17 Essential Tips for New Landlords

1. Treat landlording as a business. Develop a system and a set of written procedures for all steps in your rental process.

2. Get a good state-specific lease and be sure your lease is clear regarding all expectations you have for your residents’ responsibilities. (Many leases make too many assumptions of what is to be expected.)

3. Believe in yourself, but do not believe anything put on the rental application. Verify it all.

4. Thoroughly screen your applicants. Along with running credit checks, be sure to check eviction records and possible criminal background on all applicants.

5. Get the cooperation of your residents and start advertising and showing rentals BEFORE the lease is up.

6. Fill vacancies faster by reaching out and serving a “niche” target market.

7. Keep your relationship between you and your residents in a business-like manner and treat all residents with respect.

8. Conduct regular inspections of your properties.

9. Enforce your rules consistently and immediately.

10. Keep good records and document everything.

10. Use www.craigslist.com and www.postlets.com to advertise your rentals. They’re free.

11. Look for ways to reward your long-term residents even if in only small ways.

12. Join and participate in your local landlord association to get continued support, education, and encouragement from other landlords. Also seek out one or two mentors.

13. Become extremely familiar with the state landlord tenant laws where your own rental property.

14. Learn as much as you can about your local rental market and what other landlords and managers are charging, offering, and doing.

15. Always look to expand your business network with other landlords, contractors, suppliers, professionals, and community contacts. Network with individuals who are growing, progressive, and honest.

16. Seek further training and education.

17. Don’t give up! Don’t let the small percentage of rental challenges take your focus off your big goals. Landlording is not a get rich quick scheme, but can generate long-term wealth when done correctly.

By CREOnline Contributor

A content contributor to the original CREOnline.com.