Alright, alright, alright! So you're officially a landlord now, eh? Congratulations on joining the club of people who constantly stress about other people living in their property! But don't worry, I'm here to give you some not-so-obvious tips that might just make you a successful landlord.
First things first, let's talk about payment. I know, upfront rent seems like a dream come true, like winning the lottery or finding a sock that matches its mate. But hold your horses, cowboy! Before you start doing cartwheels, you need to check your state's landlord tenant laws because some states limit the amount of upfront rent you can collect. Plus, if your tenants pay upfront, they might be up to something fishy, like growing pot or making meth (or maybe they just don't want to see your face again). So, don't get too excited about that big wad of cash, partner.
Next up, tenant screening. Now, this is where the real fun begins! You can play detective and snoop around your potential tenant's car to see if it looks like a dumpster. And don't just ask if they have pets, ask how many they have. That way, you can let them know that you're on to their sneaky animal-loving ways. Also, don't accept people who say their pets will live somewhere else. They're lying, and their furry friends will be moving in with them sooner than you think.
Now, let's talk advertising. Unfortunately, Craigslist is full of scammers who like to steal your listing and your pictures. They'll even use your address and contact information to pretend they're you! But fear not, my friend! You can protect yourself by watermarking your images with your phone number and contact information. Plus, you should never publish your actual address. Just give them the nearest cross streets, and let them do the detective work for you.
Leases are next on our list, and they're no laughing matter. Well, actually, if you have a barebones lease, then it's pretty hilarious because it's completely worthless! You need a good solid lease that doesn't contradict your state's laws. And if you want your tenant to know something, put it in the lease and read it to them. Yes, you heard me right, read it to them! That way, they can't claim they didn't know what they were signing up for.
Communication is key, people! And if you want your tenants to know something, you have to tell them! But don't just tell them, write it down! Texting might not be recognized as a legal method of notification, but email and snail mail are, so use them to your advantage. And please, for the love of all that is good and holy, don't try to read their minds. You're not Professor Xavier, and they're not the X-Men.
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