When it comes to running a profitable rental property, the recipe for success includes finding the right tenants, actively managing those tenants, and reducing common landlord liabilities.
Here are some easy strategies that can lower the risk of income loss:
1. Finding the right tenants requires running tenant background checks. Landlords can save time and money by vetting tenants efficiently: Prequalify prospects before showing the property, demand a completed rental application, verify the information on the application, and then contact references and run a tenant credit report. If problems arise, it’s easier — and cheaper — to discover those issues early in the process.
2. Don’t discourage rental applicants who are qualified because they don’t fit a particular demographic. Discrimination cases cost tens of thousands of dollars to resolve, plus a landlord prolongs the vacancy by turning away good prospects. Allow any qualified applicants to pursue the vacancy and make up their own minds as to whether the property works for them.
3. Fires are a significant risk to tenants’safety and an all too common source of income loss for rental property owners. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and instruct tenants not to disable these important safety devices.
4. Even the best tenants can stray if the property is not actively managed. Stay in touch with renters — especially long-term tenants — on a regular basis. While this must be balanced with respecting a tenant’s privacy, tenants generally dislike having an absent landlord. If regular property inspections are the only time the tenant sees the landlord, that can become uncomfortable, prompting tenants to hide issues. If the landlord fails to conduct those routine inspections, then there is no telling what’s going on in the property.
5. Declining properties attract bad tenants. Plan a vacancy once in a while to conduct more thorough inspections, checking for hazards and sprucing up a property that is showing some wear and tear. The better the condition of the property, the easier it is to attract good tenants, and that’s worth a few days off the market.
Also, it is more difficult to conduct some repairs while the unit is occupied without violating the current tenant’s privacy or right to quiet enjoyment. This is a common issue in dispute resolution. Whenever possible, plan those more annoying repairs for when the property is vacant.
6. Cash flow is an important factor in profitability. Chasing down the rent costs time and money. Make it easy for tenants to pay the rent. More and more people are paying bills online, and if you can accept electronic or automated payments, you are more likely to get the rent on time. Some people will not be able to use these methods, so offer an array of options to the tenants. Routine rent reminders also can help tenants stay on track.
Allow tenants the incentive of building up their credit and also developing a proven rent payment history by signing up to Report Tenant Pay Habits with TVS. This information can be added to a tenant’s credit report, making this a good option for tenants.
7. Landlords can spend an excessive amount of time advertising a vacancy and showing the property to prospective tenants. If you like your current tenants, encourage them to refer friends to the property. Some landlords offer referral incentives, but that can backfire if the tenant offers up a so-so referral in order to get some prize. The easiest and least expensive strategy to gain referrals is by doing a good job managing the property. Then, simply notifying tenants of an upcoming vacancy may be enough to do the trick.
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.