How to be a landlord
If you have a home that you want to rent out instead of selling or looking to purchase your first rental property, you may be wondering what you need to know to be a landlord. Becoming a landlord may seem like an overwhelming task, but it will be a breeze when you follow these steps.
Getting a property ready
Getting your property ready to be a rental is your first step. Everyone knows the term “slum lord” and you definitely do not want your tenants to feel like you are one. A good way to get quality tenants is to provide a quality house. If you have a home that is clean and freshly updated you will likely have more qualified tenants applying also the tenants that are there will usually take better care of your property.
Posting the property for rent
You will need good pictures of the property to post for rent. You can hire a professional but with a little effort, you can take high-quality photos with your smartphone. Facebook has gotten me the most applicants by posting the property for rent on the marketplace. You can also post on Realtor.com, Zillow, and other online listing services.
Once you have a list of potential tenants you will want to pre-screen each one prior to showing the property to them. The reason we pre-screen them prior to showing them is that the majority of them will not be qualified to rent from you. You will want to ask them if they make 3 times the monthly rent in gross income if they have a criminal history, and their approximate credit score. Once you find which tenants actually meet your criteria, then you will show the property to them and see which ones would actually like to sign the lease. Once you have your tenants in mind you will have them pay for their background and credit check to verify the information they provided you in the pre-screen is accurate.
Once you verify the information they provided you will have a qualified tenant! The next step is to get them to sign your lease. You could use a company like Avail that has state-specific leases that you can use or find a friend that has a lease you can use. Just remember it is always good practice to have an attorney review any legal documents.
Being a landlord does not have the be the nightmare that people sometimes make it out to be. With the proper screening, you will protect yourself from most of the issues that being a landlord could have. Remember the importance of having quality property and you will attract quality tenants. Follow the 3 times rent a month in gross income to verify they will be able to pay the rent. Follow these rules and you will be relaxing on a beach while your tenants pay down your mortgage!