property At Least Once Every Quarter

From time to time, there may be some issues or maintenance repair items that need your attention. If you will hire a contractor, it is best to personally inspect their work to make sure that it was properly done. Inspecting your property at least once a quarter allows you to regularly check its condition.

8. Proper Use of Notice

The proper use of notice is a common pain point for landlords. Each state has its own requirements. Quite frankly, giving notice before terminating the lease can be a hassle. However, you can’t skip this step if it is required in your state.

9. Only Withhold the Deposit for Actual Damages

Occasionally, something unexpected might happen. Perhaps a tenant will fail to provide proper notice before leaving or abandon the property with 2 months unpaid rent. Having said that, it is important to withhold only the deposit for the actual and itemized damages. It could be rent, repair costs for excessive damages, or late fees. You cannot withhold your tenant’s deposit because you’re mad or the renter found loopholes in the lease.

In addition, you cannot double-dip on rent. For instance, if a renter fails to provide proper notice before leaving, you can hold him/her responsible for rent until the proper notice can be fulfilled. However, if you were able to find another tenant in just a couple of days, you cannot keep the rent of your new tenant and your previous tenant’s deposit.

10. Foster Relationships

As old timers will tell you, managing a property is kind of a relationship business. Make sure to nurture relationships with your tenants by treating them with respect. Happy tenants equate to a lower turnover. Be mindful of your tenants’ needs and create a system for resolving issues.

In any business, trust and product/service quality are cornerstones of customer satisfaction. Be honest, fair, and make timely repairs. In doing so, you’ll be able to retain tenants for a longer period of time and possibly command more rent for your rental properties.

11. Consider Hiring a Property Management Company

It’s advisable to hire a property management company if you want to save time and avoid the hassles of owning a rental property, like marketing, collecting rent, and handling tenant issues.

Also, a property management company can help you manage multiple rental properties. Hiring a dedicated property manager is an excellent option if you live far away from your property or can’t fully commit to landlord responsibilities. Doing so will allow you to have peace of mind knowing that your rental property is being managed professionally.

We hope you’ve learned something from these property management tips and tricks. If you don’t have the time to fulfill all the duties of a rental property owner, consider property management services. They will take care of everything, from finding and screening tenants, collecting rent, taking care of maintenance repairs, to resolving tenant issues.

Author's Bio: 

I'm Liran Koren. It’s still hard for me to call myself a real estate pro. Also, I'm a co-founder of Luxury Property Care. I believe that through common work we can create a healthy ecosystem, that serves investors, landlords and even tenants altogether.