5 Steps To Being A Good Landlord -- And Why It Is In Your Best Interest To Do So

Reblogger Cindy Jones
Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

As a landlord myself in Northern Virginia these 5 tips are good advise.  Not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.  if you want to invest in property but don't want to deal with the day to day running of your properties interview and hire a good property management company.


Original content by Christine Hooks NJ - 9235504

5 Steps To Being A Good Landlord -- And Why It Is In Your Best Interest To Do So

1) Make sure you have what it takes to be a good landlord:  great communication skills, proper legal knowledge/advice, sufficient accounting and management skills, solid marketing ideas/tools, dedication and patience.  And don't forget the all-important cash flow!  Many a landlord has fallen when their tenant has not come through with the rent on-time.  Good Better Best

2) Properly screen your tenants!  This is not the time to take any short-cuts.  Run the credit, collect and call the references, run a background check, speak to former landlords, even visit the tenant at their current home if you have any doubts about their cleanliness or tidiness.  You have one chance to conduct a thorough investigation before you agree to accept a tenant.  Don't blow it!

3) Have a solid, plain-language lease ready for use.  Read and understand the entire lease, ask your attorney questions if you don't understand it and keep the signed copy in a safe place.  Be sure to include all of the necessary and required disclosures.  Know the rules and your rights.  If you follow the landlord/tenancy laws to-the-letter you will have little trouble should you have to go to court. 

4) "Say what you do and do what you say".  Collect the rent on a schedule, follow the lease regarding any late fees, lawncare, trash removal, required city or township inspections, etc.  Be attentive to any unexpected repairs that may arise.  One of the worst things that any landlord can do is to allow a tenant to live with something that is in poor condition due to an unanswered repair request. Do not expect your tenant to live in a property that you yourself would be unwilling to live in. Give sufficient notice prior to entering the unit, show up for inspections when you say you will, fix things in a timely fashion, 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 be hesitant to collect a late-fee when your tenant is late, do NOT delay filing an eviction notice the very first time there is a lateness or a breach of the lease.  Be firm.  Be consistent.  Be the boss.  In life, folks usually rise to the occasion when the bar is set higher.  Tenants will do so, too.

All of these tips are simple, common sense recommendations that can help to provide a solid foundation for a property management business.  Being a good lanlord, 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 property.

For the New Jersey 'Truth in Renting' booklet, click here.
To learn how to be a good tenant, click here.
For questions regarding property management, just ask Chris - 856 628 2710, askchris@coldwellbanker.com 

 

Sign for The Team of Chris Hooks

 

Chris Hooks, Broker Associate

Coldwell Banker Pino Agency
70 North Broadway
Pennsville, NJ  08070
856-628-2710 (cell)
856-678-4663, X211 (office)
888-936-0505 (toll free)

AskChris@ColdwellBanker.com
www.PinoRealty.com
www.SalemCountyRealEstateBlog.com

 

Find me on Facebook!  ChrisScruggsHooks

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"Helping You Make Good Real Estate Decisions"

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
483,837
Maggie McFarland
RE/MAX Pearland - Maggie McFarland - Pearland, TX
Pearland Realtor, Homes for Sale in Pearland Texas

Hi Cindy! Great post for landlords and/or potiential landlords! Thanks for sharing!

Aug 15, 2011 10:36 PM #1
Rainer
59,099
Kym Wright
Prudential California Realty - Olivenhain, CA
Great post! Thanks for the advise.
Aug 15, 2011 10:37 PM #2
Rainmaker
687,357
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Put our 28 years experience and technolgy to work

Good Evening Cindy

Thanks for the post. Have a great day

Aug 15, 2011 10:41 PM #3
Rainer
44,056
Laura Resnick
RE/MAX Associates West Bartlett, Il. 60103 - Carol Stream, IL
Carol Stream, IL 630-975-0615, RE/MAX Associates W

Some practical advise. Now just get people to follow through. I usually end up in a problem with tenants because of #5.  I don't really have a problem asking for a late fee - it is that I usually don't get it. Then it starts the beginning of the end of the relationship. My last tenant still owes me some rent from May 2010. But all situations are not cut and dry. He did have a hardship for a while, and he always did pay - that is of course until the last month..... It just always seems that landlord tenant relationships don't end well. and that is unfortunate, as I rely on my reputation to make a living. It seems as though tenants think that since we have an "Extra" house, that we must have "Extra" money.  Anyhow, I just wanted to comment on your 5 steps... and agree that they are all very good in theory. I just have to better myself to follow them. I guess it is like a young child, if you don't follow through, they never really know what to expect.. thnks

Aug 15, 2011 10:43 PM #4
Rainer
154,413
Lisa Dunham
Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria, VA
REALTOR, MBA, CDPE, Alexandria VA Real Estate, Short Sales

Excellent advice and recommendations for landlords Cindy!  Laura also makes a great point above. Thanks for the reblog.

Aug 15, 2011 10:46 PM #5
Rainmaker
405,546
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Cindy, most my tenants would add I'm a great landlord, because I give them hand me down clothes and home baked goods. Most of all we have a trust factor....give me the truth, and I'll work with you. Its better to accomodate a renter (provided they are still up to date with payments) then spend legal fees getting them out, or having an empty investment.

Aug 15, 2011 11:21 PM #6
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Maggie-credit for the original post goes to Chris Hooks.  It hit the right spot since I am a landlord and manage a few rental properties

Aug 16, 2011 07:04 AM #7
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Kym-thanks for stopping by.

Aug 16, 2011 07:04 AM #8
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Patrick-thanks and enjoy the rest of your week as well.

Aug 16, 2011 07:05 AM #9
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Laura-I've only had one property that I rented & managed for a client that has had a deadbeat tenant.  Fortunately for me my own tenants have been great and the last one I just sold a house to.  Hated to lose them as tenants though.

Aug 16, 2011 07:06 AM #10
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Lisa-I'e had some clients who bought investment properties and after the first year realized managing them was different than owning them.  Then I recommend a professional managment company to take over for them.

Aug 16, 2011 07:08 AM #11
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Ellen-in today's market we often find renters that have financial issues in their background.  If they are honest and upfront about them we can try and make it work.  But don't tell me you have excellent credit and then when I pull your credit report I see issues the trust factor is gone.

Aug 16, 2011 07:09 AM #12
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Cindy Jones

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