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First Steps of Being a Landlord

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The Lease:

When writing a lease, a lawyer is not always necessary but having someone inexperienced write one or get something off of a website is useless. Similarly, be aware of the audience you are renting to. Young people (college, young adult) and career driven adults will need different terms and language in the lease. Below are some examples of things to keep in mind for different tenants.

Children: Cute but can cause a lot of property damage.

  • College age and young adults: The biggest concerns would be noise ordinances, damage control, pets, attempted long-term guests, and anything involving insurance (fire, water damage, etc). It would also be best to give shorter term leases (maybe 6 months) because of job changes and college terms.
  • Mid-Late 20’s- Early 30’s: The biggest concerns may be damage that can be caused by pets and children. These groups are slightly more mature and are less likely to cause damage or receive noise complaints. Longer term leases are reasonable with this age group.
  • Late 30’s and up: Here you see people settling down with steady careers and if they have a family it’s likely to be well established with little change of new additions (except maybe pets). The security deposit will probably be easily obtained and the property is likely to be well maintained and the tenants are more than likely looking for a long term residence.

Before you and your future tenants sign the lease you must always agree upon the conditions of the apartment before they move in. This ensures that the tenants cannot claim something was “like that when they got there.” This also allows the tenants to make improvements (with permission) which can be a good investment on your part (less time and labor for you, but it is only fair to compensate them for some of their work).

In the lease also be sure to discuss how to handle house guests, parking, pets, and children.

Insurance:

Never underestimate the security deposit. This in no way is to make you look selfish or greedy and it’s not to scare off potential tenants. This is a way to make sure you can repair the property to rental quality should anything happen.

An example of nature-caused property damge.

Alongside property insurance, this is a great way to ensure you do not lose money on your house, apartment, or business.

Any appliances and services in the unit before tenants move in are your responsibility. If there is a problem with the plumping or the lighting (not just bulbs or paying the water bill) you need to ensure to have it repaired because in some states when a necessary utility is not working in a building the tenants are not required to pay rent until the issue is resolved. Less drastically, if you supplied a washer and dryer and they stop working, it becomes your problem. Always keep extra money aside for repairs and replacements.

Property insurance is as important for landlords as it is for home owners. For example, natural disasters do happen and you should not expect your tenants to repair water damage, since they are renting the building from you. Insurance will cost more for you renting it out than it would if you were living in the house, but in the long run it will always be worth it.

At Rehablender.com, we can help you begin your dream and career as an amazing landlord. Call or email us today to get started. With our help, your next property will be the best investment you’ve ever made.

 

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