Being the most prepared landlord you can be
Of course, you want to find the best renters and, OF COURSE, you need to know what to do when things go badly with your tenants, but there is nothing more valuable than being prepared for all of the circumstances that could come your way. We, at WFT, suggest getting yourself informed on your local codes and housing codes long before signing with a tenant! You don’t want to step into a situation blindly and end up paying for it (possibly literally) later. As much as we’d love to give you links to all of the information you need, laws vary from state to state and the rules we have to follow where we are could be very different from yours. Here is a starting point though, so that you can at least know what you’ll need to know:
- Learn what inspections may be necessary before a tenant moves onto your property
- Acquire proper landlord insurance
- Have a plan in place for what to do in the case of a non-paying tenant: This will require some research! You should have the knowledge to file a claim yourself or have an attorney at the ready, because when you need to do it, you’ll want to get it done quickly.
- Learn why and when to send notices, so that at the time of infraction you are able to jump right into action. You can always cancel a notice, but you don’t want to wait until a tenant is months behind before starting a legal action, which could delay the time that you’re earning money for your property even further!
- You should know what paperwork may be required to give the tenant at lease signing.
It is also smart to be prepared financially to take on this role. Things happen to even the best of renters, so you’ll want to have a few months of mortgage payments on hand in case of emergency. And one more thing: Please remember, being a landlord is a financial transaction, not a personal one. Even if you love your client dearly, the purpose of renting to them is to earn money. You need to be prepared to protect your investments, should it become necessary, and not take it personally when renters can’t or won’t pay. Now, go get your research on!