We have a two-storied house out of which we have rented the top half to a family and my parents share the lower half of the house with us. This helps us provide money to my parents for their monthly groceries as well as give them some company if needed. We have been having this arrangement for the past 10 years now, and we have had more than three tenants stay and move out. Here are some tips to ensure you are able to manage your rental property while staying on good terms with your tenants
Screen your tenants – Do not just blindly decide to give your property to people you do not know. Do not rent without performing background checks. The best way to do this is to get the information from prospective tenants in a written form. Some things to ask are their previous landlord’s information, employment details and income and credit history. Always remember to call and check with the references. Obtain a credit report so that you can be sure that your tenant will pay rent on time.
Handle security deposits carefully – Before you rent your place, always do an inspection with the prospective tenant and make a list of things around the house as is. You should establish a fair system of collecting, holding and returning security deposit on time to avoid disputes. If you do not make a list of things before the tenant moves in, chances are there would be haggling over broken things and amount of security deposit that you want to return.
Sign the lease – This is very important step. One time, we leased to a bachelor and had a verbal agreement for stay of a period of 11 months. But he got another job after 3 months and left us hanging. We had done some renovations and because of the lack of rent now, we ended up financially constrained. Since then, I always make sure to get the lease agreement signed first and foremost.
Provide security – By providing security on your rental property, you can ensure your tenant feels safe and you gain their trust. We have iron bars on the gate and the patio is also kept closed and secure with an iron grill. Also there is proper lighting around the premises. I have seen folks reject other properties just because they didn’t feel safe.
Periodic checkups – I do not like to do surprise inspections, rather I let my tenants know that I would be stopping by for a quick checkup just to ensure things are going fine. This is critical for me, because I learned the hard way when a tenant messed up the flooring so bad that I had to evict them and re-floor the entire section before I could rent it again.