How To Be a Great Landlord
All these tips are simple, common sense recommendations that can give you a solid base for managing your rental property. Being a good landlord, while important to the tenant, is even more important for you, your ability to attract the best tenants and certainly your potential to charge the highest rents possible in the marketplace. Ultimately, being a good landlord protects your asset – your investment rental property.
1) Make sure you have what it takes to be a good landlord
That includes great communication skills, proper legal knowledge, heaps of accounting and management skills, solid marketing ideas and tools, dedication and patience. And don’t forget the all-important cash flow! Many a landlord has hit trouble when their tenant hasn’t come through with the rent on time.
2) Properly screen your tenants!
This is not the time to take short-cuts. Run the credit checks, call ALL their references, run a full background check, and speak to their previous landlords. You’ve got ONE chance to conduct a thorough investigation before you agree to accept a tenant. Don’t blow it!
3) Use a plain-language and compliant Tenancy Agreement
Read and understand the entire Agreement, get proper legal advice if you don’t understand it and keep the signed copy in a safe place. Know the rules and know your rights. If you follow the landlord/tenancy laws to-the-letter you’ll have little trouble if you have to go to Tenancy Tribunal.
4) Say what you do and do what you say
Collect the rent on a schedule, follow the Tenancy Agreement regarding garden maintenance, rubbish removal, regular property inspections, and take care of any unexpected repairs when they come up. One of the worst things that a landlord can do is allow a tenant to live with something that is in poor condition due to an unanswered repair request.
Don’t expect your tenant to live in a property that you wouldn’t live in yourself. Give plenty of notice before entering the property, show up for inspections when you say you will, get things fixed quickly, and keep your property well-maintained.
5) Swing into action quickly if/when a problem arises
Some of the most successful landlords are often the toughest. Don’t accept arrears in any way, do NOT delay filing a 14 Day Notice the very first time there’s a missed rent payment or a breach of the lease. Be firm, consistent and be the boss. In the real world, people usually rise to the occasion when the bar is set higher. Tenants will do so, too.
managemyproperty is an independent Property Management company based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Richard Horne remains a tireless and energetic investor and commentator, running an experienced eye over the property market.