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Monday, October 27, 2014

How to be a good landlord

Property management tips
Property management laws differ between states
By Tulsa Property Managers

Anyone that has been a landlord for an extended period of time will realize that this form of investment can be both a blessing and a curse. Luckily, with a little forward planning and some extra time invested into one’s property, a higher turnover rate and legal issues can often be avoided while keeping the property as profitable as possible throughout the years. 

Research tenant and landlord laws

Before letting a single potential tenant look at your property, it is important to take a few hours and carry out some research. Tenant and landlord laws are notoriously complex, and failing to understand them could lead to some major financial or legal issues down the road. Due to the fact that these laws change between every single state, it is important to contact your state’s Department of Housing to receive information on all rental laws and have these laws printed and on-hand. 

Create a personalized lease

If issues with a tenant do pop up down the road, a comprehensive and airtight lease may be the only thing that will help a landlord avoid an unpleasant legal situation. Basic leases can be found at a number of companies and organizations such as a local office supply store and will cover issues such as the rent and deposit. Landlords can then take these leases and add any custom rules or information that they have about that specific property. The more thorough a lease is, the smaller the chance that a major mishap or misunderstanding will take place. 

Be proud of your property

When a landlord is proud of their property and the work that they have invested into it, tenants will notice and typically show more respect for the property themselves. In addition to taking care of legal obligations such as cleaning the unit before renting it out, owners should consider some small changes that they can make to improve the overall feel of the property. This may require nothing more than painting the outside of the home, repairing a fence, or mowing the lawn. 

Create a dialogue with tenants

When tenants feel as if they cannot speak with their landlord openly and honestly, misunderstandings are sure to take place at some point. While landlords should always respect the privacy of their tenants, it is important that tenants always have a number of methods they are comfortable to use to get ahold of the owner. Tenants will often have small complaints or suggestions that will be easy to remedy when handled early on such as a broken appliance or noisy neighbor. 

Stay respectful but firm

One of the most difficult aspects of being a landlord is remaining friendly and respectful with tenants while still being firm about rules. When the rules are clearly stated in the lease, many of the most common issues will be avoided entirely, but problems are sure at come up at some point for long-term landlords. Fees for late rent should never be waived and a notice should be immediately given for any rules that are broken. On the opposite end of the spectrum, landlords should also consider what they can do to show tenants they appreciate them such as a gift card during the holidays or birthday card on their birthday. 

In the end, those that consider themselves a successful landlord will enjoy what they do, take pride in their property, and be making a profit. By focusing on these few goals, those that own property can ensure that their rental units will remain a great investment for years on end. 

 About the author: Tulsa Property Managers is a Jenks property management company offering professional property and real estate management, consulting and sales services throughout the Jenks and Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

Image: Geralt/Pixabay; US-PD