Being a Landlord ain’t easy!
There is a difference between being a Landlord and being an Owner.
The Landlord has to be involved and get his hands dirty, he has to know the laws and how they will be interpreted. He has to be something of an expert in several fields, including the local Landlord Tenant laws, local eviction laws, how things are repaired and maintained, etc, etc, etc. On top of that he has to know people, be able to read them, review an application (yes, you REALLY need to have a written application and do the background work) and judge the viability and reliability of the prospective resident. On the other hand, an Owner has a property manager that takes care of all the details and just manages the manager. Easy peasy!
How much do I charge?
Well, that’s a great question! There are some websites that provide algorithmic estimates of rental values, but they fall short if your rental doesn’t fall into the average or norm for the area. There is a database being built for rentals, but since most MLS’s do not require members to place rental listings in their MLS as they do with homes for sale, it is slow and incomplete process. Overpricing can leave you with a vacancy, the killer of investment cash flow, while underpricing often results in a sub-par tenant that may well do tremendous damage to your property.
Damage vs Wear and Tear; the unrealistic expectation conundrum!
Many owners rent out their properties expecting that they will be returned in EXACTLY the same condition as the left them. That NEVER happens! You see, this has been someones’ home. They lived in it and during that time the paint, appliances and equipment aged, just as if you had been living there. In most states, you cannot charge a tenant for a full repaint after he moves out. You can charge them for excessive wear and tear, like crayon art in the the kids room, returning the red room back to white, poorly patched nail holes(tenants like to use a 1-2inch putty knife to fill in a nail hole) etc. If the paint looks to be aging, you cant charge them to “better” your property. I suggest that you set aside money every month to cover such events, and they WILL happen! The same goes for the roof, the furnace, refrigerator, etc. just because they break doesn’t mean the tenant broke it.
Communication is KEY!
The best tenants feel like they matter! Talk to them, keep the lines of communication open. Happy tenants pay their rents on time and take better care of the property. Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer and pay higher rents.
If you are tired of being a Landlord, give us a call! We do it and do it well since 1974.
520-881-4884 Open 7 Days a Week!