Owning a rental property comes with risk and there are two common landlord problems that are usually talked about. Those fears are damage from tenants or pets that cost money, and extended periods of vacancy where no rent is coming in. There are ways to mitigate these risks and minimize the fear you may be feeling.
Common Landlord Problems: Tenant Screening
Everything starts with high quality tenant screening. When you have a good tenant in your property, the likelihood that there will be damage is greatly reduced. Good tenants that have been thoroughly screened are also likely to stay in the property for a longer period of time, which minimizes your vacancy concerns. Screen in three main areas:
Income. Make sure your tenants have reliable income that will allow them to pay rent on time every month.
Credit. Look beyond the credit score and check the credit history. See if there are payment patterns and if the tenant is good at paying bills.
Rental history. Find out if the tenant has been evicted previously or left a property owing money.
Ask these questions and address those areas during the screening process, until your concerns are satisfied.
Common Landlord Problems: Property Inspections
Mitigate the risk once a tenant moves in by visiting the property on a regular basis. We recommend you inspect the home at least once a year. Walk through the entire property and look in every room. Identify damage as quickly as possible. If you do this once a year, you can see the damage and talk to the tenant before costs get out of control. This minimizes your risk.
Common Landlord Problems: Avoiding Vacancy
Vacancy is expensive, specifically the lost rent. Have a process to turn over the property quickly. The shorter your turnaround time, the better. Ideally you will have only seven days or less between tenants. Remember that you’re losing money every day. So have your ducks in a row, and be prepared with vendor resources so your property is rent ready as soon as a tenant moves out.
If you have any questions about the fears and risks that most property owners face, please contact us at Advantage Property Management Services.