3 Healthy Habits of Successful Landlords

by Chris on May 23, 2016

If you are a landlord, then you know there are many tasks to complete in order to successfully manage a rental property. However, these three simple habits can streamline the process, and help you keep your properties running smoothly with less effort:

1. Be meticulous about keeping records. Don’t allow the scramble of move-outs, move-ins, or multiple tenants to throw you off your game. Make sure you have documentation on each tenancy.

tenant screeningAt a minimum, that should include a copy of your rental ad, any prequalification interview notes, the rental application, lease, move-in condition report, notes of any tenant interactions including repair requests or complaints, and the move-out condition report. If you collect security deposits, make sure you have the final accounting.

It’s also a good idea to sketch out your general leasing policies, including tenant screening, house rules, and maintenance and repair requests. Keep notes on applicants who applied but were not accepted.

Not only can this habit make you more effective, but if you are called out on your actions, you easily can show that you are diligent, that you apply your rules uniformly, and that you are not making it up as you go along.

2. Stay in touch with your tenants. Landlords who believe that their job ends once they find a good tenant are the most vulnerable to property damage and problem tenants. A landlord who is never around is the number one complaint of tenants. Your tenants actually want you to stay in touch and to show an interest in the property. Even the best tenant can turn sour if they feel neglected.

Regular communications can be as simple as providing a rent receipt, preferably with a thank-you for on-time rent payments, answering your phone and returning messages, or monthly community newsletters.  Routine property inspections also provide a solid opportunity to address any tenant concerns and to touch base.

3. Screen tenants. Even if you have a great feeling about a rental applicant, make sure your instincts are correct by running a tenant background check. Do it every time you fill a vacancy.

Start by verifying your applicant’s identity with a photo ID, and then demand a fully completed rental application. Verify that information, speak with previous landlords and run a tenant credit report.

The more you practice these habits, the easier it will become to keep your rental business profitable.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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